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  1. VISUAL LITERACY

  2. IntroductionThe importance of images and visual media in contemporary culture is changing what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Today's society is highly visual, and visual imagery is no longer supplemental to other forms of information. New digital technologies have made it possible for almost anyone to create and share visual media. Yet the pervasiveness of images and visual media does not necessarily mean that individuals are able to critically view, use, and produce visual content. Individuals must develop these essential skills in order to engage capably in a visually-oriented society. Visual literacy empowers individuals to participate fully in a visual culture.Visual Literacy DefinedVisual literacy is a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. Visual literacy skills equip a learner to understand and analyze the contextual, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, intellectual, and technical components involved in the production and use of visual materials. A visually literate individual is both a critical consumer of visual media and a competent contributor to a body of shared knowledge and culture.In an interdisciplinary, higher education environment, a visually literate individual is able to:• Determine the nature and extent of the visual materials needed• Find and access needed images and visual media effectively and efficiently• Interpret and analyze the meanings of images and visual media• Evaluate images and their sources• Use images and visual media effectively• Design and create meaningful images and visual media• Understand many of the ethical, legal, social, and economic issues surrounding the creation and use of images and visual media, and access and use visual materials ethicallyVisual Literacy and Higher EducationAcross disciplines, students engage with images and visual materials throughout the course of their education. Although students are expected to understand, use, and create images in academic work, they are not always prepared to do so. Scholarly work with images requires research, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation skills specific to visual materials. These abilities cannot be taken for granted and need to be taught, supported, and integrated into the curriculum. Notably, some K-12 and higher education standards include visual literacy as one of several key literacies needed for success in contemporary society.1 Many discussions of transliteracy, metaliteracy, and multimodal literacy also include visual literacy among the literacies important for today’s learners. A diverse body of literature on visual literacy and visual studies also exists. Yet standards outlining student learning outcomes around interdisciplinary visual literacy in higher education have not been articulated. The Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education addresses this gap in the literature and provides tools for educators seeking to pursue visual literacy with college and university students.The Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education establish an intellectual framework and structure to facilitate the development of skills and competencies required for students to engage with images in an academic environment, and critically use and produce visual media throughout their professional lives. The Standards articulate observable learning outcomes that can be taught and assessed, supporting efforts to develop measurable improvements in student visual literacy. In addition to providing tools for educators across disciplines, the Standards offer a common language for discussing student use of visual materials in academic work and beyond.Visual Literacy and Information LiteracyThe Visual Literacy Standards were developed in the context of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, and are intended to complement the Information Literacy Standards. The Visual Literacy Standards address some of the unique issues presented by visual materials. Images often function as information, but they are also aesthetic and creative objects that require additional levels of interpretation and analysis. Finding visual materials in text-based environments requires specific types of research skills. The use, sharing, and reproduction of visual materials also raise particular ethical and legal considerations. The Standards address these distinct characteristics of images and visual media and challenge students to develop a combination of abilities related to information literacy, visual communication, interpretation, and technology and digital media use.Implementation and Use of the StandardsThe Standards may be used as a whole, or in part, depending on curricular needs and overall learning goals of a program or institution. A visual studies course or a year-long series of courses involving visual materials may be an appropriate context for full implementation of the Standards. In other circumstances, the individual standards may be more useful as stand-alone tools for teaching and assessing specific sets of