This website is designed to support the development of visual, spatial and tactile knowledge and skills in any discipline. (Please note that this has no connection with so-called ‘learning styles’ theories for which there is little real evidence). All students, whatever their preferred approaches to study, can benefit from developing these capabilities, which are not often included in general study guides, but are vitally important in most STEM subjects as well as arts and humanities. They include the ability to:
- observe objects, people or the natural world closely, identify significant elements (which will vary between disciplines), record these accurately and draw relevant conclusions from this evidence.
- find and use appropriate visual materials in their essays and presentations, and understand how and why to attribute them as precisely as they would any text-based source.
- use drawing and other visual approaches to support learning and research. Making ideas visible and tangible through drawing, diagrams, collage or other techniques is a powerful way to engage with abstract concepts
- understand and use visual communication effectively and critically
- undertake visual assignments (whether designed to assess specific visual skills, or simply using alternative formats such as posters to present research)
- understand and use visual research methods where appropriate to any enquiry project
This resource was originally developed as part of the work of the LearnHigher Centre of Excellence in Teaching (CETL), in which the University of Brighton led the Visual Practices learning area. For more on the background to this initiative and on the outcomes of some of the funded projects please click this link.