Mini-VLAT: A Short and Effective Measure of Data Visualization Literacy

Saugat Pandey and Alvitta Ottley

Abstract: The visualization community regards visualization literacy as a necessary skill. Yet, despite the recent increase in research into visualization literacy by the education and visualization communities, we lack practical and time-effective instruments for the widespread measurements of people's comprehension and interpretation of visual designs. We present Mini-VLAT, a brief but practical visualization literacy test. The Mini-VLAT is a 12-item short form of the 53-item Visualization Literacy Assessment Test (VLAT). The Mini-VLAT is reliable (coefficient omega = 0.72) and strongly correlates with the VLAT. Five visualization experts validated the Mini-VLAT items, yielding an average content validity ratio (CVR) of 0.6. We further validate Mini-VLAT by demonstrating a strong positive correlation between study participants' Mini-VLAT scores and their aptitude for learning an unfamiliar visualization using a Parallel Coordinate Plot test. Overall, the Mini-VLAT items showed a similar pattern of validity and reliability as the 53-item VLAT. The results show that Mini-VLAT is a psychometrically sound and practical short measure of visualization literacy.

Test (Online) Test (PDF) Paper
The 12 data visualizations used in the Mini-VLAT.
Acknowledgments: We acknowledge Melanie Bancilhon for her constructive advice when selecting and revising items for the Mini-VLAT. We thank the participants involved in the pilot study for helping us refine the items in the Mini-VLAT and the experts participating in the content validity evaluation. Lastly, we also thank Bum Chul Kwon and Sung-Hee Kim for sharing the data from the original pilot study. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2142977.