learning outcomes. Depending on the assignment or project, it is possible that two or three of the standards would be applicable and useful, but the remaining standards would not be relevant. Implementation of the Standards may also vary across disciplines, depending on how visual materials are used in that discipline. Individual disciplines may choose to articulate additional discipline-specific visual literacy learning outcomes. The Standards follow a linear structure, but it is understood that student information behavior is iterative.2 Students may search, interpret, and evaluate simultaneously. Appropriate learning outcomes may be employed as needed, and visual literacy learning may not necessarily follow a progression from Standard 1 to Standard 7.Visual literacy education is typically a collaborative endeavor, involving faculty, librarians, curators, archivists, visual resources professionals, and learning technologists. Integrating visual literacy into the curriculum requires partnerships and shared implementation strategies across academic departments and units. Libraries play an important role in this process by selecting and providing quality image resources, developing research and subject guides for images, teaching image research strategies, and raising awareness of the ethical use of visual media. Libraries are also established partners in working with students to develop the critical thinking and evaluation skills essential to participation in visual culture.The accessibility of visual materials and the needs of differently abled individuals, including visually impaired students, is an important consideration in visual literacy instruction and Standards implementation. Adaptive or assistive technologies, such as audio descriptions of visual materials or multimodal access to visual media, could be components of an accessibility strategy for visual materials.Standards Development ProcessThe Visual Literacy Competency Standards were collaboratively written by the members of the Visual Literacy Standards Task Force (VLTF), using the Information Literacy Competency Standards as a foundational document. In March 2010, the ACRL Information Literacy Standards Committee gave support to the ACRL Image Resources Interest Group’s (IRIG) proposal to develop Visual Literacy Competency Standards. The Visual Literacy Standards Task Force reviewed the visual literacy and standards literature and developed a public bibliography in Zotero; appointed an Advisory Group comprised of librarians, technologists, curators, and administrators; created a blog for communication and community engagement; conducted open meetings and discussion groups; and engaged in outreach with multiple organizations. The first public draft of the Standards was distributed in February 2011.Notes1. Two of these standards are Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, American Association of School Librarians, 2007, http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_LearningStandards.pdf; and NCTE Framework for 21st Century Curriculum and Assessment, National Council of Teachers of English, 2008, http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Positions/Framework_21stCent_Curr_Assessment.pdf.2. Head, Alison J. and Michael B. Eisenberg. Truth be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age. Project Information Literacy, Information School, University of Washington, 2010. http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2010_Survey_FullReport1.pdf. Standards, Performance Indicators, and Learning OutcomesStandard OneThe visually literate student determines the nature and extent of the visual materials needed.Performance Indicators:1. The visually literate student defines and articulates the need for an image.Learning Outcomes:a. Defines the purpose of the image within the project (e.g., illustration, evidence, primary source, focus of analysis, critique, commentary)b. Defines the scope (e.g., reach, audience) and environment (e.g., academic environment, open web) of the planned image use c. Articulates criteria that need to be met by the image (e.g., subject, pictorial content, color, resolution, specific item)d. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the needed image e. Identifies discipline-specific conventions for image use2. The visually literate student identifies a variety of image sources, materials, and types.Learning Outcomes:a. Explores image sources to increase familiarity with available images and generate ideas for relevant image contentb. Investigates the scope, content, and potential usefulness of a range of image sources and formats (e.g., digital, print, subscription databases, open web, books or articles, repositories, personal creations)c. Identifies different image and visual media types and materials (e.g., paintings, prints, photographs, born-digital images, data models)d. Articulates ways images can be used to communicate data and information (e.g., charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, models, renderings, elevations)e. Recognizes that existing images can be modified or repurposed to produce new visual content

