Multimedia Visual Literacy Project

Brittany Murray
November 2, 2012

The Multimedia Visual Literacy Project was created by Ohio University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in collaboration with the School of Visual Communications in the Scripps College of Communication and the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education Instructional Technology Program.  Since the project's inception in 2008, its goal has been to teach graduate students, faculty, and staff how to effectively combine images and technology to enhance communication and learning among school children, college students, and the general public.  The project also seeks to increase visual literacy awareness, knowledge, and skills, not only among Ohio University's students and faculty, but local students and educators in grades K-12 as well.

The two-year project culminated in October with a presentation of the toolkit to Voinovich School faculty and professional staff, encouraging them to incorporate these skills and knowledge into their own work with clients and funders.The tool kit explains photography skills and how to use images for educational purposes, audio techniques, and tips for video interviews, such as designing good interview questions.The tool kit also explains how to use these skills for filing reports to help better communicate to funders, employers, stakeholders, and day-to-day communication rather than text-based reports.

To accomplish its goals, the project worked to bring Merry Foresta, the former Director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, to campus on a regular basis to consult with faculty and professional staff.The project also provided a platform for two graduate students (one from Visual Communications and one from Instructional Design) to work with the schools involved in the collaboration.Foresta stated, "It's very exciting to see all the work that's being done."

Foresta believes that visual literacy is important because "it's much more entertaining when you see things with images… When you look at something long enough, you get more information."Merry explains that the School now has a great archive of images and podcasts and states, "I would love to see the
Voinovich School website continue to become a rich resource."This is the fifth year of the School having a photojournalism fellowship, and she would like to see more projects like Darcy Holdorf's project with Hewett Fork become a reality:

To view the interactive PDF on Hewett Fork, please visit: http://www.ohio.edu/voinovichschool/upload/AEP_HOLDORF_09_05_small.pdf

Click here to access the Multimedia Visual Literacy Toolkit.