Eye Tracking Students: Helping Us Learn How We Learn

Valuable Study

Something valuable to study with eye tracking would be students when teachers have a PowerPoint up and they are lecturing in class.

Why is eye tracking useful in studying this?

Eye tracking would be useful for this kind of study so that teachers would be able to find different ways to grab (and keep) the student’s attention based on what they look at first and watch what catches their eyes. Teachers would also be able to learn about what colors pop more, what people gravitate to and for how long, etc.

Would it be better to have multiple methods?

It could potentially be helpful to have multiple methods for this study but it isn’t necessary.

powerpoint-01.jpg

Organization of the Study

A survey will be handed out to said students within this age group inquiring the following information:

  • Age and grade
    • Example: Students in high school (ages 14-18)
  • Whether these students have ADD or ADHD or not because their focus and attention span will different from those without
    • If yes, if they are on medication for it

*This is not meant as an insult to those with ADD/ADHD but it does make a difference! I have severe ADHD myself and I am on 2 separate medications so I understand firsthand that eye tracking for people with and without ADD/ADHD will differ.

  • What subjects they are taking currently
    • We would have the information on the slides related to one specific subject that each student is enrolled in
  • Their learning styles
    • Example: Visual learner, audible learner, etc.

Apparatus would measure and record the eye movements.

Different slides would be organized in different ways, varying with word counts, pictures and colors shown.

Hopeful Discoveries

I would hope to discover what catches the student’s attention first and also what holds it the longest.

  • Fixation frequency would be determined by how many times the student looks at a specific word or picture or color and possibly why they do so
  • Fixation duration would tell us how long each student looks at something specific and could potentially tell us why–do they not understand it and need more time looking at it? Did it just catch their eye more than other things on the page? Etc.
  • Fixation sequence would help understand in what order the student scans the page and could potentially give us more information about their thought process and even help teachers understand the way their students learn and process information and then, in turn, change the way they teach to better fit the needs of the students

Challenges of the Study 

The biggest challenge of the study is that each student is different, each student learns differently and has a different though process. So although they are all looking at the same slides, it may be harder to understand how effective a specific color or picture or font of words is because each student may have varied reactions. The best way to counteract that is to group specific students together that we know learn the same way and compare and contrast notes between each grouping of students so we have the most controlled and accurate study possible.

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