  3. Visual Literacy and the Classroom • by Erin Riesland • Although the definition of literacy remains a hotly contested topic among educators and researchers, it is hard to deny that technology is driving the debate. While reading and writing will most likely remain at the heart of standard literacy education, educators should reconsider what it means to be literate in the technological age. The New London Group, a cohort of educators and researchers interested in examining the teaching of new literacies, explains literacy this way: "one could say that its fundamental purpose is to ensure that all students benefit from learning in ways that allow them to participate fully in public, community, and economic life." (1996) • Multimedia, or new media, is changing the way society communicates in the virtual and real world. One major transition is the Microsoft PowerPoint takeover of nearly every office boardroom and college lecture hall. PowerPoint's saturation has created the sudden need for every office meeting or group gathering to show dynamic multimedia presentations, regardless of content. This kind of ubiquitous availability of technology crosses over to the classroom as well. More and more students are turning to PowerPoint or equivalent programs for classroom presentations. These students are pushing their classmates to compete and setting classroom precedents. The speed at which technology is altering classroom communication is overwhelming. The time to address visual media literacy is now. • Currently, in high schools across the country, many students are expected to present complex visual ideas using a variety of multimedia applications without serious direct instruction. Student ability to "participate fully in public, community, and economic life" is quickly being redefined through emerging technology. Anyone who has suffered through an 8pt text-jammed PowerPoint presentation can recognize the delicate balance between verbal and visual. As we move to an increasingly visually-dominated culture (Kress, 1998), where students are expected to code and decode complex messages in a variety of media, shouldn't literacy instruction include visual media as well? • Redefining literacyThe broad field of visual literacy is loosely defined in this paper as the ability to communicate and understand through visual means. The New London Group has included in their "Pedagogy of Multiliteracies" a definition of literacy that includes the "understanding and competent control of representational formats that are becoming increasingly significant in the overall communications environment, such as visual images and their relationship to the written word-- for instance, visual design in desktop publishing or the interface of visual and linguistic meaning in multimedia."(1996) By educating students to understand and communicate through visual modes, teachers empower their students with the necessary tools to thrive in increasingly media-varied environments. The definition of literacy is outdated and that the new definition must account for the technologically evolving landscape. For example, if students are to successfully meet the demands of new literacy, they must be able to navigate and communicate through evolving mediums such as hypermedia. • Hypertext/HypermediaHypertext is most commonly seen and was developed in the 60s as a way to creatively link text together. Hypermedia expands the term hypertext (where the word or media is a link that can be navigated to explore the idea behind the link further,) to include audio-visual as well as written media. Because hypermedia is non-linear in nature and reflects a more genuine thinking style in the way each link can take the reader in many directions, hypermedia reading differs greatly from print reading. The increase in student use of online hypermedia for serious information gathering is altering the way students read and collect information, and will ultimately alter the way students write. Hypermedia writing/design challenges the student to organize compositions that give up sequential control of the text all the while struggling to integrate poignant illustrations through a variety of visual media. The audience or reader of hypermedia text is free to customize and tailor their experience according to interests and needs. Most hypermedia texts are designed for online display and therefore prompt the student to write and design specifically for an audience. Typeface size, style, color and page layout all must be considered, yet most students have no idea where to begin. What remains the cornerstone of hypertext is the reader/writer relationship where ultimately the reader takes on the role of the writer/designer. This shift is fundamentally changing the way generations to come will think about books, reading, and writing-- it cannot be ignored in the classroom much longer. • Hypermedia work has been observed in the classroom with compelling results. Garthwait's (2001) experiment using a basic hypermedia design program was well received by students who were excited by the idea of implementing visual and sound elements into texts. Some students displayed high level graphics manipulation using skills they taught themselves, an indicator of high motivation. Other students began working with color to organize thoughts in a pleasing manner. The overt visual nature of creating these texts reinforces the attention visual literacy deserves. Moreover, it is the visual nature of classroom projects like these that is alluring to children. • Traditionally, writers use language to convey ideas and metaphors while drawing upon images and graphs to reinforce writing. Kress has demonstrated a shift in science textbooks revealing the switch from visuals that support text explanations to text that supports visual explanations. Kress argues that graphics hold more meaning and are central to the meaning of modern texts and meaning-making systems. Hammerberg (2001) notes the increase in children's books that are interactive through sound or visual cues. These new books incorporate non-linear elements similar to hypermedia. Hammerberg argues that these visual and non-linear shifts indicate a disparity between what children read and what they are taught to write. "In the same way that instruction can take place on the conceptual level of the alphabet, instruction can also take place on the conceptual level of textual design and ever-shifting perspectives (e.g., hypertext.)" Young students are primed through experience to negotiate complex multimedia environments, however the disconnect in literacy education remains. • Visual Literacy and the MediaAs students learn to decode hypermedia, they are also learning how to decode advertising. Visual literacy education should prepare students at a young age for the onslaught of advertising they will be exposed to during their lifetime. The