Course Documents

Course description

Historical, physiological, perceptual and cognitive aspects of visual communication. Broad and diverse approaches to visual perception, reception and persuasion including theoretical perspectives, critical analysis methods, and ethical implications.

Anticipated student learning outcomes:

  1. Identify principles and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
  2. Describe how symbols are created, their cultural significance and usage.
  3. Summarize the fundamental structures and components of successful visualizations and imagery as communicative artifacts.
  4. Interpret visualizations as powerful tools for conveying information, storytelling, and propaganda.
  5. Assess the social, cultural and psychological power of visualizations and ways that they can be structured or manipulated to elicit specific reactions.
  6. Recognize the challenges of unstated and unconscious biases underlying visualizations and their contexts.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to visual culture and communication.

Course Basics

This class meets online: synchronously on Zoom and asynchronously the rest of the week through Blackboard and this course website.

I am available for virtual office hours on Mondays from 12:30-1:30pm. The Zoom link will be posted under Contacts and on the Announcements page.

You can contact me by email, and I will respond within 24 hours. On weekends and holidays, it may take longer than 24 hours to reply. I am happy to meet with you individually on the phone or on Zoom.

Because the class takes place online, technical problems can have serious impact on your coursework. Reach out to the Brooklyn College helpdesk ( if you have problems with Blackboard or other Brooklyn College systems and let me know. For any other problems or issues with the course, do not hesitate to contact me.

Textbook and Materials

There is no required textbook for this class. This course is a zero cost/open educational resources course.  That means there is no textbook students need to purchase. All materials are available freely to students.

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Course Technology

For the most part, you will need technology that will allow you to access this OER website, Blackboard, other websites and a device that has audio and video capabilities. You will also be maintaining a blog and creating digital material.

If your internet connection is spotty, try to have a stable connection or not use WIFI when you are taking any quizzes or attending live meetings.

Course Outline

See CASD 1643 Visual Communication Course Outline document for a comprehensive weekly course outline. The Course Outline will be reviewed during our first Zoom meeting on Monday, August 30. The course outline is subject to change.

In general, assignments are due Fridays by 12 pm noon Eastern Time – blog posts, specified discussion boards posts, and homework assignments (except on holidays)

Method of evaluation

Grades will be determined by students’ assignments (50% of final grade), students’ end of semester group project and presentation (20% of final grade), student blogs (20% of final grade) and class participation (10% of final grade). There are no extra-credit assignments. This class does not grade on a curve.

Method of assessment

Individual and group assignments, a virtual museum presentation, student blog, and class participation consisting of discussion board posts and blog comments are used to assess students’ mastery of the specific course topics as well as critical thinking and analytical skills.

Course methodology

This class will be working online synchronously and asynchronously. Many activities involve students engaging with each other’s work online, so it is important to get your assignments in by their due dates. This way your work is fully able to contribute to the work of the whole class. If work is posted at the last moment or late, it will be hard for you to fully take part in the activities and conversations.

In commenting on your classmates’ work for this class, you generally should follow these guidelines:

  1. Add information that wasn’t included in their answer/response
  2. Correct an error they made; or
  3. Relate their answer to a current event or other material.

Responses to another student’s work must be respectful, but that doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they wrote. Limit any disagreements to the ideas, positions, and logic used. No credit is given for simply writing something like: “You did great,” “I disagree,” or “I like your answer.”

Each student will need to manage their own time each week, to know when assignments are due, and any other weekly course obligations. To be successful regularly log into the online learning systems to check the unit assignments, forums, announcements, and check your email.

Connection blog

Your personal blog makes up a large percentage of your course grade (20%), so you should commit attention and energy to this semester-long activity. If anything isn’t clear, ask questions.

  • You will create and maintain a blog, posting a personal response biweekly to something that came up in the week’s readings, homework or class; at times I will ask you to post something on a specific topic.
  • Your blog must be public, but you should not post anything you would not be comfortable having someone you know see or read. Once you make it accessible/public, send me the link.
  • Your post should be about 250-350 words long and contain visuals as well. Think about the differences between keeping a written journal and an online journal that everyone can read. A good blog takes advantage of the online environment with relevant audiovisuals and links.
  • Pick a good title for your blog that is meaningful to you and may catch your audience’s attention; do NOT call your blog “CASD 1643,” “My Blog,” “Visual Communication Connection,” etc. Remember your title is the first thing anyone sees or reads (first impressions). Many sites let you have a tagline or subtitle as well, so take advantage of that extra signage space.
  • Blog postings will be due by noon (12:00 pm Eastern Time) on Fridays unless that day is a holiday.
  • Your blog posts will be evaluated using a rubric that you will help develop.
  • You are expected to explore your classmates’ blogs and comment on them throughout the semester. Links to all the blogs will be posted on Blackboard. Your comments should be substantive. If you aren’t sure what to write, follow the 3CQ format: each comment should include a compliment, a comment, a connection (3C) and a question (Q).

