A systematic review of trends and findings in research employing drawing assessment in science education

Hsin Yi Chang, Tzung Jin Lin, Min Hsien Lee, Silvia Wen Yu Lee, Tzu Chiang Lin, Aik Ling Tan, Chin Chung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we reviewed 76 journal articles on employing drawing assessment as a research tool in science education. Findings from the systematic review suggest four justifications for using drawing as a type of research tool, including assessment via drawing as (a) an alternative method considering young participants’ verbal or writing abilities, and affective or economic reasons, (b) a unique method that can reveal aspects not easily measured by other methods, (c) a major method that reflects characteristics of science subjects, and (d) a formative assessment to diagnose students’ ideas to benefit their learning. Furthermore, five research trends of studies using drawing as assessment tools are identified, including: (a) students’ conceptions of scientists from the Draw-a-Scientist-Test (DAST) and evolving studies, (b) students’ understanding or mental models of science concepts, (c) participants’ conceptions of science learning or teaching, (d) students’ inquiry abilities and modelling skills via drawing, and (e) technology to support drawing. For each trend, we synthesised and commented on the current findings. A framework conceptualising phases and issues when designing research and instruments employing drawing assessments is proposed. The review provides insights into the design and future direction of research employing drawing assessments in science education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-110
Number of pages34
JournalStudies in Science Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 2


  • Drawing
  • assessment
  • research tool
  • review
  • science learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of trends and findings in research employing drawing assessment in science education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this