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:
- observing and recording what you see (e.g. during field visits, laboratory work or in clinical settings);
- demonstrating and learning technical procedures of all kinds;
- evaluation and analysis of visual evidence, and the ability to use this in developing ideas and arguments;
- visual research methods;
- visual communication (sometimes known as ‘visual literacy’).
- finding and using images for your own presentations and coursework
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.
- Observational skills for geoscience fieldwork Online tutorial and other resources
- Visual Directions A resource produced by the University of the Arts to support the use of sketchbooks for developing and documenting ideas.
- Techniques for drawing botanical subjects under the microscope
- Looking vs. Seeing “A 15 Minute Tutorial on Getting the most out of your Microscope Viewing”
- Draw online workshop (aimed at adults aged 16 plus, includes plenty of drawing ideas, exercises and techniques)
- About Image-based Research
Useful overview, part of the website of The Image and Identity Research Collective (IIRC)
- Building Capacity in Visual Methods Project based at Leeds University offering introductory and advanced workshops on applied visual research methods.
- Digital Video as Research Practice: Methodology for the Millennium Shrum, Duque & Brown. Journal of Research Practice Volume 1, Issue 1, Article M4, 2005 Useful online introduction and primer.
- Social Research Update Issue 11: Marcus Banks ‘Visual Research Methods’
- Social Research Update Issue 40: Rosalind Hurworth ‘Photo-interviewing for research’
- Main ‘Visual Research’ page
- Among print resources, standard texts include:
Banks, M. Visual methods in social research. London: Sage, 2001
Prosser, J. (ed) Image-based research:A sourcebook for qualitative researchers. London: Falmer 1998
Rose, G. Visual methodologies. London: Sage, 2001
- 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
- “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