Teaching the importance of visual communication in a world increasingly dominated by images is the focus of a new book co-edited by Dr. Kathryn Northcut, associate professor of English and technical communication at Missouri University of Science and Technology and director of Missouri S&T’s technical communication programs.
With the tremendous growth in online videos, information graphics and visually oriented websites and presentations, it’s more important than ever for college students to become “visually literate,” say Northcut and co-editor Dr. Eva Brumberger in their introduction to Designing Texts: Teaching Visual Communication. The book will be published in early 2012 by Baywood Publishing of Amityville, N.Y., in its Technical Communication series.
“Visual literacy … is about looking, seeing, thinking, and producing,” write Northcut and Brumberger, who is an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech and director of VT’s professional writing program. Through the 14 chapters of Designing Texts, the co-editors present “theoretical and practical issues that instructors can apply directly to their own teaching of visual communication.”
“The contributors to the book share the goal of helping instructors succeed – sharing ideas, offering guidance and giving the best advice we can come up with for teaching visual communication,” Northcut says.
In addition to the introduction, which they co-wrote, Northcut and Brumberger each contributed a chapter to the collection. Northcut wrote Chapter 8, “Evaluating Visual Communication,” in which she discusses her research on the topic as well as the research of others.
At Missouri S&T, Northcut teaches many different courses, including Advanced Theories of Visual Technical Communication, Proposal Writing, Theory of Visual Technical Communication and Research Methods in Technical Communication. She has been a member of the S&T English and technical communication faculty since 2004.