News

7 Things You Should Know About Visual Literacy

Educause

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:”

  1. 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.”
  2. How does it work?
    “Visualizations often provide better ways to tell a story
    or understand data.”
  3. Who’s doing it?
    “…some colleges and universities are making visual literacy coursework part of general education requirements.”
  4. Why is it significant?
    “…visuals are increasingly used as an adjunct to—and in some cases, a substitute for—text.”
  5. 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.”
  6. Where is it going?
    “…visual content will move seamlessly across a variety of mobile platforms…”
  7. 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.”

 

Call for Manuscripts: Journal of Visual Literacy

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The International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) will be devoting an upcoming issue of the Journal of Visual Literacy to the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Please consider submitting a proposal! Deadline is March 20, 2015

From IVLA:

The Journal of Visual Literacy (JVL) invites manuscripts for an analysis of the 2011 ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education The Association of College and Research Libraries is a division of the American Library Association. We recognize there are other visual literacy standards developed by different organizations in higher education. We seek manuscripts that explore empirical, theoretical, research, practical, or applied aspects of visual literacy for library and information science and services and visual literacy standards developed by other disciplines. With the proliferation of visual information, research has indicated that the need to incorporate visual literacy into the curriculum of higher education is one of the most pressing tasks. ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education recognizes this need and invites educators, scholars, researchers, information professionals, and students to engage visual literacy in higher education. Scholarly research contribution to the JVL enhances the implementation of visual literacy standards in the curriculum, research, and learning for a lifelong learning journey.

JVL reflects the eclectic nature of the membership of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) and publishes articles on a wide variety of topics on visual literacy. JVL is a refereed, scholarly journal that provides an open forum in which researchers and practitioners can explore the evolving field of visual literacy.

VLTF Book Project

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!

Visual Literacy for the Sciences

Amanda H. Brown, Barbara Losoff, and Deborah R. Hollis shared ways to incorporate visual literacy instruction into science classes in a recent article that they wrote for portal: Libraries and the Academy: “Science Instruction Through the Visual Arts in Special Collections.” The authors demonstrated how to creatively use scientific images from Special Collections to teach skills related to defining and articulating the need for images (Visual Literacy Standard 1) and interpreting and analyzing images (Visual Literacy Standard 3).

New article on the Visual Literacy Standards in portal: Libraries and the Academy

A new article on the Visual Literacy Standards is now available in the January 2013 issue of portal: Libraries and the Academy.

Abstract
Visual literacy is essential for 21st century learners. Across the higher education curriculum, students are being asked to use and produce images and visual media in their academic work, and they must be prepared to do so. The Association of College and Research Libraries has published the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which, for the first time, outline specific visual literacy learning outcomes. These Standards present new opportunities for libraries to expand their role in student learning through standards-based teaching and assessment, and to contribute to campus-wide collaborative efforts to develop students’ skills and critical thinking with regard to visual materials.

Hattwig, D., Bussert, K., Medaille, A., & Burgess, J. (2013). Visual literacy standards in higher education: New opportunities for libraries and student learning. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 13(1), 61-89.