You can use any free site such as WordPress, Blogger or Wix. A good site for setting up a free blog is Edublogs (, an Australian site designed for teachers and students, which has lots of free templates to choose from. You can also use an existing blog you’ve created either personally or for a previous class if it would be appropriate to use it for this class.

Preferred name and gender pronouns

All people have the right to be addressed in accordance with their personal identity. In this class, you can indicate the name that you prefer to be called by and pronouns by which you would like to be addressed. I will do my best to refer to all students accordingly as well as support classmates in doing so.


The Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time. Please email them at for assistance. Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations. The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary. Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email


  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 718-951-5352,, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice).
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  • As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Standard Bereavement Procedure

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  • Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.

Religious Accommodations

  • New York State Education Law (Title I, Article 5,Section 224-a) requires that we “make available to each student who is absent from school, because of [their] religious beliefs, an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study or work requirements which [they] may have missed because of such absence on any particular day or days.” If you have to miss class or an assignment due to your religious beliefs or observations, please communicate with the professor so we can plan.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County.

Academic integrity

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation. Students should be aware that faculty may use plagiarism detection software.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Course policies, resources and advice

  1. If you have any questions, technical difficulties, or problems with the course or material, please reach out to me by email or phone. With online classes move you need to establish a routine to work through the course content. If you find yourself falling behind, don’t hesitate to contact me.
  2. Download a copy and read through the Syllabus. Mark anything you think is important or that you have a question about. Each course unit in Blackboard will have an Overview and To-Do List at the beginning of the unit so you understand the rhythm of the course and what is expected. This should help you to plan your time and work. There is coursework to do throughout the week.
  3. There will be a Q&A discussion board on Blackboard that will remain open for you to use throughout the semester. You can post anonymously any questions you have about the class, units, readings, assignments, etc. Posting on the Q&A Discussion Board may get a faster answer than emailing me because another student may be able to answer your question before I do. Or you may see that someone else asked a similar question and received an answer that solves your issue.
  4. Regularly check your college email or the email that is associated with Blackboard as that is where class emails will go automatically. If this is not an account that you use, make sure to change the email listed for you.
  5. Submitting written assignments and classwork on time is essential to success in this class. Late assignments may be penalized. Generally, you will not be given the opportunity to revise and resubmit assignments that are at a satisfactory level (C or better). Questions about points for exams, quizzes or assignments must be asked within one (1) week of the date the points or grade is assigned (posted on Blackboard). You can access your grades under the “My Progress” link on the menu.
  6. You are responsible for watching videos, completing readings and other homework assignments assigned. Absence should not be an excuse for not completing assignments: you can always check our Blackboard site for the class assignment or contact me through email.
  7. Homework assignments are to be typed unless otherwise stated. Name, date and class should be at the top of the first page and your name at the top of subsequent pages. The text should be in Times New Roman 12 point and double spaced with one-inch margins on all sides. Assignments should be submitted through Blackboard using SafeAssign.
  8. Emails should have your full name and the class in the subject heading and in the body of the email so that it is clear whom the email comes from.
  9. You are expected to interact collaboratively and respectfully with your peers on matters relating to the class. There will be group work throughout the semester. Working respectfully with your classmates is an integral part of the class.
  10. Read carefully the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations in the College.
  11. Students who are unable, because of religious beliefs, to attend class or participate in any examination, study, or class-related activity on a particular day should contact their instructor ahead of time to facilitate their absence without prejudice or penalty; for further information on the New York State law regarding nonattendance because of religious beliefs, see p. 65 in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin.

Important dates Fall 2021 semester

Wednesday, August 25: Classes begin
Tuesday, August 31: Last day to add a course
Friday-Wednesday, September 3-8: No classes scheduled
Monday, September 6: College Closed; No classes
Wednesday, September 15: Last day to file for Fall 2021 and Winter 2021 graduation
Wed-Thursday, September 15-16: No classes scheduled
Monday, October 11: College Closed; No classes
Thursday-Sunday, November 25-28 College Closed; No classes
Monday, December 13: Last day of classes
Monday, December 13: Last day to withdraw from a course with a “W” grade
Tuesday, December 14: Reading Day
Wed-Tuesday, December 15-21: Finals Week

Here is the link to the full Fall 2021 academic calendar