Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Typically when we talk about evaluation, we are using the CRAP (or CRAAP) test. This can still be a helpful process, but it doesn't quite fit as well with media sources as it does with text ones. These criteria are better suited to the evaluation of media sources.
- What do you observe?
- Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
- What do you feel?
- Can the media be viewed in different ways?
- Look at the media composition
- What meaning is conveyed by design choices - color, light, sound, shape, order, placement, etc?
- Has the media been altered - cropped, filtered, autotuned, etc? If so, why?
Principles of Design
Explains Rhythm, Movement, Proportion, Variety, Emphasis, Balance, and Harmony within visual art.
Elements of Art
Explains Shape, Line, Color, Space, and Texture within visual art.
Visual Literacy: Design Elements & Principles
Explains and gives examples of elements like point, line, value, color and principles like balance, perspective, unity, and movement.
SOURCE OF MEDIA
- Who created this? Who published it?
- Do they have education or experience with the topic?
- Is there a reason for the creator or publisher to be biased?
- Where was it published?
- Why did they choose that particular method? Were they paid?
- Did they include the work of others? Was proper attribution given?
- What information accompanies the media file - dates, technical information, context?
- Who supplies it? Can it be trusted?
Gathered through your observations, the information provided with the file, and through additional research:
- What was the original context for this media?
- What historical or socioeconomic factors influenced the production of this media?
- Who was the original intended audience?
- What was the social, cultural, and political climate at this time?
- How does this context influence your understanding of the media?
- Has the media file been used outside of its original context? How has its use and interpretation changed over time?
Want to Reuse this Content?
You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.
"Visual literacy skills equip a learner to understand and analyze the contextual, cultural, ethical, aesthetic, intellectual, and technical components involved in the production and use of visual materials. A visually literate individual is both a critical consumer of visual media and a competent contributor to a body of shared knowledge and culture." ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education