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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?
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"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