Online College Course

Visual Communications

Visual Communications

Sophia’s Visual Communications Pathway provides an introduction to basic concepts of visual design, helping you apply these concepts in context. In this Pathway, you will explore visual theories of communications and key elements and principles of design, with an emphasis on color, typography, and layout. In this Pathway, you will learn how to analyze a visual design and will understand the role that visual designs play in today’s society. Full Description

3 semester credits

  • Guaranteed to transfer to our 28 partner network institutions.* See Partners
  • Sophia courses have been transferred for credit to over 300 institutions*. See the List
  • Recommend for credit to the ACE and DEAC college and university networks. (See below for details.)

Category: English and Communication

Take this 3-Credit College Course FREE!*
* For real. No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 3 semester credits.
This course is ACE Credit® recommended for transfer to many different colleges and universities.* Learn more
This course is DEAC-approved as meeting the criteria for Approved Quality Curriculum (AQC) status. Learn more


Guaranteed to transfer to our partner colleges and universities.* See Partners

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Visual Communications

Course Description
Sophia's Visual Communications course helps you gain an understanding of the essentials of communicating visually and to apply this understanding in context. In this course, you will explore visual theories and learn about the key elements and principles of visual design, with a focus on color, typography, layout, and design analysis. This course emphasizes real-world context and the role that visual communications play in today's society.

Assessments & Grading
This is a pass/fail course. You must complete 9 Challenge assessments (these are like quizzes) and 3 Milestone assessments (these are like tests) with an overall score of 70% or better.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • Examine basic visual design concepts
  • Distinguish how color, type, & layout contribute to communication
  • Analyze the role of design in visual communications
  • Evaluate visual communication processes and products

Sophia's Many Ways™
This course provides you access to Sophia's Many Ways™ learning model. This model provides you with various instructional styles for each learning objective. With this unique model, you can find a method that appeals to your individual learning preference.


1356 Student Reviews
by Jasmond B. on October 8, 2015
Some questions are extraordinarily subjective. Examples include questions that ask which visual design element is best demonstrated in a given picture. Such questions leaves the student to try to figure out what the writer of the course might've thought was the best visual design element. While I may like the color scheme, the writer may subjectively conclude that the color scheme is not the best design component. The course should include only objective components that can be objectively measured/assessed.
by Jordan B. on February 7, 2019
I've taken 10 courses on Sophia, and this one was the easiest. If you need some quick credits, take this course. It's fun and interesting too.
by Thomas G. on January 8, 2019
Good course and not too difficult. Finished in just over a week (and I work a full time job).
by Madeline M. on February 10, 2017
This class was fun and easy. I don't want to advocate "easy A's" but this would definitely be Sophia'a easiest class out of the 7 I've taken.
by Keith B. on October 25, 2015
I enjoyed the course but I have concerns about blatant errors I found in the pre-MIlestone quizzes, as well as several subjective questions that do not have any measurable criteria within the course; for example questions where more than one answer is acceptable. The concern is that if these are incorrect in the prep testing, are they correct in the milestones themselves? We cannot see exactly what we answered incorrectly, so we cannot validate whether an answer is correct or incorrect according to the materials presented.
Sophia replied on October 26, 2015

Hi Keith -- thank you for your feedback and congratulations on your successful course completions. Milestones are summative assessments that have been through extensive testing and validation. As always, we do welcome any concerns about course content sent to learningcoach@sophia.org. We look forward to seeing you in a future course!

— Mike F. | Sophia Learning Coach
by Nadiera M. on October 9, 2015
This was a very informative course. I have gained a new perspective on appreciating my surroundings.
by Christina M. on March 3, 2019
This is such a great way to speed up the graduation process. I was slated to graduate in 2020 but because I can take these online electives, I am reducing my time to graduate by 6-8 months. Great program for the busy, active, and professional adult learner!
by Susan O. on September 20, 2016
Pretty easy course but some of the tutorials are out of order from the questions. You have to search ahead a few times.


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  • Q: How am I graded in the course?

    A: Sophia courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, with 70% overall required to pass the course. Your score is based upon points earned in the formative assessments ("Challenges"), summative assessments ("Milestones"), and if applicable, the authentic assessments ("Touchstones"). Currently, our Foundations of English Composition, English Composition I, and Public Speaking courses contain Touchstones.

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  • Q: I'm taking a course where I have to submit Touchstones. How long does it take for my Touchstone to be graded once it's submitted?

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