Visual Arts Education literacy in university contexts




Artistic education, Literacy, Visual, higher education


In a digital world, which is evolving more and more rapidly towards the culture of the visual, acquiring visual literacy tools can be essential, especially for the professional future of university students. Art education manages to enhance the development of visual learning and motivate the student in their process of analysis, discovery, understanding, assessment and apprehension of the visual arts. The use of the image as a teaching tool in the classroom favours the progress of critical and reflective observation and promotes expressive skills. The objective of this work was to present experiences on visual learning in Art Education in university contexts. A systematic review of the literature was carried out during 1990 to 2020. The results allowed us to recognize the main author agents, their research tendencies, and reveal certain gaps in critical knowledge. Research findings and trends converge on the advantages of incorporating visual resources in higher education, emphasizing the importance of sensory approaches to support learning.


Download data is not yet available.


Abad-Segura, E., & González-Zamar, M. D. (2019). Effects of financial education and financial literacy on creative entrepreneurship: A worldwide research. Education Sciences, 9(3), 238.

Abad-Segura, E., González-Zamar, M. D., Infante-Moro, J. C. & Ruipérez García, G. (2020). Sustainable Management of Digital Transformation in Higher Education: Global Research Trends. Sustainability, 12(5), 2107.

Akçayır, M., & Akçayır, G. (2017). Advantages and challenges associated with augmented reality for education: A systematic review of the literature. Educational Research Review, 20, 1-11.

Arslan, R., & Nalinci, G. Z. (2014). Development of visual literacy levels scale in higher education. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET, 13(2), 61-70.

Awang, H., & Ramly, I. (2008). Creative thinking skill approach through problem-based learning: Pedagogy and practice in the engineering classroom. International journal of human and social sciences, 3(1), 18-23.

Bleed, R. (2005). Visual literacy in higher education. Educause Learning Initiative, 1(1), 1-11.

Bowler, L. (2014). Creativity through" maker" experiences and design thinking in the education of librarians. Knowledge Quest, 42(5), 58.

Buzan, T. (1996). El libro de los mapas mentales. Madrid: Urano

Cheng, M. Y. V. (2019). Developing individual creativity for environmental sustainability: Using an everyday theme in higher education. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 33, 100567.

Christensen, G. L., & Olson, J. C. (2002). Mapping consumers' mental models with ZMET. Psychology & Marketing, 19(6), 477-501.

Dasli, M. (2019). UNESCO guidelines on intercultural education: a deconstructive reading. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 27(2), 215-232.

De Backer, F., Lombaerts, K., De Mette, T., Buffel, T., & Elias, W. (2012). Creativity in artistic education: Introducing artists into primary schools. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 31(1), 53-66.

Eisner, E. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. Yale University Press.

Ervine, M. D. (2016). Visual literacy in instructional design programs. Journal of Visual Literacy, 35(2), 104-113.

Eshet, Y. (2004). Digital literacy: A conceptual framework for survival skills in the digital era. Journal of educational multimedia and hypermedia, 13(1), 93-106.

Felten, P. (2008). Visual literacy. Change: The magazine of higher learning, 40(6), 60-64.

Flood, J., & Lapp, D. (1997). Visual literacy: Broadening conceptualizations of literacy: The visual and communicative arts. The Reading Teacher, 51(4), 342-344.

Ghemawat, P. (2017). Strategies for higher education in the digital age. California Management Review, 59(4), 56-78.

González-Zamar, M.-D., & Abad-Segura, E. (2020). Implications of Virtual Reality in Arts Education: Research Analysis in the Context of Higher Education. Education Sciences, 10(9), 225.

González-Zamar, M.-D., & Abad-Segura, E. (2021a). Emotional Creativity in Art Education: An Exploratory Analysis and Research Trends. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(12), 6209.

González-Zamar, M.-D., & Abad-Segura, E. (2021b). Visual Arts in the University Educational Ecosystem: Analysis of Schools of Knowledge. Education Sciences, 11(4), 184.

González-Zamar, M.-D., & Abad-Segura, E. (2021c). Digital design in artistic education: An overview of research in the university setting. Education Sciences, 11(4), 144.

González-Zamar, M.-D., & Abad-Segura, E. (2020). La Realidad Aumentada como recurso creativo en la educación: Una revisión global. Creatividad y sociedad: revista de la Asociación para la Creatividad, 32, 164-190.

González-Zamar, M.-D., Abad-Segura, E., Luque de la Rosa, A., & López-Meneses, E. (2020). Digital Education and Artistic-Visual Learning in Flexible University Environments: Research Analysis. Education Sciences, 10(11), 294.

González-Zamar, M.-D., Abad-Segura, E., Padilla, A. H. M., & García, L. M. (2021). Innovación universitaria y creatividad para la mejora sostenible de ecologías emocionales de aprendizaje. Ediciones Octaedro.

