AHVS 121Understanding Visual Communication
(Why) Visual Literacy Matters (& Art History too)
Works of art are mere things until we begin to carefully
perceive and interpret them - then they become alive and enliven us
as we reflect on,
wonder about, and respond to them. (Terry Barrett)
ART MATTERS 21724+TUTORIAL JAN - APR 2014
Learn to decode the information, overt and covert, in images as
diverse as this poster & the Mona Lisa. Develop your eyes &
your analytical skills while experiencing & exploring your
CRN Semester Time
COURSE DESCRIPTIONThis course is designed to help you develop
your visual literacy.
It is also a consideration of the discipline of art history -
what it is, what it does and why it is significant to you.
The class is thematic and concept-based, rather than
content-based. This means it prioritizes ideas and issues, not
memorization or ‘fact-assembly’.
Please note that this is a survey class (think of it as a
sampling of different periods and ideas).
This course will emphasize different approaches to art and art
history for which we will use specific geographical and
chronological examples; remember these ideas and issues are
applicable to other cultures, times and types of visual
Because this course is based on discourse and the sharing of
ideas and concepts attendance is heavily weighted.
iClicker version 2 c$40-52 - must be brought to each class you
may also choose to use the app version but be aware that it also
has a cost & that no additional time can be provided for
potential connection/server issues during class. I will enable app
usage, but cannot provide tech support (see the Computer Help
Desk). The physical clicker has been the most reliable option in
IMPORTANT: send me an email with your iClicker registration
FASP membership $12 - for 2 assignments FASP cheapest option Art
Gallery of Greater Victoria http://aggv.ca/support/membership
8 (of 10 posted) written response papers / gallery reviews
10% each; rubric is included in this outline
Assignment #10 is MANDATORY; all others are student’s choice
Top 7 marks will be included in grade with that of Assign#10. No
All papers not submitted will be given 0; no N grades for
individual assignments or course
Engagement & Contribution (aka Attendance &
Participation in class & tutorial) 20%
Lecture attendance & participation is based only on
cumulative total of clicker responses.
Tutorial attendance & participation based on class
engagement & clicker responses.
KEEP COPIES OF YOUR EMAILS You are responsible for keeping track
of how many assignments you have submitted.
YOU MUST BE REGISTERED IN BOTH LECTURE AND TUTORIAL
SCHEDULESubject to Adjustment
ASSISTANCEThe schedule is busy. Stay on track as best you can.
If you fall behind, see your TA as soon as possible! Your TAs &
I are here to help you, if you run into difficulty let us know.
That is what our office hours are for.
If you want further help with assignment structure & style,
the Writing Centre is available:
If your difficulties are personal (from time management to
crisis response), Counselling Services also has many programs to
help you: http://www.coun.uvic.ca/
Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in
this course. In particular, if you have a disability/health
consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to
approach me and/or the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) as soon
as possible. CAL
staff are available by appointment to assess
specific needs, provide referrals and arrange appropriate
accommodations. The sooner you let us know your needs the quicker
we can assist you in achieving your learning goals in this course.
NOTE: there are NO EXAMS. Writing assignments OVERLAP. Deadlines
are minimum 10 days - which gives you time to engage, reflect and
write; stay on track.
To see any image or visual presentation with attention to formal
qualities (colour, line, composition etc) AND read it with a sense
of context (spatial, cultural, historical) & the
interdisciplinary nature of the field of study.
To analyze the results of that reading for meaning within the
framework of associated issues (power, technology, social
To communicate orally the process of that reading and the
significance of the results of that reading both within the
cultural framework and as relating to themselves in particular
To communicate in clear and effective writing the process of
that reading and the significance of the results of that reading
both within the cultural framework and as relating to themselves in
To learn to regularly practice the act of writing (to write
To develop more effective writing in response to assignment
To insert their own voice and ‘located-ness’ into their
To learn to structure their arguments & developing the
significance of the points they make
Why does “visual reading” matter?
(Reading) art has tangible & intangible aspects
How do we read art in relation to our
(multiple) social contexts? How does one read the tangible
aspects of art?
How does one read the intangible aspects of art?
How do we negotiate the interdisciplinary contexts?
Who does (or should) control art
ASSIGNMENTSMost of your evaluation is based upon frequent
writing (min. 750 words each) marked for completion, thoroughness,
and critical thought. Consider the course materials and questions
carefully, and develop your answers as analytically as you can. All
assignments are marked out of 10.
