Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Graphic Design


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Andrea L Quam


Technology and social media have become popular and are highly used by almost everyone. With advancements new ways of communicating through images have taken up people's lives who, therefore, are spending more and more time in front of screens. Based on Cultivation Theory, it is possible to say that this high exposure can be influential to one's perception of reality. Being able to understand and question the imagery all around are important skills that can be developed through visual literacy education. Studies argue that today's students are not visually literate, even though they grew up surrounded by technology.

Visual literacy (VL) has been implemented in higher education classrooms through different interventions that resulted in students learning the content and being more critical of what they see. However, these courses have not focused on teaching visual literacy as its own discipline. This thesis study explored the need and implementation for established research on visual literacy into an applicable curriculum. A study by Joanna Kędra (2018), titled "What does it mean to be visually literate? Examination of visual literacy definitions in a context of higher education," provided a starting point for the development of the curriculum. Through her research, Kędra juxtaposed 50 years of visual literacy definitions into three key VL skills from which were then developed into a curriculum.

In this study, intended learning objectives were developed along with a proposal for course delivery to best evaluate learning acquisition. The course proposed was designed to teach visual literacy skills through in-person instruction to undergraduate students from multiple disciplines, catering to the traditional age group of first- and second-year college students in the United States. The next steps will be comprised of testing the curriculum, its impact on student learning, and alternative ways to deliver the content.


Copyright Owner

Vitoria Faccin-Herman



File Format


File Size

85 pages