Using Eye-Tracking Technology to Understand How Graphic Organizers Aid Student Learning

Using Eye-Tracking Technology to Understand How Graphic Organizers Aid Student Learning

Linlin Luo (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA), Kenneth A. Kiewra (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA), Markeya S. Peteranetz (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA) and Abraham E. Flanigan (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1005-5.ch011
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Abstract

In the past three decades, several studies have found an achievement advantage for studying graphic organizers such as a hierarchy or matrix over studying linear displays such as a text or outline (e.g., Dye, 2000; Guri-Rosenblit, 1989; Kauffman & Kiewra, 2010). However, little was learned about how students study graphic organizers and the cognitive processes involved. Recently, the advancement of eye-tracking technology has provided a means to examine how students actually study graphic organizers and the types of processing that occur. The purpose of this chapter is to explore how eye-tracking technology can be used to understand how graphic organizers aid student learning. Specifically, this chapter introduces graphic organizer research and theory, reviews recent research that used eye-tracking technology to study graphic organizers, and offers future research directions.
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Introduction

Although it has long been established that studying graphic organizers such as hierarchies or matrices results in higher achievement than studying linear text such as outlines (e.g., Dee-Lucas & Larkin, 1995; Guri-Rosenblit, 1989; Kauffman & Kiewra, 2010; Robinson, 1998), little is known about how graphic organizers are actually studied. More recently, investigators have used eye-tracking methods to determine how students study graphic organizers (e.g., Luo, Peteranetz, Flanigan, Witte, & Kiewra, 2014; Ponce & Mayer, 2014a, b; Salmerón, Baccino, Cañas, Madrid, & Fajardo, 2009). The purpose of this chapter is to describe how eye-tracking technology is used to investigate how students study graphic organizers and to report what has been found. Toward that end, this chapter:

  • 1.

    Introduces graphic organizers,

  • 2.

    Reviews graphic organizer research and theory,

  • 3.

    Specifies research limitations and the need for eye-tracking technology,

  • 4.

    Reviews eye tracking in educational research,

  • 5.

    Explores eye-tracking methods and findings related expressly to the study of graphic organizers, and

  • 6.

    Identifies research limitations and proposes future research directions.

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