The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative recently released “7 Things You Should Know About Visual Literacy.” As usual, the brief is a jargon-free overview of the topic as it relates to teaching and learning. It’s worth reading, and provides fodder for conversations with colleagues and faculty. If you’re short on time, here are the high points from each of the “7 Things:”
- What is it?
“Visual literacy is the ability to recognize and critically appreciate meaning in visual content and to use visual elements to create effective communication.”
- How does it work?
“Visualizations often provide better ways to tell a story
or understand data.”
- Who’s doing it?
“…some colleges and universities are making visual literacy coursework part of general education requirements.”
- Why is it significant?
“…visuals are increasingly used as an adjunct to—and in some cases, a substitute for—text.”
- What are the downsides?
“Those who promote visual literacy in higher education
may struggle against a viewpoint that text should be the primary modality for scholarly communication.”
- Where is it going?
“…visual content will move seamlessly across a variety of mobile platforms…”
- What are the implications for teaching and learning?
“These tools offer students and faculty the opportunity to make new discoveries and find new ways to present complex data.”
The ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education highlight the academic librarian’s role in visual literacy, but important questions remain unanswered. How do librarians implement the Standards? How do they engage with visual literacy? And where do they even begin?
The VLTF is tackling these questions and more in a forthcoming book tentatively titled Visual Literacy for Libraries: A Practical, Standards Based Guide, to be published by ALA Editions. We’ll share proven approaches for applying, teaching, and promoting visual literacy in a library context. Our goal is to provide readers with the tools, strategies, and confidence to apply visual literacy to their work.
We will go beyond introducing librarians to the basics of visual literacy. From techniques to make instruction more engaging, to tools for increasing personal confidence while working with images, we will show how to integrate visual literacy concepts into professional practice.
Stay tuned for developments on this exciting project!
VLTF members recently contributed to ACRL’s Keeping Up With… series with a brief on Visual Literacy. Check it out here!
On April 4, Nicole E. Brown presented “Teaching Research With Images: Integrating Visual & Information Literacy,” as part of a panel session, Eyes Opened: Visual Resources for Visual Literacy at the The 2013 Visual Resource Association’s Annual Conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Slides are available here.
On October 3, 2013, Nicole E. Brown delivered an invited professional development program entitled “Leveraging Visual Literacy for Communication” as part of the Georgia Library Association’s Carterette Series Webinars, which highlight trends, innovation, and best practices in libraries.
The presentation shares techniques for using images in libraries, with a focus on pedagogical considerations. Visual learning objects illustrate how images can frame instruction sessions by capturing learners’ attention and preparing them to delve into conceptual content.
A screencast of the full webinar is available here.
On January 15, Nicole E. Brown presented at the 2013 METRO Annual Conference. The talk, entitled “Teaching with Images” focused on working to integrate visual literacy with information literacy in multidisciplinary instructional settings. The presentation is available here.