Proposal of Visual Literacy Indicators for competencies courses. An academic literacy perspective for academic excellence


The paper presents the results of a research based on the evaluation culture approach and particularly on the social corporate responsibility of universities and their duty to account for the quality of their mission, researches, teaching and dissemination of knowledge. Metrics and international rankings have been developed to measure value and performance of the universities; as a consequence, the academic world must express appropriate means in order to improve its position in quality evaluation rankings. The research project focuses on “La Sapienza” University of Rome and especially on international rankings and metrics used to measure its degree of information literacy. The indicators that would take advantage of a program devoted to digital competences are here listed and analyzed to underline: a) the instructional plan, based on the cooperation between researchers-professors and librarians; connectivism as a pedagogical concept; the flipped classroom methodology; the necessity of taking into due account visual competencies and social networks; Educational Digital Objects as Web didactic materials; b) the educational plan meant to enhance visual competences, given the relevance of virtual and augmented reality for university education. The best Visual Literacy standards are selected to empower iconic and visual reading and to envision effective goals, learning units, methodology and quality. The evaluation must then be considered as one of the principal results of the research itself: it must be based on competencies and quality, and the 13 indicators suggested to measure the educational program – feedback and other metrics included – will be of great use to help the University to highlight its quality standards.


Academic Literacy; Visual Literacy; Digital Competencies; Literacies Indicators; Educational Evaluation.




Adams, Claudia, Buetow, Stephen, Edlin, Richard, Zdravkovic, Neda y Heyligers, Josta. (2016). “A collaborative approach to integrating Information and Academic Literacy into the Curricula of Research Methods Courses”. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40: 222-231

Association of College & Research Libraries. 2011. Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Acceso 19 de mayo 2019,

Black, Michele y Rechter, Sue. 2013. “A critical reflection on the use of an embedded academic literacy program for teaching sociology”, Journal of Sociology, 49 (4): 456-470

Bowman, N. A. y Bastedo, M. N. 2011. “Anchoring effects in world university rankings: Exploring biases in reputation scores”, Higher Education, 61(4): 431–444

Carr, Nicholas, 2011. Superficiales: ¿Qué está haciendo Internet con nuestras mentes? Madrid: Taurus.

Ferrari, Anita. 2013. DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

García-Jiménez, Eduardo. 2016. “Concepto de excelencia en enseñanza superior universitaria. A definition of excellence in higher education”. Educación Médica, 17: 83-87

Gilbert, John, Reiner, Miriam y Nakhleh, Mary [ed]. 2008. Visualization: theory and practice in science education. Models and modeling in science education, New York: Springer

Guijarro-Jiménez, Clara, Gomera-Martínez, Antonio y Antúnez-López, Manuel. 2016, "Propuesta de indicadores de la Responsabilidad Social Universitaria conforme a la guía G4 del GRI: el caso de la Universidad de Córdoba". CIRIEC - Espana, 87: 103-137.

Gunn, Cathy, Hearne, Shari y Sibthorpe, Julie. (2011). “Right from the start: A rationale for embedding academic literacy skills in university courses”, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 8. Acceso 13 Mayo, 2019.

Harris, Benjamin R. 2013. “The New ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards. Revising reception”. Communications in Information Literacy, 7 (2): 139-145

Head, Alison J. (2016). Staying smart: How today's graduates continue to learn once they complete college. Project Information Literacy: Seattle (WA)

Ke, Fenffeng y Hsu Chang-Yu. 2015. “Mobile augmented-reality artifact creation as a component of mobile computer-supported collaborative learning”, The Internet and Higher Education, 26: 33-41

Knezović, A. 2016. “Rethinking the languages for specific purposes syllabus in the 21st century: Topic-centered or skills-centered”, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 10 (1): 122-137

Lee, Ling, Chen, Der-Tang, Li, Jen-Yi y Lin, Tzu-Bin. 2015. “Understanding new media literacy: The development of a measuring instrument”, Computers & Education, 85: 84-93

Lim, Miguel Antonio y Williams Øerberg, J. 2017. “Active instruments: on the use of university rankings in developing national systems of higher education”, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, 1(1): 91–108

Lin, Tzu-Bin, Li, Jen-Yi, Deng, Feng y Lee, Ling. 2013. “Understanding new media literacy: An explorative theoretical framework”, Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 16 (4): 160-170

Mackey, TP y Jacobson TE. 2011. “Refraiming Information Literacy as Metaliteracy”, College and Research Libraries, 72 (1): 62-78

MacMillan, M, y MacKenzie, A. 2012. “Strategies for integrating Information Literacy and Academic Literacy. Helping undergraduate students make the most of scholarly articles”. Library Management, 33 (8-9): 525-535

Mok, Heng Ngee. 2014. “Teaching Tip: The flipped classroom”, Journal of Information Systems Education, 25 (1): 7-11

Moselen, Cris y Wang, Li. 2014. “Integrating Information Literacy into Academic Curricula: A professional development programme for librarians at the University of Auckland”, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40: 116-123

Siemens, Goerge. 2006. Knowing Knowledge. Acceso el 14 Mayo, 2019.

Sproles, Claudena, Detmering, Robert y Johnson, Anna Marie. 2013, “Trends in the literature on library instruction and information literacy, 2001-2010”, Reference Services Review, 41 (3): 395-412.

Witek, Donna y Grettano, Teresa. 2014. “Teaching metaliteracy: A new paradigm in action”, Reference Services Review, 42 (2): 188-208

Xiong, Yao y Suen, Hoy K. 2018. “Assessement approaches in massive open online courses: Possibilities, challenges and future directions”, International Review Education, 64: 241-263

Zwaan Rolf A. y Taylor, Lawrence J. 2006. “Seeing, acting, understanding: Motor resonance in language comprehension”, Journal of Experimental Psicology: General, 135 (1): 1-11

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Giovanni Solimine, MIGUEL ANGEL MARZAL GARCIA-QUISMONDO

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. is a journal of UNIFI-SAGAS published by EUM - edizioni università di macerata