The Visual Literacy Project: research, MOOC & future directions


The visual/video literacy project ( co-funded by Erasmus+ started on 31 December 2016 and is to be finished on the 31rst of December 2018. The project explored visual literacies form a technology enhanced learning perspective, categorizing media that produce visuals to static, dynamic and interactive. The research designed with in pragmatic paradigm, aimed at explaining how and why visuals could be used for teaching and learning. The findings were developed into two MOOCs in which 750 people registered. One key element of the projects was international collaborations with colleagues for Europe and the USA.


The VISTA program of the Louisiana Tech University developed visuals for disseminations of the second MOOC (lead illustrator, Prof. Nick Bustamante), academics offers webinars to relevant topics and Learnbrite build a visual reality space within the MOOC.

All talks can be viewed on the Visual Literacies YouTube channel:

Prof. Avgoustos Tsinakos introduces ARTutor, an Augmented Reality educational platform which consists of a web-based authoring tool and a mobile application (Technological Educational Institute of Kavala, Greece).

Prof. Lesley Farmer talks about Comics Art & Information Architecture, focusing on comic arts’ features for representing and structuring knowledge, noting visual literacy (California State University, USA).

Dr. Mark Childs talks about The Role of Identity and Appearance Online, in Virtual Worlds such as Second Life (Open University, UK).


Prof. Kirk St. Amant discusses Cognition, Recognition, and Visual Design – how the cognitive concepts of schemas, prototypes, and scripts and our perceptions of designs influence how individuals perceive, understand, and respond to different designs. (Louisiana Tech University, USA & University of Limerick, Ireland.) 

Danny Stefanic explores Why VR eLearning isn’t what you need next. A sanity check on the benefits of VR and where and how to deploy it for best results (CEO LearnBrite, Phoenix, USA)

Dr. Chryssa Themeli, Tele-proximity: Tele-community of Inquiry Model. Facial Cues for Social, Cognitive, and Teacher Presence in Distance Education. Tele-proximity is defined as online embodiment that explains how instructors and students are connected in synchronous networked environment via tele-operations. SVC creates a sense of place or a stage where online identities perform and highlights recent research on audio-visual signals in communication and team work (Lancaster University).

Prof. Matthew Morena presents Video for Calculus, exploring how video assignments align well with what recent studies have identified as effective homework practices (Christopher Newport University, USA).

Prof. Vanessa Dennen asks Who is my teacher? The visual development of online instructor identity and presence and examines how various instructor identity is communicated (or not) via their social presence in a course as well as online more generally, and the role that a wide variety of visual elements play in communicating identity (Florida State University, USA).


The MOOC will remain open until the 30th of December 2018 and all participants are welcomed to check the content and resources, interact with others already in the course and share more information. The last project meeting will be held on the 4th and 5th of December at Lancaster University. Journals and a book on visual literacy is going to be published in 2019 to maximize impact of the research findings and prompt visual thinking online and offline.

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