Eye tracking is an established method for observing and collecting behavioral data, such as eye movements and pupil dilation. It helps researchers dig deep into the learning process by acquiring objective and accurate insights. In addition, pupillometric data allows for the measurement of cognitive effort required to complete a task.
The benefits of eye tracking in learning and education
An enabler for digital transformation
Eye tracking is an efficient and accurate way to capture what a person pays attention to. For this reason, it can be put to great use in digital learning and education applications, including assessment, remedial measures, and follow-up. As an enabler for digital transformation, eye tracking helps speed up didactic processes, supporting continued assessment and individualized training and therapies.
Traditional assessment indicators, such as task completion time, are a broad indication of potential learning difficulties. Eye tracking can provide much richer insights, like the pattern of saccades and fixations our eyes produce when reading or how our pupils dilate when exposed to complex material. These kinds of insights reveal reading ability and can also be used to assess cognitive load and identify other issues like dyslexia, for example.
You can use the technology to show trainees what an expert looks at, the order in which they look at objects, and what captures their attention — proven to be a more robust way of retaining information.
Eye tracking in the classroom
We see a growing interest from universities to equip entire classrooms and labs with eye tracking technology and to develop hands-on courses that prepare students to practically apply eye tracking in their later careers.
What you can measure with eye tracking
The eye tracking solution with a dedicated application, like our software Tobii Pro Lab, can further process the eye tracking data to draw valuable conclusions on a wide variety of cognitive processes, including:
Focus of attention
Research setups for educational studies
Screen-based for the lab
For lab environments, our screen-based eye trackers, Tobii Pro Spectrum and Tobii Pro Fusion, produce visual stimuli on a screen and work together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on study participant reactions.
Screen-based for the field
You can connect the plug-and-play Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker to any screen at a school or day-care facility to collect data in a nonintrusive way. Works together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on behavior.
Standalone for the lab
If your study requires students to observe or interact with physical objects or an instructor, you can use Tobii Pro Spectrum in standalone mode. Works together with Tobii Pro Lab to deliver insights on behavior.
Wearable for the real world
Designed for on-the-go data capture, our Tobii Pro Glasses 3 wearable eye tracker allows students to interact and move around freely, and enables you to design studies that closely reflect real-world scenarios — for the lab and the field.
The Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies at the Slovak University of Technology, the largest and oldest university of technology in Slovakia, has introduced a fully-equipped eye tracking classroom, as well as an eye tracking lab.
Dr. Stefan Küchemann shows how mobile eye tracking extends the range of possible eye tracking applications in physics education research and demonstrate underlying visual strategies during the generation process of visual representations and during experimentation.
Dr. Stefan Küchemann demonstrates two scenarios which aim to reveal the visual attention distribution and interactions of students in real-world learning environment in physics with a high ecological validity.
Comparison of written and spoken instruction to foster coordination between diagram and equation in undergraduate physics education
The study of Ruf and colleagues (2022) compared the effectiveness of written and spoken instruction for a better understanding of diagrams and equations in undergraduate physics education. For this purpose, the researchers used a Tobii X3-120 to record the eye movements of study participants before and after receiving text- or audio-based instructions. The analysis of the fixation duration and numbers of gaze switches between relevant parts of the instruction revealed that participants with audio-based instructions outperformed those with text-based instructions.
Code Reviews in C++: Preliminary results from an eye tracking study
Hauser and colleagues (2020) used a Tobii Pro Spectrum 600 to compare the eye movements of experts, advanced programmers, and novices while reviewing C++ code examples. The researchers analyzed fixation duration and number of fixations to determine performance. The eye tracking data revealed a more efficient reviewing strategy in advanced and expert programmers compared with novices.
Eye-Mind reader: an intelligent reading interface that promotes long-term comprehension by detecting and responding to mind wandering
Mills and colleagues (2021) combined Tobii TX300 eye tracker with Eye-Mind Reader — a system designed to detect and diminish the negative effects of mind-wandering on reading comprehension. To detect mind wandering, the system leverages the reader’s eye movements — fixation, saccade duration, amplitude, and velocity — as well as blink and pupil diameter features. The study findings suggest that real-time interventions during mind-wandering promote text retention and comprehension.
Tobii Connect delivers product documentation, how-to guides, and answers to FAQs as well as access to software updates. Our customer care services help with any technical issues concerning Tobii products.