This study examined how hands-on work with original primary materials affects students’ information literacy and critical thinking skills. The project team developed rubrics to evaluate document analyses from before and after student time in special collections. Most scores did not vary significantly between the pre- and posttests, although students’ ability to analyze the materiality of documents did improve. They also examined papers from classes that had and had not used special collections against the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ information literacy rubric and found no significant differences. The authors hope this project will serve as a pilot for future assessment of student learning in special collections.
Expanding upon my poster titled “Art Instead of Just Images: Training Students to See Beyond the Screen” presented at the 2016 ARLIS/NA + VRA Third Joint Conference in Seattle, I detail the current journey of my project to create a practical guide for student employees to understand and manipulate images of art.
The university archives are so often the domain of “dusty historians” or serve as a source for nostalgia to encourage potential donors. As any archivist will tell you, however, these collections are cabinets of curiosity for the 21st century, containing ephemera and visual material that span the course of the institution. Engaging students with these collections can promote information and visual literacy objectives, as well as encourage retention by strengthening personal connections to the university itself. This article explores two assignments designed for studio art students using the archival resources at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and describes their results.
Visual literacy is a critical skill that enables individuals to navigate the world of visual media. While research shows multiple benefits of introducing visual literacy early in life, there is a scarcity of visual literacy programs for young children. In an effort to advance development of visual literacy programs for children, we explored techniques for engaging young children in visual literacy instruction using artworks. Our paper reports preliminary study findings and recommendations and outlines directions for future work.
This research investigates how well video digital libraries and catalogues used in academic libraries meet user expectations. This is in the context of increasing use and demand for online audiovisual content by the wider community, as well as growing use of audiovisual materials for teaching, learning, and research at academic institutions. It also aims to give an understanding of how well libraries are meeting the challenges of delivering audiovisual materials to users in an on-demand world.
Word clouds, created by a variety of web applications, are enticing new tools for some social studies educators. Teachers should be prepared, though, for the possibility that our zeal for a new resource may prevent us from adequately examining its value. This article recounts a class activity involving the creation of a word cloud, the Wordles of major documents from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, analyzes the lesson’s strengths and weaknesses, and offers guidance for the meaningful use of word cloud applications in the classroom.
Librarians, like many other occupations, tend to rely on text and underutilize graphics. Research on visual communication shows that pictures have a number of advantages over words. We can interact more effectively with colleagues and patrons by incorporating ideas from this research.
In our media-driven age visuals are increasingly frequent and prominently present in society and their importance and influence across academic disciplines is growing. This makes it essential to enable learners to become visually literate and justifies the need for teaching visual literacy competencies. Yet, there has been little research on visual literacy practices undertaken across academic subjects and institutions in higher education. Moreover, the key challenges and factors of success for achieving visual literacy education haven’t been studied to date. Accordingly, this research aimed to elucidate the issues most relevant to visual literacy and to identify practices undertaken by universities/ faculties and academic libraries. Explorative and descriptive research was conducted using literature analysis and an online questionnaire distributed to an international group of visual literacy practitioners.
The two authors of this chapter both worked in graphic design departments before obtaining their Master of Library & Information Science degrees, and subsequent professional positions in academic libraries. Framed within a context of visual literacy, this chapter describes each author’s experiences with graphic design and how the skills gained from those experiences lend themselves well to academic library outreach, instruction, web design, and archival work.
The abundance and complexity of information now being delivered visually demands that we become visually literate, as well as verbally literate. We need to understand better a process we have taken for granted. In an age increasingly dominated by images – a media culture, it becomes imperative to develop an understanding of how our visual processing system works; how visual cognition is shaped by social, political, and cultural conditioning; and how visual messages are created to elicit specific responses. One of the chief goals of visual literacy education is to encourage critical analysis of visual communication by developing tools that help us understand and manage this complex activity. “Seeing” needs to become an actively conscious, not a passive activity for us. This thesis illustrates the importance of critical visual literacy, provides an historical overview of the visual literacy movement, and suggests a foundational approach to teaching the basics of visual literacy.
An abridgment of the dissertation Measuring Visual Literacy Ability in Graduate Level Pre-Service Teachers by Teresa A. Farrell, this quantitative descriptive study was designed to establish a baseline of VL ability within this population using a national pool of graduate level students enrolled in teacher preparation programs. Avgerinou’s (2007) VL Index (modified to an online format) was the instrument used to measure VL ability. Results of this study indicate there may be a need for purposeful VL instruction in teacher preparation programs to better equip teachers in K-12 to be visually literate.
This chapter calls attention to the value of graphic design education in K–12 settings by explaining the history and practice of graphic design, identifying the uses and value of graphic design in education, and sharing a case study of how it can be applied in the classroom. The chapter focuses particularly on the value of constructing meaning with pictures and text, both for teacher use in the classroom and in student picture–text integrated projects. It argues that the visual draft process, which uses pictures and words together, can operate just as powerfully as the writing process to facilitate and demonstrate student learning. This graphic design process gives learners control of their content and liberates them to see different relationships between elements and ideas. At the same time, it frames picture and word relationships as malleable and builds flexible, critical thinking in multiple dimensions.