Grigorenko, E. L. (2019). Creativity: a challenge for contemporary education. Comparative Education, 55(1), 116-132.

Gurung, B. & Rutledge, D. (2014). Digital learners and the overlapping of their personal and educational digital engagement. Comput. Educ., 77, 91–100,

Hailey, D. (2014). Visual thinking, art, and university teaching across disciplines. About Campus, 19(4), 9-16.

Hetland, L. (2013). Studio thinking 2: The real benefits of visual arts education. Teachers College Press.

Horton, W. (1993). Visual literacy: Going beyond words in technical communications. Technical Communication, 40(3), 495-499.

Jeung, H. J., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1997). The role of visual indicators in dual sensory mode instruction. Educational Psychology, 17(3), 329-345.

Kędra, J., & Zakeviciute, R. (2019). Visual literacy practices in higher education: what, why and how? Journal of Visual Literacy. 38.

Knight, L. (2010). Why a child needs a critical eye, and why the art-classroom is central in developing it. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 29, 236–243. https://

Lee, J. (2018). The effects of knowledge sharing on individual creativity in higher education institutions: socio-technical view. Administrative Sciences, 8(2), 21.

Lewis, S., & Holloway, J. (2019). Datafying the teaching ‘profession’: Remaking the professional teacher in the image of data. Cambridge journal of education, 49(1), 35-51.

Lin, H., & Vartanian, O. (2018). A neuroeconomic framework for creative cognition. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13(6), 655-677.

Mahlow, C. & Hediger, A. (2019). Digital Transformation in Higher Education—Buzzword or Opportunity? ELear, 2019, 13.

Matusiak, K. K., Heinbach, C., Harper, A., & Bovee, M. (2019). Visual literacy in practice: Use of images in students’ academic work. College & Research Libraries, 80(1), 123.

McCormack, A. J. (2017). Developing visual/spatial thinking in science education. Science Education, 143-156.

Moore, D. M. (1994). Visual literacy: A spectrum of visual learning. Educational Technology.

Phillips, P. M. (2019). The Power of Visual Culture and the Fragility of the Text. Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture, 3, 30-49.

Real Academia Española. (2020). Visualizar en Diccionario de la lengua española (23ª ed.).

Reiter-Palmon, R., & Robinson, E. J. (2009). Problem identification and construction: What do we know, what is the future? Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 3(1), 43.

Rieber, L. P. (1995). A historical review of visualization in human cognition. Educational technology research and development, 43(1), 45-56.

Scholl, B., & Fitzpatrick, D. (2020). Cortical synaptic architecture supports flexible sensory computations. Current opinion in neurobiology, 64, 41-45.

Seels, B. A. (1994). Visual literacy: The definition problem. Visual literacy: A spectrum of visual learning, 97-112.

Sharp, D. L., Bransford, J. D., Goldman, S. R., Risko, V. J., Kinzer, C. K., & Vye, N. J. (1995). Dynamic visual support for story comprehension and mental model building by young, at-risk children. Educational Technology Research and Development, 43(4), 25-42.

Shrivastava, L. (1983). Comunicación visual y escuela. Aspectos psicopedagógicos del lenguaje visual. Barcelona: G. Gilli.

Sternberg, R. J. (2003). Creative thinking in the classroom. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 47(3), 325-338.

Stopar, K., & Bartol, T. (2019). Digital competences, computer skills and information literacy in secondary education: mapping and visualization of trends and concepts. Scientometrics, 118(2), 479-498.

Syam, N. & Sharma, A. (2018). Waiting for a sales renaissance in the fourth industrial revolution: Machine learning and artificial intelligence in sales research and practice. Ind. Mark. Manag. 69, 35–146.

Van Laar, E., van Deursen, A. J., van Dijk, J. A., & de Haan, J. (2020). Determinants of 21st-century skills and 21st-century digital skills for workers: A systematic literature review. Sage Open, 10(1).

Vasilenko, S. A., Goltseva, O. S., Belyakova, T. E., Shevalie, K. N., & Vasilenko, E. V. (2020). Development of Creative Independence of Design Students in Course of Higher Education. Journal of Educational Psychology-Propositos y Representaciones, 8. (SPE2), e637

Williams, W. R. (2019). Attending to the visual aspects of visual storytelling: using art and design concepts to interpret and compose narratives with images. Journal of Visual Literacy, 38(1-2), 66-82.

Winner, E. (2007). Visual thinking in arts education: Homage to Rudolf Arnheim. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1(1), 25.

Zhu, C. (2015). Organisational culture and technology-enhanced innovation in higher education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 24(1), 65-79.




How to Cite

González-Zamar, M. D. ., Abad-Segura, E., & Ademar Ferreyra, H. . (2023). Visual Arts Education literacy in university contexts. IJERI: International Journal of Educational Research and Innovation, (19), 170–186.




Most read articles by the same author(s)