Using University Websites to Teach Visual Literacy


This virtual poster will explore successful pedagogical strategies for teaching students about visual literacy through the evaluation of the websites of major universities. Images appearing on university websites emphasize various aspects of university life. Often times, these images are designed for fundraising and recruitment and therefore focus on the “fun” aspects of college life. University students are familiar with the realities of college and have been, in our experience, eager to critically analyze visual materials that relate to this experience. This type of critique can also enable students to be more reflective about their own college experiences. The pedagogical strategies outlined by this poster have been used in co-teaching sessions between university librarians and instructors in introductory writing courses in order to explain the principles of visual and information literacies for a larger visual rhetoric project. Thus, this poster will present methods for teaching the evaluation of visual images as well as the messages behind them. In a larger context, the methods used in this poster attempt to encourage students to think about the ways in which images, especially those appearing on websites and in other forms of new media, are an important type of text that deserves the same attention and evaluation that would be given to other print and electronic mediums.

Learning Outcomes:

  • understand the concept of visual literacy

  • understand the importance of teaching visual literacy along with information literacy

  • use university websites to introduce and discuss visual rhetoric
  • Presenter:

    Charlie Potter
    Reference Librarian and First-Year Experience Coordinator
    Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
    The University of Montana



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