Assignments are designed to be personal responses to questions
or issues encountered in the lectures and tutorials. Often you will
also be directed to specific art /collections / architecture to
You are expected to be familiar with any readings and the class
material (lecture and discussion) from both lecture and tutorials -
TAKE NOTES in whatever way works best for you. Every discipline
requires correct use of terminology and concepts, so you will be
expected to use appropriate vocabulary. If you miss a class, please
get the notes from another student. Read them. If you have further
questions see your TA, for yet further clarification, see me.
Assignments will be posted in the Materials section of the
course website - NOT on CourseSpaces Course Materials can be found
HERE or by following the links from the AHVS Current Students
Responsibility for access rests with the student. These
assignments will be posted by Thursday of the given week and are
due 11 days later by email unless otherwise specified (e.g.
Assignment 10). You may submit assignments earlier. Late
assignments will be accepted but will be penalized.
Because of the nature of the assignments you are encouraged to
discuss the issues and questions with your classmates, however, the
written work you submit must be your own original material - so it
is strongly suggested that you do your writing separately.
Submit your writing to me by email at: email@example.com Please
use a separate email for each assignment, and separate emails for
any other discussion you wish to have with me.
Subject line of email message MUST read: AHVS Assignment #
Attachment (assignment) name MUST read: YourNameAssignment# (as per
assignment sheet) for example: DennineDAssign4
Marks will be deducted for incorrectly titled assignments.
Please also put your name somewhere in the text of your assignment.
Title pages are unnecessary and will not be included in the word
Unfortunately Microsoft Word is still industry standard. Please
submit assignments as .doc or .docx. You may use your preferred
software to write, and then convert the submitted version. Staff in
any of the computer labs on campus can help with conversion issues.
It may be necessary for you to change formats due to individual
conversion issues. Please note that PDF versions may/might not have
Assignments MUST be submitted as attachments. NO LINKS. If you
are using Google Docs or SkyDrive, download the copy to your
desktop and then attach it to the email.
The email your assignment is sent from is the address it will be
returned to. Make sure UVic has your email on file. All batch
communication will be sent via UVic’s system.
NOTE: all of these submission requirements have been worked out
over several years so as to be able to provide private, returnable
feedback, the ability to count and track assignments, and to
streamline workflow. Technical upgrading is beyond our control. It
may be necessary to revisit these requirements in which case an
updated process will be provided.
CLASS STRUCTUREQ: Why does this class have response papers &
clicker questions rather than reports and exams?
A: It’s based on an approach called Constructivism. Image shows
example definitions from a Twitter #edchat.
NUTS & BOLTS
LECTURE: Instructor: Dr. Dennine Dudley Time: Monday &
Thursday 3:30-4:20 Room: Elliot Building Room 167
CONTACT: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: Fine Arts Building 121
Department phone: 250-721-7942 Office Hours: Monday 1:00-3:00 (or
TUTORIAL: TA: ____________________________ Time:
_Wednesday_________________ Room: _________________________
CONTACT: Email: ________________ Office: Fine Arts Building 136
Office phone: 250-721-6306 Office Hour:
Images are presented in class as falling under the educational
use/fair use permissions of Canadian copyright legislation.
Please consider all materials presented in this course as
stamped with the fair dealing statement.
Slideshows will not be posted.
Other sources, for reviewing select images, may be
Cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic grade of F. A
second event will have more severe penalties, as per University
Policy on Academic Integrity (see the university calendar).
Instructor reserves the right to use plagiarism detection
practices, including digital search systems and style comparison
for overuse of editorial ghostwriting.
No make-up assignments will be given for either missed papers or
poor results. Extensions on some assignments may be granted for
documented cases that meet university criteria (see the university
calendar); approval of course instructor also required. If a
deferral is under consideration, please consult with the
We want everyone to feel safe at the university. Please be
mindful. Hostility or abusive behaviour towards faculty, staff or
students will not be tolerated. Appropriate backup assistance will
A+ 90-100%, A 85-89%, A- 80-84%, B+ 77-79%, B 73-76%, B- 70-72%,
C+ 65-69%, C 60-64%, D 50-59%, F below 50%
Preston’s Law: Be Excellent To Each Other
The Doctor’s Precept: I’ve Never Met Anyone Who Wasn’t
McKinley’s Stance: There’s No Such Thing As Absolute
Enlightened Empiricism: Not All Opinions Are Equal - Facts
Matisse’s Axiom: Creativity Takes Courage
Dahl’s Counsel: Above All Watch With Glittering Eyes The Whole
Guiding Principle: The Eyes Are Useless When The Mind Is
GENERAL RUBRIC Pretty M
uch PerfectA+Element D C B A
No attempt is made to establish why the
concept/point matters: RELEVANCE
Little attempt made to establish why the concept
More attempts made to establish why the concept
Significance of concept/idea is clarified and
Paper reads as if it could have been written by
Paper reads in artificial language; largely 3rd
MechanicsNumerous mistakes of grammar and syntax.
