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Education: teaching computer graphics visual literacy to art and computer science students

Education: teaching computer graphics visual literacy to art and computer science students,ACM Siggraph Computer Graphics,Dena Eber,Rosalee Wolfe

Education: teaching computer graphics visual literacy to art and computer science students  
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Instructors in both art and computer science departments experience difficulties in motivating students to develop a visual literacy in computer graphics. Although a highly prized skill in industry, visual literacy is intimidating to computer science students because they are uneasy about using their eyes to examine computer-synthesized images. Even though they are used to using their eyes for acquiring information, the topics of analysis and interpretation intimidate art students. Further, art students may not have as much background to understand the technical terminology. This first column in a two-part series discusses an interdisciplinary approach for teaching visual literacy that overcomes these obstacles. With this approach students become more familiar with the limits and possibilities of the medium of computer graphics, learn how to analyze and talk about what visual images might mean and develop a deeper understanding of time constraints. In addition, they gain confidence with technological terminology and the idea of suggesting alternative algorithms to create a desired visual "look." As a result, both computer science and art students become more able to communicate effectively about and with visual imagery.
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