The Effect of a Blended Learning Course of Visual Literacy for In-service Teachers
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 20-hour blended learning visual literacy course applied to in-service teachers. For this purpose, we designed the course to train the educators and the instrument to measure the level of visual literacy of participants before and after the intervention. Then, we found the differences.
Visual literacy is essential for improving visual communication skills on in-service teachers because they use and construct visual material permanently. Hence, they need to be trained for developing visual literacy taking into account their pace of life and specific needs.
We employed a quasi-experimental one-group pretest-posttest design. The area of study is Social Science, specifically Education. The population was in-service teachers who work in private schools in the north zone of Quito, Ecuador. The convenience sampling method was used to conduct this pilot study of 51 teachers at one private school. The visual literacy course was designed based on the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards. The differences in the level of visual literacy were measured through a visual literacy test of 45 items made for this specific purpose. Differences between pretest and posttest were found after performing paired samples t-test on collected data.
This research contributes to visual literacy research focused on in-service teacher’s instruction. This practical study was based on a complete proposal for training and evaluated the visual literacy level of in-service teachers.
Findings show that there are statistically significant differences in pretest and posttest scores, so teachers improved their level of visual literacy after the 20-hour blended learning visual literacy course.
Practitioners should adapt the length of the training course to the teachers’ schedules. They should review the course themes and the items in the visual literacy test to know about the specific content to be taught along the course.
Researchers who want to replicate a similar study should have a bigger group of participants and, if possible, they should have a control group.
This study indicates that teachers could improve their level of visual literacy after attending a well-structured training course. Thus, it is crucial to offer in-service teachers the opportunity to improve their visual communication skills through a concrete learning process adapted to their schedules and life.
Future research should focus on evaluating before and after the treatment, through practical projects, the previous and acquired knowledge of in-service teachers.