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Visual & Media Literacy Services

Visual & Media Literacy Services

Visual & Media Literacy is a set of skills that enables an individual to effectively find, evaluate, use, and create images and multi-media. As 21st-century instructors, we are obligated to foster skills of observation, interpretation, and assessment of visual content to determine authenticity, decipher its real meaning, and its societal impact.

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Romare Howard Bearden. The Train, 1975. Photogravure and aquatint in color on paper  


Dorothea Lange. Drought Refugees from Oklahoma, Blythe, California, 1936. Silver gelatin print

Visual & Media Literacy Resources

Advocacy and support of visual and media literacy standards are fundamental to VML Hub's mission.  Towards this goal, we offer a variety of services and resources that support visual and media literacy skills across the curriculum.

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Visual & Media Research & Assessment

  • Visual & Media Literacy Research Guide - A guide to Visual and Media Literacy standards, tools, and resources.
  • Visual & Media Literacy Instruction - VML staff provides classroom or one-on-one instruction instruction.
  • Student Tutoring - VML Hub and Multiliteracy Communication Center offer student support in research, use, and production of image and media content.

Visual & Media Use

  • Image & Media Resources - Authentic and verified high-quality images and media for instruction & learning
  • Image & Media Citation Help - Assist and guide students with citation format for academic presentations & assignments.
  • Copyright & Fair Use - Guidance with copyright and fair use issues pertaining to image and media

Visual & Media Creation


Visual & Media Literacy Standards

With the onset of the internet, social media, mobile devices and now “smart things”, we are bombarded with visual and media content that is designed to influence how we think, what we do, and what we believe. The Internet is "perhaps" the largest image and media distribution/propaganda machine that humans have yet created. This 24/7 saturation of visual and media makes it difficult to assess the merit or authenticity of the content. Visual and media literacy standards provide the mechanisms to combat these challenges and help communicate more effectively.

David Salle. Muscular Paper, 1985. Oil, acrylic, charcoal and fabric paint on canvas

Association of College & Research Libraries Visual Literacy Standards

  • Standard 1 The visually literate student determines the nature and extent of the visual materials needed.
  • Standard 2 The visually literate student finds and accesses needed images and visual media effectively and efficiently.
  • Standard 3 The visually literate student interprets and analyzes the meanings of images and visual media.
  • Standard 4 The visually literate student evaluates images and their sources.
  • Standard 5 The visually literate student uses images and visual media effectively.
  • Standard 6 The visually literate student designs and creates meaningful images and visual media.
  • Standard 7 The visually literate student understands many of the ethical, legal, social, and economic issues surrounding the creation and use of images and visual media, and accesses and uses visual materials ethically.

Copyright Notice

Visual & Media Literacy Hub's digital collections are available to the UMassDartmouth campus community for the sole purpose of instruction, scholarship, and study in accordance with the Visual Resource Association Statement on the Fair Use of Images for Teaching, Research, and Study, and the College Art Association for Best Practice in Fair Use for the Visual Arts. All other uses are strictly prohibited and are subject to U.S. Copyright Laws.


Allison J. Cywin


College of Visual & Performing Arts, RM 257

Main Campus
285 Old Westport Road •  Dartmouth MA 02747

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