Annual Symposium - Scholarship for Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Session I Hattwig

Interdisciplinary Visual Literacy learning outcomes

Denise Hattwig, MA, M.L.I.S. 
(Curator, Image Collections & Services, Library)

Students across disciplines engage with visual materials throughout the course of their education and beyond, and students typically feel confident in their ability to use visual materials in many contexts. Yet there is often a gap in students’ research, analytical and critical thinking, and self‐evaluation skills when it comes to finding, using, and creating visual media in a higher education environment.

For the past six months, I have been working with a Task Force in the Association of College and Research Libraries to develop national Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. A draft of these Standards has recently been released, and is available on the project blog at While still a draft document, the Standards offer detailed learning outcomes for student use of visual media that could be useful in syllabus and assignment planning now. The draft Standards provide interdisciplinary learning outcomes for researching, using, interpreting & analyzing, evaluating, creating, and citing images and visual media. These specific learning outcomes are practical tools available for faculty to integrate into the curriculum, and can assist with developing and assessing student competencies with visual media.

This session will introduce new visual literacy learning outcomes and draft national standards. I will be available to discuss the use of images and visual media across the curriculum, and brainstorm specific strategies for implementing learning outcomes to advance student visual literacy.