Brainstorming Possibilities for Teaching Visual Communication Sensibility across Disciplines
As educators and researchers trained in design, humanities and social science programs, Dr. Kelly Norris Martin and Kelly Murdoch-Kitt propose a lively, interactive workshop to brainstorm about integrating visual communications literacy into higher education curricula. Our increasingly visual culture—and online culture of user-created content—necessitates a higher level of general visual literacy. Students entering the workforce not only require proficient speaking and writing skills, but more than ever will encounter situations in which they will benefit from visual design sensibility. They will need to communicate effectively with design professionals, and will also be called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas.
Though initial steps toward developing a core curriculum are underway (as presented in a 30-minute paper at this conference), the presenters seek ideas, feedback and input from professional designers, whom they believe should lead the way in planning and executing this revolutionary educational endeavor.
Workshop participants will work in small groups to discuss, sketch, and document plans for integrating visual communications for non-majors into a four-year undergraduate curriculum. Groups will propose solutions for questions such as:
What kind of design vocabulary should non-designers know (especially for communicating with a hired designer)?
What could the design process look like for non-designers?
What kind of resources and references will be most important to include in a visual communications course or text for this group?
What current design concepts and values will be the most important for non-designers to learn?
How can visual communication instruction and “design thinking” methodology be integrated into non-design courses?
How can non-design educators assess the visual communication performance of the students?
The information gathered from the discussion will serve as the foundation for a potential syllabus of a visual communication course or for an integrated visual communication instruction program (within discipline-specific courses) for non-majors.
Keywords: Cross-disciplinary, Visual Communication Literacy, Design Sensibility, Higher Education, Communication across the Curriculum
Dr. Kelly Norris Martin
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology
Kelly M. Murdoch-Kitt
Design Researcher and User Experience Specialist, gotomedia User Experience