"Visual literacy is a 'set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media.' Visual literacy is an interdisciplinary concept and plays an important role across higher education – in the arts, humanities, science, technology, business, and more. Twenty-first century college students are expected to use and critique images in their academic work, and to produce visual materials that effectively communicate their research and scholarly activities. Visual literacy competence is essential for successful participation in this media-rich academic environment."
From The Association of College & Research Libraries web page on Visual Literacy. Note the graphic on this page.
Art & Design students should be on the cutting edge of visual literacy.