Skip Navigation

Visual Fluency: Visual Storytelling

Open to: Grades 7-12
Prerequisite: Qualifying reading/verbal score
Challenge Level: College Freshman
Course Format: Web-based
Recommended School Credit: One-half academic year
Course Length: Session-based; 10 weeks (Fall, Winter, Spring); 12 weeks (Early Summer); or 5 weeks (intensive Late Summer). Session dates.
Course Code: VCOM

Course Description

About Visual Fluency

Digital technology has made the ability to create and share images commonplace. "The ability to both read and write visual information; the ability to learn visually; to think and solve problems in the visual domain — will, as the information revolution evolves, become a requirement for success in business and in life," says Dave Gray.

Visual fluency is now as vital as verbal fluency to success in college and life. These courses incorporate principles of communication theory, design theory, cognitive psychology, and art history to provide a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of effective visual communication.

Visual Storytelling

Students explore elements of design as a component of visual communication. They experiment with planning a story via visual planning methods such as concept mapping and storyboarding. They examine the components of effective visual storytelling. As a capstone project, students create an original visual story and provide a rationale for their visual and design choices in the process.

Materials Needed

Readings

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud. William Morrow Paperbacks.
ISBN: 978-0060976255 Available in many bookstores.

cover of understanding comics

Software

Photoshop, which costs, or GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), which is free. Tutorials on either software are freely available online.

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Lesson One - Exploring Text as Visual

Introduction
Objectives
Review of Communication Theory & Persuasion
Text as Visuals
Fair Use and Copyright
Telling Stories
Image Cognition Assignment (ICA)

Lesson 2: Balance and Unity in Design

Objectives
Taking pictures
Balance in Design
Unity in Design
Sequencing in an Effective Story
Image Cognition Assignment (ICA)

Lesson 3: Nonverbal Communication

Objectives
Rhythm in Design
Emphasis in Design
Nonverbal communication
Developing a Character
Image Cognition Assignment (ICA)

Lesson 4

Objectives
Focus on Photography
Rule of Thirds for Design
Visual Hierarchy
Visuals for information
Image Cognition Assignment (ICA)

Lesson 5

Objectives
Recap of all principles of design
Motion in story sequence
Credibility in Image Choice
Image Cognition Assignment (ICA)

Time Required

  • 3 hours weekly for the 10-week or 12-week sessions (Fall, Winter, Spring, Early Summer)
  • 2 hours daily Monday - Friday during the intensive 5-week session (Late Summer)

Summer Session Daily Calendars

Summer Schedules

Up to two weeks of vacation is allowed in the Early Summer Session. No vacations are allowed in the intensive Late Summer Session.

Down to Late Summer Session (5 weeks)

Sample Early Summer Session, June 4 - August 26, 2018 (12 weeks)

DATE

EVENT

NOTES:

  • Work is due by end of the day, not start of the day. Students use the due day to complete work due that night.
  • Vacations are allowed and must be negotiated at the start of the course with the instructor.
  • When student takes vacation, the schedule moves to later (#2 is due when #3 was due, #4 is due when #5 was due, etc.). Lessons cannot be moved out of sequence.

Monday, June 4

Course begins:

  • Students download materials from the online course classroom
  • Post introductions to classroom
  • Begin work on Lesson 1

Monday, June 11

Lesson 1 Exercises 1-5 due

Monday, June 18

Lesson 1 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Tuesday, June 19

FWA 1 Workshop Opens

Monday, June 25

Lesson 2 Exercises 1-5 due

Monday, July 2

Lesson 2 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Tuesday, July 3

FWA 2 Workshop Opens

Monday, July 9

Lesson 3 Exercises 1-5 due

Monday, July 16

Lesson 3 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Tuesday, July 17

FWA 3 Workshop Opens

Thursday, July 19

Lesson 4 Exercises 1-5 due

Thursday, July 26

Lesson 4 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Friday, July 27

FWA 4 Workshop Opens

Thursday, August 2

Lesson 5 Exercises 1-5 due

Thursday, August 9

Lesson 5 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Friday, August 10

FWA 5 Workshop Opens

Tuesday, August 14

Makeup Lesson (exercises) due

Tuesday, August 21

Makeup Lesson (ICA) due, including FWA workshop

Sunday, August 26

Course ends
No work accepted after today

 

2 to 3 weeks after the course ends, students receive:

  • Certificate of Participation
  • Detailed, one-page course completion document

Sample Intensive Midsummer Session, July 2 - August 5, 2018 (5 weeks)

DATE

EVENT

  • Work is due by end of the day, not start of the day. Students use the due day to complete work due that night.
  • Vacations are NOT allowed.
  • Textbook purchase is necessary.

Monday, July 2

Course begins:

  • Students download materials from the online course classroom
  • Post introductions to classroom
  • Begin work on Lesson 1

Thursday, July 5

Lesson 1: Exercises 1 thru 5 due

Monday, July 9

Lesson 1 Image Cognition Assignment (ICA) due

Tuesday, July 10

Lesson 1 Workshop begins

Thursday, July 12

Lesson 2: Exercises 1-5 due

Monday, July 16

Lesson 2 ICA due; Lesson 1 Workshop ends

Tuesday, July 17

Lesson 2 Workshop begins

Thursday, July 19

Lesson 3: Exercises 1-5 due

Monday, July 23

Lesson 3 ICA due; Lesson 2 Workshop ends

Tuesday, July 24

Lesson 3 Workshop begins

Thursday, July 26

Lesson 4: Exercise 1-5 due

Monday, July 30

Lesson 4 ICA due; Lesson 3 Workshop ends

Tuesday, July 31

Lesson 4 Workshop begins

Thursday, August 2

Lesson 5: Exercises 1-5 due

Sunday, August 5

Lesson 5 ICA due; Lesson 4 workshop ends
Lesson 5 Workshop begins and will remain open one week.
Course ends
No work accepted after today

 

2 to 3 weeks after the course ends, students receive:

  • Certificate of Participation
  • Detailed, one-page course completion document

Sample First Assignment

Demo

Note: The links and videos in this .pdf do not work.

Lesson One

 

Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

 

Reviews

Coming soon.