Eye-gaze tracking as a tool for chemical education investigations

CHED 365

William S. Harwood, harwoodw@uni.edu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Northern Iowa, 1227 W. 27th St, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0423
This presentation will discuss eye-gaze tracking as a technique relatively new to chemical education research. Eye-gaze tracking has been used by cognitive psychologists for over 30 years. The technique provides a means to obtain quantitative data regarding how subjects interact with and use visual information. Data is quantitative and can be evaluated across subjects, to assess an individual, and/or to obtain temporal or time static information. Chemistry is a subject that makes tremendous use of visual models and a variety of visual displays of data. Understanding how individuals evaluate and process these visual models provides insight into how students learn chemistry, how cognitive processing errors can be triggered, and may guide how to present concepts and information in ways that are more quickly understood by novices. Several examples will be discussed. Equipment options and details of the using the technique will also be described.