immediate examples of seemingly innocuous sites are numerous: Nickelodeon advertises their commercial programming and includes shopping links. Zoog Disney seamlessly ties in merchandising links with its interactive programming. AOL Instant Messenger, a growing favorite among youngsters, is continually employing new pop-up advertising techniques. This kind of complete advertising integration transforms students' budding view of the world. "Their participation in global media culture shapes the way they communicate and the kinds of social identities they take on. It informs how they present themselves to others and their understandings about the social groups and communities to which they might conceivably belong." (Nixon, 2003) • Advertisers understand how to reach youngsters (and really, just about anyone) far better than educators. Professional visual communicators hold the power when communicating in the modern media image-centric environment. Just as the visual language of point and click and scroll has become transparent and embedded into modern culture, so have the messages to buy Coke and shop at the Gap. Why should we continue to let advertisers teach our children how to see while we hold ourselves ignorant to their methods? • Visual Literacy in the ClassroomIntegrating visual literacy instruction into classroom curriculum begins by asking a few key questions to spark the critical thinking process. Professional visual communicators evaluate visual messages by asking: What am I looking at? What does this image mean to me? What is the relationship between the image and the displayed text message? How is this message effective? Just as professionals ask critical questions of messages they examine, students should be just as critical of the messages they see too. In the visual design world, similar questions are asked during message creation as well: How can I visually depict this message? How can I make this message effective? What are some visual/verbal relationships I can use? Once students internalize these questions, not only will students be prepared to recognize and decode subversive advertising messages, but they will also be prepared to communicate with a level of visual sophistication that will carry them through the multimedia-dependent environment of higher education and the modern work environment. Moreover, visual literacy instruction will better prepare students for the dynamic and constantly changing online world they will inevitably be communicating through. • There are many ways to integrate and address multimedia in the classroom to make it educational. Drawing upon SeymorPapert's (1980) research, researchers such as Resnick (1996) and Kafai (1996) have promoted the constructivist notion of learning by design where students learn by working on "real world" constructions. Educators create a project whereby students work together to create a web page or interactive movie where they are allowed to create their own messages like the professionals they're imitating. This learning environment, based on the constructivist learning philosophy that evolved during the 1970s and 1980s, has its foundations in cognitive learning psychology. The learning model is based on the concept that knowledge is constructed rather than processed from information received from an external source. In this process, the student assumes the role of the producer rather than the consumer of information. Through classroom construction of a multimedia project, an in-depth understanding of visual communication, or visual literacy, is learned along the way. • The examples of learning by design are numerous. Garthwait (2001), as mentioned earlier, used a hypermedia design program to encourage students to write while incorporating multimedia design. His results showed high motivation and learning retention. The key to Garthwait's experiment is the level of comprehension that developed out of designing hypermedia stories. Every student exhibited an impressive understanding of not only how hypermedia is displayed on the Internet, but also how to communicate in non-linear and visual modes of discourse. Exposure appears to be the key element in these experiments. Chandler-Olcott & Mahar (2003) explored the disparity between one student's high-level web design and communication completed at home through her enthusiasm for Japanese Anime and the non-existent technology education at school. Rhiannon, the student named in the study, wrote lengthy fanfictions or anime stories and posted them on a web site that she designed without any school resources but showed little interest in school-assigned writing. Rhiannon's expertise came from home access to the Internet, curiosity, and collaborative online learning, yet went unnoticed by her teachers. • ConclusionOpportunities for web and hypermedia story design are passed over in the classroom every day in favor of traditional reading and writing exercises. As Rhiannon and countless other students are finding their way through new media, they leave their peers in the dust. Yet, our modern technology-driven society demands a level of communication that remains largely unaddressed in the classroom. If the goal of literacy education is to empower students with the tools to communicate and thrive successfully in society, shouldn't we consider the current literacy demands of the technological age? Who will ultimately teach our children to communicate? • Bibliography • Chandler-Olcott, K. & Mahar, D. (2003). "Tech-savviness" meets multiliteracies: Exploring adolescent girls' technology-mediated literacy practices. Reading Research Quartly, 38 (3), 356-385. • Garthwait, Abigail. Hypermedia Composing: Questions Arising from Writing in Three Dimensions. Language Arts. v78 n3 p237-44 Jan 2001. • Hammerberg, Dawnene D (2001). "Reading and Writing 'Hypertextually': Children's Literature, Technology, and Early Writing Instruction." Language Arts. v78 n3 p207-16 Jan 2001. • Kafai, Y. & Resnick, M. (1996) Constructionism in Practice: Designing, Thinking, and Learning in a Digital World. Mahwah, NJ. • Kress, Gunther R. & van Leeuwen, T. (1996) Reading images : the grammar of visual design. New York : Routledge, 1996. • Kress, Gunther. Ogborn, John. Martins, Isabel (1998) "A Satellite View of Language: Some Lessons from Science Classrooms." Language Awareness, v7 n.2 & 3 p69-89 1998. • New London Group (1996) "Pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures." Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 66-92. • Nixon, Helen (2003). New Research Literacies for Contemporary Research into Literacy and New Media? Reading Research Quarterly, v38 n3 p407-13 Jul-Sep 2003. • About the author • Erin Riesland is a freelance graphic designer and M.Ed student studying Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Washington. Contact Ms. Riesland by email: erinsage@u.washington.edu .

