Can reasoning be visual? What are the implications of trying to improve visual-spatial skills across the curriculum? How do we go about doing that? Please join us for a brownbag presentation/discussion to hash out these questions.
Based on a paper presented at the Global Conference for Visual Literacies at Oxford this summer, we argue that students need to develop visual reasoning skills to engage with emergent ideas that are often highly complex, abstract, and multidimensional. We note that passive analysis provides insufficient training for visual-spatial reasoning. Unfortunately, a major roadblock to improving visual reasoning through praxis is the age-old prejudicial distinction of “thinking” as intellectual and “doing” as vocational. In the academy, fundamental misconceptions about the cognitive strategies required for visual production, combined with simplistic disciplinary boundaries, create barriers to sharing problem solving strategies across disciplines. This week, we hope to prompt a discussion around how to create visual reasoning assignments that support multidisciplinary collaboration, engage students, and improve learning.
Greg Turner-Rahman is a professor of New Media Studies in the College of Art and Architecture at the University of Idaho; Jayme Jacobson is an Learning Design Consultant at the Center for Teaching, Learning, & Technology at WSU.