Evaluating Visuals: Increasing Visual Literacy with Infographics

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

Sense and Experiences: The Book of Selected Readings


University Libraries - Public Services


University Libraries


Do college students evaluate infographics? If so, what criteria do they use? To answer these questions, students in two journalism classes were given a pre- and post-questionnaire that explored their understanding of the visual elements and textual content of infographics. In both classes, students were also asked to create an infographic. In the second class, students learned about specific, evaluative and creative criteria regarding infographics from the department’s liaison librarian. Results from the questionnaires indicated that students who received instruction on specific evaluative criteria evaluated infographics at a higher rate than students who did not receive the same instruction. Results from the infographic creation assignment indicated that students who received instruction on creative criteria created more visually appealing and textually sound infographics than those who did not receive the same instruction. The study shows that it is possible to increase students’ visual literacy skills by teaching specific evaluative and creative criteria for infographics; likewise, it is important to emphasize the process of evaluation when assigning an infographic assignment.