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Spring 2021: Sherrill and Moriarty Library are closed as part of the Lesley University COVID-19 response.  Please visit us online through our library website and via our Ask-A-Librarian service,and see our Remote Services Guide.

Visual Literacy @ Lesley

Finding Images & Video

Lesley Library's Visual Media Guide has links to dozens of art databases, image banks, and streaming video collections! Here are a few quick links:

Citing Visual Media

From historic paintings to clipart you find online, find out how to cite in both APA and MLA from this Lesley Library Visual Media Guide

Can I Use It? Copyright, Fair Use, Public Domain

While you and your students may use images without permission for use in the classroom, it's important that anything published publicly only uses images you have permission for! This might mean finding an image that's in the public domain (expired copyright), asking an artist for permission to use their work, or using an image that outlines the legal uses of it through a Creative Commons license.

Check out some frequently asked questions in the Lesley Library Visual Media Guide

Data Visualization

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a great way to organize your thoughts visually.  There are digital tools you can use (check out this list of 5) but it's usually more effective to create one on paper by hand.  They can be used for:

Studying: Map a textbook chapter or lecture notes to better understand, remember, and make connections

Writing Papers: Map out your thoughts to generate a topic or thesis question, outline your supporting research, and find connections to help you with transitions

Presentations: Present information visually, so that the audience can see how your ideas are organized and connected

See mind mapping in action:

Studio Critique

Art school faculty are experienced in teaching visual literacy, and so they can offer great ideas for classroom techniques and methods.  The studio critique is a great way to strengthen the visual competencies you're teaching, and it can be used outside of the studio, in any discipline! Check out these resources.

Visual Notetaking

Visual noting/sketch noting helps students process and remember information more effectively.  Encourage your students to use these techniques during your lectures!


Students across disciplines can benefit from keeping sketchbooks.

Sketchbooks are also a great way to teach art history students. Encourage them to search Artstor and online for the sketchbooks of their favorite artists!

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