CFP: Visual Literacy Standards Task Force

Do you work with students on projects involving images and visual media? Do you teach image research, analysis, evaluation, or citation skills, or are you looking for ways to incorporate visual literacy instruction into the curriculum? We would like to hear from you!


The ACRL/IRIG visual Literacy Standards Task Force has recently released draft ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. We are looking for educators interested in testing implementation of parts of the draft Standards, then presenting about the experience at ALA 2011 in New Orleans. We are seeking proposals that outline your ideas for implementing parts of the Standards, and using the Standards as tools for pursuing visual literacy with college and university students. We welcome all proposals from individuals or teams, and especially encourage submissions from librarians, faculty, archivists, curators, educational technologists, visual resources professionals, and others with experience working with students and visual materials in higher education.


Proposals should include:

  • Your name, title, and institution
  • A brief statement about your interest or experience with visual literacy
  • The Standard(s) or Performance Indicator(s) from the draft ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education you would like to implement
  • A general description of the student population and course, assignment, or setting where you plan to incorporate visual literacy learning outcomes from the draft Standards
  • Some of your ideas for implementation strategies, possibly including ideas for learning objects or instructional materials, classroom activities, online resources, or assessment methods


Proposal Deadline: Friday, March 18, 2011

Send proposals to: Joanna Burgess at


Accepted participants will:

  • Test implementation of one or more Performance Indicator(s) from the draft ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
  • Develop and use one or more learning objects (worksheet, tutorial, web page, activity, etc) in the implementation process
  • Assess student learning based on the Performance Indicator(s) and associated Learning Outcomes selected for implementation
  • Reflect on successes and challenges of the implementation process
  • Discuss your experiences with the ACRL/IRIG Visual Literacy Standards Task Force and provide feedback on the draft Standards
  • Give a 10-minute presentation describing your experiences in the ALA Annual 2011 session “Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education: Introducing a new interdisciplinary information literacy standard for 21st century learners” in New Orleans on Sunday, June 26, 2011, including a handout with the learning object or supporting materials and the assessment method used


Ideas for possible Performance Indicators to implement (see the draft Standards document for associated Learning Outcomes and more ideas):


The visually literate student…


  • identifies a variety of image sources, materials, and types (Standard One, Performance Indicator 2)
  • conducts effective image searches (Standard Two, Performance Indicator 2)
  • situates an image in its cultural, social, and historical contexts (Standard Three, Performance Indicator 2)
  • evaluates the effectiveness and reliability of images as visual communications (Standard Four, Performance Indicator 2)
  • uses technology effectively to work with images (Standard Five, Performance Indicator 2)
  • produces images for a range of projects and scholarly uses (Standard Six, Performance Indicator 1)
  • understands many of the ethical, legal, social, and economic issues surrounding images and visual media (Standard Seven, Performance Indicator 1)


Please contact Joanna Burgess ( or Denise Hattwig ( with any questions. For more information about the draft Visual Literacy Standards development process, please see the project blog at


We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


Joanna Burgess
Reed College


Denise Hattwig
University of Washington

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