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Assessment of visualisation skills in biochemistry students
University of Johannesburg, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0361-0002
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Visual Learning and Communication)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8888-6843
Purdue University, United States.
2016 (English)In: South African Journal of Science, ISSN 0038-2353, E-ISSN 1996-7489, Vol. 112, no 9/10, 1-8 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the field of biochemistry, the use of external representations such as static diagrams and animations has increased rapidly in recent years. However, their effectiveness as instructional tools can be hindered if students lack the visual literacy and cognitive skills necessary for processing and interpreting such representations. We aimed to identify and assess visualisation skills necessary for effective processing of external representations in biochemistry. We used a modified Bloom’s taxonomy to identify the cognitive skills essential for optimal visual literacy, and designed probes based on those skills to develop a test instrument. Student responses to the probes were scored and processed with the Rasch model. This approach enabled us to rate the degree of difficulty of each visualisation skill on a linear logit scale, and to generate a person–item map to measure biochemistry students’ level of visual literacy. The results showed that the identified visualisation skills could be measured reliably, and the Rasch model was effective both for ranking the skills according to level of difficulty and for estimating a student’s relative level of visual literacy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
South Africa: Academy of Science of South Africa , 2016. Vol. 112, no 9/10, 1-8 p.
Keyword [en]
external representations; Rasch model; visual literacy
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132030DOI: 10.17159/sajs.2016/20150412OAI: diva2:1037458

Research was Funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF, South Africa)

Available from: 2016-10-15 Created: 2016-10-15 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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