This learning module was developed to expand the range and depth of first-year undergraduate research assignments in Australian history, but may also be useful for teachers and students from other disciplinary frameworks and curriculum levels. The module content includes written and narrated components within the interactive learning exercises to guide and explain. Students actively explore and initiate responses to questions and content while learning the value of visual sources within the study of history. The module utilises three historical images – a cartoon, a photograph and a painting – to introduce a range of skills that assist in reading a visual source as a historical document, rather than simply as an ephemeral illustration. Images can reveal unique aspects of the past that texts cannot. Like any other evidence, historians need to read images with a critical eye.
Funded through a University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts IT & Multimedia Grant, and developed in collaboration with multimedia developers Lycette Bros., the module was shortlisted in the 2002 Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing (tertiary website).