Gaede, Rolf J

Profile

Current Institution: 

Rolf Gaede is currently an Associate Professor in Visual Communication Design and the programme co-ordinator of the PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the Durban University of Technology. His research interests include visual literacy, visual semiotics, visual hermeneutics and research ethics.

Prof Rolf J Gaede

Visual hermeneutics and the fusion of horizons: Reflections on a globally networked learning project with graphic design students from three countries

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Discipline: 

Graphic Design & Visual Art

The paper discusses a globally networked learning project with graphic design students from Mexico, the United States of America, and South Africa. Globally networked learning (GNL) aims for cost-effective internationalization strategies where digital platforms replace physical student exchanges. The project was designed according to Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) principles, which included ice-breaker activities at the beginning of the project and reflection activities at the end.

Research ethics in South African visual communication design: A principlist approach to non-anonymity

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Discipline: 

Design Education Research

Keeping participants anonymous is a core principle in research ethics and accepted as international best practice. In this paper, we consider ways of improving the ethical quality of visual communication research in the ‘new normal’ situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we use an argumentative discourse approach to discuss issues and concerns surrounding anonymity from a principlist perspective. The first section provides an orientation on international best practices and core research ethics principles. The second section reflects on South African research ethics committees, their functions, and the poor fit between a health research-orientated approach and research in art and design departments.

The ethics review of visual communication design research proposals: is a 'dual mandate' approach justifiable?

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The majority of institutional ethics committees at South African tertiary institutions state in their standard operating procedures that the role of the ethics committee includes screening proposed research with regard to the core principles of ethics (dignity and autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence), as well as the scientific validity of the envisaged study.  

The first part of this paper debates to what extent such an approach is justified, as the notion of validity is primarily located in the philosophy of science and not in the field of moral philosophy.  

The second part of the paper illustrates some of the main points of the discussion with selected examples from the field of visual communication design research.

The examples are drawn from

Visual literacy in community communication: pretesting nutrition education materials for elderly caregivers in Boipatong

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Discipline: 

Media & Communications Design

The paper deals with issues and concerns relating to the process of pre-­‐testing visual  illustrations used in educational material in a community communication setting.

The first part of the paper discusses  how selected aspects of nutrition education materials meant for elderly care givers in Boipatong  were pre-­‐tested using questionnaires (n=55) and focus group discussions in order to establish the  target group’s views and opinions about different types of visual illustration approaches. The  information was subsequently used to guide the production of a visually illustrated nutrition  education booklet, which was distributed free of charge in the community as part of a nutrition  education intervention.

Documentary photography and indigenous knowledge: some methodological challenges

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Discipline: 

Photography, Film & Multimedia

The paper focuses on the role that documentary photographs may play in indigenous knowledge research. Visual methods, or qualitative research where visual images play an integral part of the study design, have the advantage that power imbalances between the researcher and the study population are typically low in comparison to more conservative research designs, especially when the visual material is produced by the members of the study population themselves.

The paper specifically discusses methodological aspects of scenarios where

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