Collaboration with Louisiana Tech University

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with Louisiana Tech University, USA, who are now associate members of the ViLi project.  We have already been successfully collaborating with Professor Kirk St. Amant, his students and colleagues in the creation of visual contents, e.g. infographics on Elements of Art, for the Visual Literacies MOOC delivered April-May 2018.  Further collaboration with Nicholas (Nick) Bustamante has begun, to enhance the visual content of the 2nd MOOC which begins 8th October 2018.

Nick Bustamante and Dr. Jamie Newman cooperate on the VISTA program (Louisiana Tech University). The VISTA program is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to combine their passion for art and science to pursue careers in scientific visualization. The vista program focuses on medical visualization. Medical illustrators often collaborate with scientists, physicians, and other specialists to translate the complex language of medical terminology into visual images that can be understood across broad audiences, such as patients or even the general public. There is a growing need for patients to understand their mental and physical state of health and the medical options available to them in a simple, yet accurate graphic form. Using the Internet and other wireless technologies allows the information to be readily available for a wide audience.  Nick and Jamie joined the project meeting in Cyprus on the 12th and 13th June 2018 and presented the VISTA program and sample art works.

We started working with the art studio eight months ago; in that period the first infographic for the pilot MOOC was produced to explain the techniques regarding colors, lines, light and texture, see Figure 1.  Currently, prof. Nick Bustamante is working to build weekly summaries in a visual form that could be a mnemonic device to help learners digest the most important information and possibly use this visual approach for their courses as well.

What we find difficult to explain to MOOC participants is the flexible e-learning design which allows participants to follow optional learning pathways. Coming from traditional institutions most educators learn and develop well-structured but linear courses.  Prof. Nick Bustamante would explain visually the innovative pedagogical framework of the project.  Making visual summaries that could enhance retention and visualization of difficult terminology is a challenge for ViLi project partners and associate members but we are working hard to make it as visual as possible.

The collaboration with Louisiana Tech University has created opportunities and started discussions for a conference on visual literacies in May 2019 and further research proposals.

Figure 1.  Infographic on Elements of Art, created by Louisiana Tech University Visual Design Team. Design Director: Professor Nicholas Bustamante.  Designers:-- Sarah Ilgenfritz-- Jade Noble-- Cinthia A. Rincón.  Project Manager: Professor Kirk St. Amant.

Presentation of the VISTA program by Nick Bustamante & Jamie Newman, Louisiana Tech University (USA).


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