Visual Literacy

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Visual Literacy Modules 

Visual literacy will be available campus-wide to be included in any UToledo course. The curriculum modules will provide opportunities for UToledo students across all majors to master the ability to “speak visual” through targeted curriculum modules incorporated into their existing course offerings. The modules available can be used as homework or in-class assignments to support the development of fluency in visual language.

Visual Literacy Student Learning Outcomes 

The University of Toledo adapted its learning outcomes from the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

In an interdisciplinary, higher education environment, a visually literate student is able to:

  • Make sustained observation of visual images
  • Interpret, analyze, and communicate the meanings of images and visual media
  • Use images and visual media effectively
  • Evaluate images and their sources
  • Determine the nature and extent of the visual materials needed for a project
  • Find and access needed images and visual media effectively and efficiently

Getting Started in blackboard

UToledo faculty can access Visual Literacy content through Blackboard by enrolling in the Visual Literacy Organization. 

To enroll yourself:

1.  Sign on to Blackboard

2.  Click the “Faculty Support“ tab at the top of the page

3.  Scroll down to “Other Resources”. Click the “Visual Literacy” link.

4.  This will take you to a Self-Enrollment page. Hit the “Submit” button and you’re registered!

To access materials:

1.  Go back to your main Blackboard page. You should now see a link under “My Organizations” called “VISUAL LITERACY INITIATIVE: A UT/TMA COLLABORATION”. Click this link.

2.  In the main menu (on the left-hand side), you will see a link called “Modules and Exercises”. Here, you will find the modules themselves, as well as active learning exercises.

To use materials:

1.   Download the module or exercise and add it to your Blackboard page.

2.  Please require your students to complete two short assessments embedded as links in the beginning and end of each module. These are very important for evaluating the effectiveness of the module and we appreciate you requiring your students to complete them.

The Modules

Anatomy of a Photograph

This module will allow for students to be able to develop a visual vocabulary for discussing photographic images and to visually deconstruct them using ten specific visual tools.

Fair Use, Creative Appropriation, and Plagiarism

Students will learn how to critically evaluate images in context and distinguish between fair use, creative appropriation, and plagiarism. 

Finding and Evaluating Sources

Students will gain skills in evaluating and using image sources and how to properly cite those sources.

image Search and analyzing Context

Students will learn to analyze images' content, recognize the signs of manipulated images, and learn some resources for reverse image searches.

Infographic Interpretation and creation

The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the use of infographics for communicating complex ideas efficiently and effectively. Students will learn about different platforms that are available for creating infographics and how to refine and wireframe complex information into a visual representation. 

Review the student guide to infographic module

Review the instructor guide to infographics module

Review the student infographic critique activity

Review the instructor infographic critique activity

Reading Social and cultural Contexts

Students will delve into three vital areas of study that are challenging to observe and record photographically: racial justice, poverty/wealth, and climate change. They will practice observation, deconstruction, critiquing, and interpretation of images related to understanding and discussing these issues.

Visualizing Data

Students will learn how to convey non-visual information through visual means and experience ways in which displaying information can change how it is understood and interpreted.
Last Updated: 1/13/20