VisCom Student Learning
Outcomes & Assessment

Student learning assessment is intended to promote and maintain program excellence and improve student learning. The School of Visual Communication has developed a set of learning outcomes within its program and engages in faculty-led assessment activities to help inform curricular and program review and development. Because all four majors revolve around using visual methods as a storytelling tool, learning is assessed similarly across the four VisCom majors to evaluate learning outcomes of the program as a whole.

Learning Outcomes

The School of Visual Communication has established the following learning outcomes for the four majors within the school:

Information Design: Interactive (BS6923)

The Information Design (Interactive) sequence combines the professional practice of interactive design, user experience, and web development as a means of visual communication and storytelling.

Learning Outcomes
Successful students in this major will be able to do the following:
Create storytelling through interactive websites, mobile platforms, and other methods including motion graphics (animation), video, and interactive infographics and data visualizations; have a broad understanding of information architecture, as well as compositional aesthetics used to create successful visual narratives in the digital/online/mobile space.

  • Graduates of this program work as interactive designers, website developers, motion graphics designers and mobile app designers.

Information Design: Publication (BS6924)

The Information Design (Publication) sequence stresses visual storytelling using the foundations of design and the professional practice and use of current industry software and techniques.

Learning Outcomes
Successful students in this major will be able to do the following:
Use design, typography, infographics and data visualizations to create dynamic visual stories in publications that are online, in tablet form and/or in print; be able to think conceptually and use qualitative and quantitative problem-solving to create effective and engaging visual presentations that resonate with readers/users.

  • Graduates of this sequence work as magazine, newspaper and tablet designers, information and infographic designers, corporate public relations communications designers, and art, creative and communications directors.

Commercial Photography (BS6925)

The Commercial Photography sequence focuses on the use of still and motion photographic tools, lighting, concept development for storytelling and illustration in fields such as advertising, product, fashion and portraiture, along with architectural and interior design photography.

Learning Outcomes
Successful students in this major will be able to do the following:
Use state-of-the-art professional equipment and techniques to capture images and video adhering to industry standards; professionally stage and manipulate lighting, scenes, props and models used in a commercial studio setting; demonstrate familiarity with the business aspects of operating a photographic studio.

  • Graduates of this sequence go on to become studio owners, magazine photo editors, advertising art buyers, stylists, digital retouchers, photo assistants, digital photo technicians, studio and production managers, and photographers within the advertising, magazine, and e-commerce industry.

Photojournalism (BS6922)

The photojournalism sequence is for students interested in using photography as a communication tool to show others interesting people and situations without staging or controlling the subjects.

Learning Outcomes
Successful students in this major will be able to do the following:
Capture engaging, truthful, informative and visually compelling images to communicate information and tell stories to an audience; use state-of-the-art professional equipment and techniques to create images and video adhering to journalistic industry standards and ethics; generate story ideas, photograph (using both still and video), write, and design the presentation of that story.

  • Graduates in this major work in the news and communication field, and take on roles at magazines, newspapers and online. They also work as photo editors, event photographers, and multimedia and graphics editors.


The School of Visual Communication uses three direct measures of student learning.

  1. Capstone projects from Tier III VICO classes, VICO 4112, 4118, 4229 and 4386. The projects in these classes have been designed by faculty and are directly related to the learning outcomes (listed above) in each of the four majors and include the technical, conceptual, qualitative and quantitative skills necessary to succeed in their chosen career path.
  2. Internship evaluation by industry professionals. Every student in the School of Visual Communication, as a requirement for the degree, has to complete an approx. 400 hour paid and supervised internship in their career field. Student job supervisors provide an online evaluation for each student, which is based on the metrics established by faculty of each major. These job assessments, submitted by industry professionals, are logged, evaluated and compared to learning outcomes so that adjustments, if necessary, can be made.
  3. Student learning, in VICO classes, are quantitatively tracked, logged and measured for adherence to course objectives and outcomes set forth in each class’s syllabus. At the beginning of each semester, instructors have every student answer ten questions based on their current knowledge of a subject or skill set, based on projected outcomes for the class. The same ten questions are asked at the end of the semester. Learning outcomes for every VICO class can then be charted and analyzed as direct measures of student learning.