Visual literacy is often defined as the ability to read, write and create visual images.
It is a concept that relates to art and design but it also has much wider applications. Visual literacy is about language, communication and interaction and as such is an increasingly crucial skill for today’s entrepreneurs. However, this importance has not yet led to its teaching being widely introduced into entrepreneurship curriculum. Today’s business environment is very visually oriented. Instagram, social media, tiktok and advertising etc – all image-rich disciplines – have become almost ubiquitous.
The NEED for entrepreneurs to be visually literate in this technological age was never greater.
As Baker (2016) suggests: “business communication modules, for example, are ideal for teaching visual communications principles and techniques.”
Hence, the objective of our project is clear: strengthen the visual literacy of entrepreneurs by introducing innovative visual literacy training into adult entrepreneurship education curriculum and courses.
Within the INVOLVE project we will undertake EU wide research to identify Best Practice in the use of visual literacy education within entrepreneurship education in the adult education sector. We will collate the results of this research into a Good Practice Guide Book which will motivate educators and organisations to implement these visual pedagogies into their teaching. We will also determine the most relevant, useful and easy-to-use digital graphic, image and video technology and tools, and share this knowledge with the Adult Ed sector so that entrepreneurship educators have the knowledge, skills and resources to improve teaching and learning using visual content – INVOLVE Toolkit.
INVOLVE will produce the first Visual Literacy for Entrepreneurs online course to enable entrepreneurs to develop their visual competences in a very practical manner – Visual Literacy for Entrepreneurs Online Course.
Who are the INVOLVE participants?
The project will respond to the following needs of these target groups:
- New and future Entrepreneurs need practical training opportunities to become better at problem solving, innovation and communication, and to stay up-to-date with the visual technologies affecting their sector
- Adult Educators and Trainers need support in modernizing their pedagogic approach and strategic use of digital visual technology in ways that better cater to learning needs of their learners and future performance in the workplace.
- Adult Education Organizations and Stakeholders, who need the vision and tools to support educators in implementing innovative teaching strategies within their organizations and who need strategies to boost the quality and attractiveness of adult education at scale.
The project also responds to the needs of adult learners, especially those low-skilled, low-qualified learners from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with ID who need more effective and appropriate ways to develop their skills in order to achieve employment and lead active civic and social lives.
Entrepreneurship education occupies a key role in the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. Today’s business environment is very visually oriented. It is widely accepted that many people with low level of skills and especially people with Intellectual Disability (ID) do best in learning environments where visual teaching aids are used. Yet, paradoxically and worryingly, visual skills are almost entirely absent from entrepreneurship curricula across the adult education sector.
The INVOLVE model, however, will enable learners to develop more visual entrepreneurship skills, particularly suitable for early stage entrepreneurs. The skills embedded in the INVOLVE model and taught through classroom teaching toolkit and self-led learning (online course) relate directly to the Entre Comp Competences.