Curricular Uses of Visual Materials: A Mixed-Method Institutional Study

Carleton College is at an exciting point in its history as members of the faculty consider the growing curricular role of visual modes of expression. Given the resource-intensive nature of the visual, discussions of curricular growth must be paired with careful considerations of the kinds of support and resources available on campus. In this context, the present study addressed the central question: Are the sources of support that the College provides well suited to the work demanded of students and faculty as they make curricular use of visual materials?

This study was funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the results of which will serve as the basis for institutional planning for curricular support at the College.  For the purposes of this study, visual materials is broadly defined and includes maps, images, films, video, and spacial data.  Given the ascendant curricular uses of visual materials, the recommendations and data in this report are intended to provide the means to ensure that curricular support at Carleton is suited to the work demanded of Carleton students and faculty members.  The survey instruments developed for the second half of this study, were specifically designed to lend themselves for use at other institutions.  The student and staff surveys in particular are also designed to examine curricular support broadly defined.

The following sections identify findings that may be of particular interest, highlight relevant portions of the study, and in most cases include selected quotes.  A full version of the report is freely available through the link to the right of this text. 

For further information please contact the authors at anixon at carleton dot edu.

Recommendations, Implications, and Selected Quotes