Today, the concept of “Literacy” represents reading and writing in various forms of texts which embody knowledge and a range of skills. Different literacies are essential for human to live, work and produce in the society. In order to use communication technologies in educational and teaching processes appropriately, individuals are not only required to become scientifically and technologically literate but also multimedia literate. Within this respect, a Project called “The 21st Century Literacies Education for Teacher Candidates” was conducted with the support of TUBITAK at Amasya University.
Multimedia design center, digital media lab, makerspace, scholars’ lab—there are many names for the ways that academic libraries are embracing a wider definition of the “library as space” concept, “where new and emerging information technologies can be combined with traditional knowledge resources in a user focused, service-rich environment that supports today’s social and educational patterns of learning, teaching, and research” (Freeman 2005, 3). While actively renovating and reinventing spaces for information/knowledge commons areas, the rationale for this movement is to provide an environment where students have access to equipment and space to experiment. The underpinning of this movement encompasses two key missions of academic libraries: to develop skills in information literacy and to encourage critical thinking among college students.
For the benefit of students, employers, and society, data literacy must be recognized as a necessary civic skill (Swan et al., 2009). This recognition should come from all levels of government, and from post-secondary institutions. There needs to be agreement on what
elements of data literacy are necessary in an undergraduate core curriculum, in order to provide a consistent foundational education for those entering an increasingly data-dependent workforce.
This article describes a project at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) Libraries in which two library staff members–a librarian and a media specialist–collaborated with a Communication Studies professor to provide assistance for two sections of an Intercultural Communication class in the creation of digital stories. As part of the course requirements, students performed service hours with community organizations and then created digital stories as a way to reflect upon and share their experiences. The project provided students with an opportunity not only to create and reflect but also to acquire digital media and visual literacy skills that may be helpful to them in future coursework and employment. In this article, the authors will describe how the digital storytelling project was designed and executed at UNR and provide guidelines for executing digital media projects to increase student engagement and to support a variety of learning objectives.
The ubiquitousness of images in the digital era highlights the importance of individuals’ visual communication skills in the 21st Century. We conducted a literature review of visual literacy initiatives in academic institutions to illustrate best practices for imparting these skills in students. The literature review identified five categories of visual literacy educational strategies in academic institutions including: the availability of instructional scaffolds, faculty’s creation of activities and assignments aimed at increasing students’ abilities to interpret and create visual images, lectures and readings that promoted visual design principles, the development of programs and courses centered on visual communication, and research initiatives that sought to identify and improve individuals’ skills in communicating visually. The latter two strategies remained especially popular in institutions outside of the United States. All of the efforts served to focus attention to the importance of visual literacy competencies in higher education.
The intention that motivates an online image’s creation might be ignored by overwhelmed media consumers as images wash over them as they scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. Consumers of commercially and personally produced images tend to focus on how those images make them feel as opposed to the narrative or reportorial information embedded in images. Since both “experts” and “novices” create online images, discerning an imagemaker’s level of expertise is difficult, if not impossible, to grasp due to lack of attribution, the availability of sophisticated online photo editing tools, and a steep learning curve among many novice creators. To discourage merely skimming images and to develop greater visual literacy, five principles of visual composition can be applied to access and analyze the intended and unintended denotative and connotative messages embedded in personal or commercial images posted on various social media platforms.
In the twenty-first century, visual texts are vital to learning in English language arts (ELA). As English educators, we know the importance of telling and sharing stories in various formats in order to build community as well as facilitate deep understanding of the concepts we teach. In our methods courses for undergraduates, two of our course projects help students think creatively and reflectively about themselves as ELA teachers, particularly in this time of changing demands, standards, and high-stakes testing. Further, these projects also help to expand students’ understanding of visual and digital ELA content and promote their development as sophisticated consumers of these texts. However, the projects also encourage students to be producers of digital content and to better understand the affordances of multimodal composition. We ask students to use digital tools such as iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, and VoiceThread to achieve our goals. In this chapter, we share the multimodal assignments we use and student project examples. While we teach in a university setting, we discuss adaptations to these projects that make them applicable to learners in other contexts.
Although the paradigm of visual literacy (VL) is rapidly emerging, the construct itself still lacks operational specificity. Based on a semiotic understanding of visual culture as an ongoing process of ‘making meaning’, we present in this study a skill-based classification of VL, differentiating four sets of VL skills: perception; imagination and creation; conceptualization; analysis. A qualitative curriculum analysis based on this framework revealed that curriculum standards for compulsory education in Belgium refer only peripherally to the use of visuals. The attention for VL skills also decreases from secondary education on, especially curriculum standards related to the analysis of images are scarce.