Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Finding my footing

After working through my bib with my fabulous group members, I am planning to focuse on defining visual literacy and how exactly composition teachers, specifically, measure visual literacy. I am also interesting in focusing on "critical" visual literacy - are students really analyzing images and if not, how do we teach them to do so?
Since my study is focused on visual literacy it only makes since to include some visuals in my final bibliography. Per a suggestion from James, I intend to find a Web source that might provide a good overview for visual literacy and education. A Webpage from a university writing program that incorporates visual rhetoric would be ideal. I am currently searching for that source.
For my final project I intend to concentrate on some big names in visual rhetoric - Baudrillard, Chandler, Kress.
Moving toward a reseach project, I am playing around with the idea of a project that somehow measures critical visual literacy in students. I envision two classes of the same type looking at text with images and without and then doing some sort of assessment. I could also use one class and have them look at a text without images and one without and see how they react.
Maybe I am still thinking too small. I am also interested in how visuals control online spaces - and those in e-spaces. Do students need more skills to overcome the sometimes confining visuals online (this is borne of a super-cool session I went to about and other user-friendly and highly structured espaces)? Do we need to increase visual literacy so that students can subvert power structures in place as evidenced by online templates?
I don't know, I am still considering this issue.


Blogger Broadband Guy said...

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1:23 PM  
Blogger Norman said...

Hey - look on Chandler's Semitoic's website - it gives a heuristic for Do It Yourself semitoic analysis - perhaps you can develop your own to gauge visual literacy? I'm gonna use it as a framework for a heuristic for my critical pedagogy. I wish this was my idea - but it's from Heba

6:05 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Hi Jen: Part of the issue may be delineating visual literacy; when is visual literacy media literacy, and when is it critical literacy, and when is it cultural literacy, and how is it all of these things. The social semiotic approach, as Robin/Norman suggests, is a good one, but the common concern about such visual/cultural analysis is that often students don't have enough strategies/heuristics to do it themselves. With this said, you may want to go beyond the theory-dudes to folks like Kathleen Tyner (Literacy in a Digital World) and definitely have a balance between theory and practice, even to understand how strategies for static visuals vs. dynamic ones (TV, interactive web) may need to differ. A great, timely topic.


7:02 PM  
Blogger eddyjackson73554521 said...

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9:13 PM  
Blogger Norman said...

Hey Jen - here's a KAIROS article about PLACE:

Hope it helps!

7:56 AM  
Blogger Mr. Happy said...

Regarding comments about heuristics, I'm gonna exhibit a bias here and suggest moving in more of the "strategies" direction. Heuristics just seem too close to rubrics to me, which can easily allow for a kind of cookie cutter approach, and I'm pretty certain such an approach isn't what we want when gauging visual literacy, etc. Maybe you could think of it as a "best practices" approach? That's what Kris suggested I do with regards to my own project. At the most, maybe you could offer some questions that instructors might consider when assessing student capacities for visual literacy/learning. (Thinking here of Inman's "ugliest website ever" assignment)

11:52 AM  
Blogger Sergey Rybas said...

I agree with Kris' comments about differentiating between the multiple literacies here: visual literacy media literacy, critical literacy, etc. Also, I don't think you are "talking small here" as looking at 2 different classes may be exactly the size of the project we can all afford. I sounds very exciting, too.

6:28 PM  

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