Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning: Perspectives from Liberal Arts Institutions

by David Green, Knowledge Culture

The following study, “Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning,” was commissioned by Wesleyan University in collaboration with the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE).

The study focuses on the pedagogical implications of the widespread use of the digital format. However, while changes in the teaching-learning dynamic and the teacher-student relationship were at the core of the study, related issues concerning supply, support and infrastructure rapidly became part of its fabric. These topics include the quality of image resources, image functionality, management, deployment and the skills required for optimum use (digital and image “literacies”).

This report is rooted in faculty experience in “going digital,” as shown in four hundred survey responses and three hundred individual interviews with faculty and some staff at 33 colleges and universities: 31 liberal arts colleges together with Harvard and Yale Universities. Two-thirds of the survey respondents worked in the arts and humanities, 27% in the sciences and 12% in the social sciences. These faculty were self-selected and mostly convinced of the digital promise of abundant, fluid resources. They wanted to communicate both their enthusiasm for their endeavor and their frustration at the pace and quality of their transition to teaching with this new format.

Full Report (1.1 mb .pdf)

Executive Summary (.4 mb .pdf)

Recommendations (<.1 mb .pdf)

As part of an ongoing conversation around the report, Academic Commons is publishing a selection of interviews with faculty who participated in this project.

Digital Image Interview Series

In addition, we have established a space for readers to interact with the author David Green, and with one another.

Image Project  Wiki