  4. You can watch this. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyVHuLf6BZI

  5. OOPS. Here is what I meant to show. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipaNdOKYFcQ

  6. Assessment chart

  7. CHALLENGE #1 • In your teams, determine how knowledgeable you are about the world of visuals and graphics. • handed a single piece of paper, and some pencils as well. The piece of paper is numbered from 1 to 25. • In groups, divide the piece of paper in two. Label one half Graphics, the other half Visual Literacy. Have them jot down all the ways we use visuals in our current culture on one side-and then on the other side list examples of why understanding visual language is important. • They have five minutes for this activity. I will keep a time-watch online, and it will create a loud “buzz” once the time is expired. • “Each team has a minute to share something, perhaps the most important thing they have put down. Go!” So take turns from group to group as they share about Graphics/and or Visual Literacy. • After each team has shared, collect papers, and see who had the most total responses. The most answers responded on that sheet of paper is the winner. • http://www.online-stopwatch.com/

  8. CHALLENGE # 2 • I will number you off 1-3 in our groups • Go to the designated number in the other room • Complete challenge by looking at 3 posters from your area, answer questions • Afterward, turn your posters over. There are letters. Make a word out of it • Combine all three words into a poster

  9. Rules • All three words must be depicted on the poster • No color may be used, unless I gave you some • Each member must draw their word • Your group can choose the message/product promoted in the ad • I will judge based on: Originality, group participation, is it convincing? Is it understandable? Holds a viewer’s gaze

  10. CHALLENGE # 3 • Scavenger hunt: There are 12 questions • Each question has a clue that leads you to the answer, which is a name of a geographic region • Find that region, answer questions-report back to me • Winner gets double immunity

  11. CHALLENGE #4-FINAL CHALLENGE • To determine winner of SURVIVOR: MR. EUN SOO’S ISLAND!!!!! • Pick up a sheet • You have 40 minutes to create an effective ad • May use any materials • After time is up, we will present each of our ads

  12. CRITERION • Originality: How creative is the ad? Does it make you think/look in a new way? • Effectiveness: Would you buy this product based on the ad? • Clarity: Does it get its message across clearly and would most understand it? • Means: Does it appeal to any emotion or any logic driven strategies? • Aesthetics: Ultimately, is it a good, clean, interestingly manipulated ad?

  13. COKE JUICY FRUIT • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aMXQ8wqL8kM • http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GJ92qqzutcE

  14. TRIBAL COUNCILhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du_o8MOkqSU

  15. SURVIVOR WINNER!!!!

  16. CONCLUSION Hand-outs Evaluation The END