Search This Blog

Thursday, January 5, 2012

ACRL new media/visual literacy standards for higher ed

“The increasing dominance 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…”

(Direct link to standards is at
We are pleased to announce publication of the new Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (pdf) by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL).
The Visual Literacy Standards include:
  • an introduction to and definition of visual literacy
  • a brief discussion of visual literacy and higher education
  • a brief discussion of visual literacy and information literacy
  • suggestions for implementing the Standards
  • key sources and bibliography
  • 7 standards, 24 performance indicators, and 90 learning outcomes
The Visual Literacy Standards provide, for the first time, a common framework for visual literacy learning in higher education. The learning outcomes included in the Standards provide new opportunities for visual literacy teaching and assessment, and support efforts to develop measurable improvements in student visual literacy.
The Standards were developed over a period of 19 months, informed by current literature, shaped by input from multiple communities and organizations, reviewed by individuals from over 50 institutions, and approved by 3 ACRL committees and the ACRL Board of Directors. For a history of the Standards development process, please see the Standards project blog.
The Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education are a project of the ACRL Image Resources Interest Group, and were authored by the Visual Literacy Task Force – Denise Hattwig (chair), Joanna Burgess, Kaila Bussert, and Ann Medaille.

No comments: