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MDST 361 Visual Communication

Designed as an introduction to visual literacy, this course surveys many of the media formats that define today's image-dominant culture. Various examples of print advertising, photography, film, television and multimedia are explored; the focus is equally on principles and concepts from both the fine and applied arts, and draws from history as well as the present day.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 1, 1998 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze and evaluate visual communications using a multiple theories and/or ethical/legal perspectives and use this analysis to develop appropriate communication choices for specific audiences.
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of visual communication individually in written and oral form emphasizing invention of logical and coherent arguments, organization, revision/editing and development of appropriate presentation skills and orally in small groups emphasizing development of listening, critical and reflective thinking and responding appropriately.
  • Know, understand and apply research processes, procedures and techniques appropriate to this field.
  • Know, understand and apply vocabulary necessary to discuss and direct visual communications projects.
  • Know, understand, apply and evaluate numerous theories of visual communication that that can be used to explain how visuals communicate.
  • Know, understand, apply and evaluate the physical, cognitive, psychological and communication processes that serve as the underpinnings of visual communication.
  • Know, understand, apply, analyze and evaluate legal and ethical considerations of visual communications by considering multiple points of view located, evaluated and synthesized in a responsible manner from diverse sources.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 1: Communication

  • Understand/demonstrate the writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing and presentation.
  • Participate effectively in groups with emphasis on listening, critical and reflective thinking, and responding.
  • Locate, evaluate, and synthesize in a responsible manner material from diverse sources and points of view.
  • Select appropriate communication choices for specific audiences.
  • Construct logical and coherent arguments.
  • Use authority, point-of-view, and individual voice and style in their writing and speaking.
  • Employ syntax and usage appropriate to academic disciplines and the professional world.


Summer 2021

Section Title Instructor
50 Visual Communication Skarphol Kaml, Shannon M Books Course details

Spring 2022

Section Title Instructor
50 Visual Communication Skarphol Kaml, Shannon M Books Course details