Resources for Students

Welcome to the student section of the Visual Practices website. Visual skills are not usually included in general study guides, but they are important in most disciplines, including science and humanities as well as art and design. Typically, they include such activities as:

Some sections of this website are mainly aimed at teaching staff, so we thought it would be helpful to bring all the current links to student resources together here. We are also developing some new materials and these will be made available through the website shortly.

Observing and recording what you see

Visual research methods

Visual communication/ ‘visual literacy’

  • Visual-Literacy: An E-Learning Tutorial on Visualization for Communication, Engineering and Business A joint project by four Swiss universities, this English language site “focuses on a critical, but often neglected skill for business, communication, and engineering students, namely visual literacy, or the ability to evaluate, apply, or create conceptual visual representations… in order to transform abstract thought efficiently into graphic, tangible forms and to manage the topic complexity and the problems addressed in each class.” The site includes a comprehensive Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods with 100 examples sorted into categories such as Data, Information, Concept and Strategy Visualisation, and two excellent demo tutorials, Business & Communication and Engineering & Communication, which you can view as a guest, or log in to take advantage of more interactive elements. The related WikiViz contains resources and links on information visualisation.
  • The On-Line Visual Literacy Project based at Pomona College, Claremont, California. Includes examples of basic visual elements (such as dot, line, shape etc) and how they work.(NB this is an archive site, no longer supported)
  • Types of Graphs from Mississippi State University
  • Kinds of Concept Maps Part of the ‘Mind Module’ at the University of Illinois. Illustrates examples of different concept map formats for representing different kinds of information.
  • A Visual Literacy Exercise This resource is based on selected woodblock prints from a famous 19th century series by the Japanese artist Hiroshige. Students are invited to examine a sequence of fifteen prints, complete a short exercise, review the print set a second time, and then complete a second exercise. This is followed by discussion of the implications for observation and analysis of visual materials of all kinds. Working through the exercise in full would take about 30 minutes.
  • Using Visual Aids This is part of the LearnHigher Oral Communication website and contains advice (including video examples) on using visual aids as part of a seminar presentation.
  • Main ‘Visual Communication’ page

Finding and using images

  • “Internet for Image Searching” is a new free online tutorial with an emphasis on hassle-free access to a vast range of copyright cleared photographs and other visual resources. The “Tour” section is most immediately useful for students.
  • Creating Effective Poster Presentations This very useful site includes detailed advice on all stages of creating a poster presentation, with plenty of illustrated examples. Though primarily aimed at creators of scientific conference posters, the advice applies equally to other subjects and to poster assignments for university students. Downloadable resources include a Quick reference handout and sample evaluation sheets.
  • Main ‘Finding and using images and video’ page
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