The Use of Eye-gaze to Understand Multimedia Learning

The Use of Eye-gaze to Understand Multimedia Learning

Malinda Desjarlais (Mount Royal University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1005-5.ch007

Abstract

There is great interest in how learners construct knowledge when presented with multimedia. Although information has been gained from evaluating recall performance across multimedia conditions, the use of eye-gaze indices for understanding multimedia learning is becoming increasingly popular. Within the multimedia learning literature, researchers have used duration, frequency and sequence of fixations as well as shifts in eye-gaze to identify differences regarding the selection, organization, and integration of information among learners. The current chapter provides a discussion of eye-gaze measures that have been employed in multimedia research and their related interpretations for the attentional process that takes place during the learning phase. In addition, considerations for using eye-gaze measures to understand multimedia learning are presented.
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Background On Eye-Gaze Research

According to the eye-mind hypothesis (Just & Carpenter, 1980) and the assumption of the eye-mind link (Reichle, Pollatsek, & Rayner, 2006), there is a close association between the element of the visual field a person is fixating on (aka overt attention) and his/her cognitive attention (aka covert attention). It is assumed that individuals are attending to the element of the visual field which their eyes are fixated (Anderson, 2000; Wang, 2011). When people attend to information they make a sequence of fixations separated by fast eye movements known as saccades. Fixations capture the motionless gaze or pauses that typically last about 200-500ms when visual information enters the information processing system; on the other hand, vision is suppressed during saccades (Rayner, 1998; Viviani, 1990). Therefore, information abstracted from learners’ fixations - including duration, frequency, location, or sequence - has been considered the most meaningful for understanding attentional processes during multimedia learning.

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