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This study describes the impact of embedding dynamic computer visualization (DCV) in an online instrument that was designed to assess students’ understanding of osmosis. The randomized posttest-only control group research was designed to compare the effect and the perceived helpfulness of the integration of DCV before and after the administration of an osmosis instrument. College students from three large classes (N = 640) were randomly assigned to participate in the research through an online system. Rasch-PCM was applied to determine the psychometric properties of the instrument and differentiate the student’s understanding of osmosis. Welch two-sample t test was applied to examine whether there was significant discrepancy between groups. Multiple regressions analysis was conducted to evaluate the association between predictors and the student’s understanding level, alluding to the performance on the online instrument. We found (a) the psychometric properties of the instrument with DCVs were reliable with good construct validity, (b) students who viewed DCV before they took the assessment performed better than those without, especially on solvation-related items, (c) students’ time spent on the DCVs significantly contributed to their performance, (d) the current data analytics enabled us to study respondents’ DCV navigation behavior, and (e) we summarized how participants perceived DCVs that are in the assessment. Educational implications and significance of this study is also discussed.




Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning (2017) 12:26

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