EVALUATION OF VISUAL LITERACY IN THE METABOLIC PATHWAYS

E. A. Oliveira, B. C. Rossi-Rodrigues, E. Galembeck

Resumo


External representations (ERs), such as diagrams and animations have  an important  role  in  biochemistry  education;  it  allows  the  understanding of abstract concepts and phenomena. Visual literacy (the interpreting, thinking and learning capacities  using images),  has been pointed out as the main cause of  student’s difficulties  to  comprehend ERs.  To evaluate the visual skills on  metabolic pathways, a computer based exam was designed and applied to the undergraduate Biology students at  Unicamp.  The  exam was based on questions that require ERs understanding . The simbology adopted is the most often used in biochemistry textbooks.  The target concepts evaluated were defined previously, and clustered in categories to define the visual literacy  skills to be evaluated. The exam  was supported by  both  multiple choice questions and interactive  questions such as "click and drag", and taken  by  83 students.  The analysis was performed using the average scores  of each question.  The lowest scored questions involves: 1) the identification of every substrate and product in a given metabolic pathways; 2) the  understanding of the dynamics of the cyclical pathways diagrams; 3) to drag and drop icons to build a reaction diagram;  4)  the  recognition of compounds involved in the  oxidation-reduction reactions. These results  pointed out some of the major difficulties that the students have on interpreting ERs.

Palavras-chave


visual literacy, skills visualization, education, metabolic pathways.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.16923/reb.v6i1.97

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