Second day at the LILAC conference #lilac13 in Manchester, UK, and I attended a session on Using visual literacy in teaching and learning, from Gwenda Mynott and Catherine Bonser, Liverpool John Moores University.
They gave "The ability to understand and produce visual messages" as a straightforward definition of visual literacy. They also referred to the ACRL guidelines http://acrlvislitstandards.wordpress.com/. Then the speakers gave examples of what they did with their students.
Visual boards. They ask students to put together images that represent their experience e.g. if the subject focus is management, the learners were encouraged to select images about work experience, that represent what they think work is, hobbies and clubs that might have a managment aspect to draw out. It gives a good focus for discussion, drawing out reflection around the subject. Also it is good for getting to know the students.
Selecting photos of leaders. The photos selected by students were put physically on the wall, and they could be grouped in different ways (e.g. sector, male/female) to stimulate discussion around the notion of leadership.
Drawing - for example drawing pictures of themselves as learners. At this point the speakers highlighted that of course not everyone is a visual learner, some people don't like being asked to draw things, so that examples can include text as well as drawings.
Concept maps of key key concepts and theories - they used this for assessment, and stressed that you needed to develop the learners' confidence in developing them. I have found this myself when I've used concept and mindmaps in teaching and assessment of information literacy - there are usually some people in the class who are immediately pleased we are using them, and a few who say they hate having to do them. The presenters highlighted the need to think-through what criteria you will use for assessing the concept maps.
The photo shows me taking a picture of someone taking a picture of the presentation