Meaning is lost.GRAMMAR/STYLE
Numerous mistakes of grammar and syntax. Meaning is unclear.
Enough mistakes in grammar and style to hinder overall
A few mistakes in grammar & style hinder meaning at sentence
Very few mistakes in grammar and style.
Paper is in natural, formal voice making >1 concrete
issue & experience
Paper provides clear examples of connections
between concepts & personal views/experience
StructurePaper written in report
Primarily descriptive, minimal analysis,
More developed attempt to provide context for
arguments, supporting evidence; sentence level.
Progressive and coherent argument at paragraph
and/or paper level.
ComplexityPaper fails to consider alternate positions/
possibilities: MORE HERE
Clarity of Purpose
Paper acknowledges alternate positions but
offers insufficient response to them
Paper acknowledges alternate positions and
provides counter arguments.
Paper incorporates and evaluates alternate
positions in logical and balanced discussion
Paper is passive in reporting issues or ideas
Paper shows some attempt to evaluate ideas
and/or issues; makes assumptions.
Paper provides analysis of ideas/concepts but fails to
draw full inference
Paper reflectively analyzes ideas/concepts &
elaborates on significance of the reasoning
Narrative or arguments are incomplete /disorganized.DOES NOT
Is difficult to follow thought process/argument
for more than a few sentences at a time.
Paper communicates ideas and arguments in clear
and precise fashion.
Ideas and arguments are easy to follow,
occasionally out of order or dropped ‘thread’
The following statement has been suggested by VPAC:
A note to remind you to take care of yourself. Do your best to
maintain a healthy lifestyle this semester by eating well,
exercising, getting enough sleep and taking some time to relax.
This will help you achieve your goals and cope with stress. All of
us benefit from support during times of struggle. You are not
Counselling Services - Counselling Services can help you make
the most of your university experience. They offer free
professional, confidential, inclusive support to currently
registered UVic students.
Health Services - University Health Services (UHS) provides a
full service primary health clinic for students, and coordinates
healthy student and campus initiatives.
Centre for Accessible Learning* - The CAL staff are available by
appointment to assess specific needs, provide referrals and arrange
appropriate accommodationshttps://www.uvic.ca/services/cal/. The
sooner you let us know your needs the quicker we can assist you in
achieving your learning goals in this course.
Elders' Voices - The Office of Indigenous Academic and Community
Engagement (IACE) has the privilege of assembling a group of Elders
from local communities to guide students, staff, faculty and
administration in Indigenous ways of knowing and
UVic takes sexualized violence seriously, and has raised the bar
for what is considered acceptable behaviour. We encourage students
to learn more about how the university defines sexualized violence
and its overall approach by visiting www.uvic.ca/svp. If you or
someone you know has been impacted by sexualized violence and needs
information, advice, and/or support please contact the sexualized
violence resource office in Equity and Human Rights (EQHR). Whether
or not you have been directly impacted, if you want to take part in
the important prevention work taking place on campus, you can also
Where: Sexualized violence resource office in EQHR, Sedgewick
C119 Phone: 250.721.8021
SEXUALIZED VIOLENCE RESPONSE
Please include the below information in your Course Outline
regarding the CES (taken from the Learning and Teaching Centre’s
“I value your feedback on this course. Towards the end of term
you will have the opportunity to complete a confidential course
experience survey (CES) regarding your learning experience. The
survey is vital to providing feedback to me regarding the course
and my teaching, as well as to help the department improve the
overall program for students in the future. When it is time for you
to complete the survey, you will receive an email inviting you to
do so. If you do not receive an email invitation, you can go
directly to http://ces.uvic.ca. You will need to use your UVic
NetLink ID to access the survey, which can be done on your laptop,
tablet or mobile device. I will remind you nearer the time but
please be thinking about this important activity, especially the
following three questions, during the course.
-What strengths did your instructor demonstrate that helped you
learn in this course?
-Please provide specific suggestions as to how the instructor
could have helped you learn more effectively.
-Please provide specific suggestions as to how this course could
For more information the CES, please check the below link:
COURSE EXPERIENCE SURVEYS