Girl doing online schooling

Learning and education

Eye tracking and understanding learning processes

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

Teacher teaching math online

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.

A gaze plot generated during the course.

Rich insights

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.

Perfusionist training at Berlin Heart Center with Tobii Pro Glasses2

Enhanced training

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.

Classroom studies with eye tracking

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

  • Cognitive load

  • Problem solving

  • Decision making

  • Reading skills

Research setups for educational studies

Reading Research with Tobii Pro Spectrum Eye Tracker

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.

Tobii Pro Fusion eye tracker used to test a baby

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.

Baby looking at puppets using Spectrum

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.

Tobii Pro Glasses 3 used to check mobile phone

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.

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Eye tracking classroom equipped with Tobii Pro X2-60 eye trackers.

Eye tracking classroom expands horizons

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.

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Tobii Pro Glasses 3 - IF Design award and Reddot Winner 2021

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Designed for the real world, our third-generation wearable eye tracker allows you to conduct behavioral research in a wide range of settings.

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Tobii Pro Fusion

Screen-based eye tracker, capturing gaze data at speeds up to 250 Hz. This powerful research system supports from fixation to saccade-based research outside of the lab.

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Tobii Pro Spectrum monitor

Tobii Pro Spectrum

This high-performance research system captures gaze data at speeds up to 1200 Hz. A screen-based eye tracker for extensive research from fixation-based studies to micro-saccades.

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Tobii Pro Spark

New! Tobii Pro Spark

A powerful screen-based eye tracker, capturing gaze data at 60 Hz. With this affordable system, anyone can easily enhance their research with data that illuminates human attention and intent.

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Tobii Pro Lab

Tobii Pro Lab

Tobii Pro Lab, our eye tracking software supporting screen-based and wearable eye trackers. Guides the researcher through the entire research workflow.

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Tobii Pro Spark is our new entry-level research eye tracker, offering attention data and powerful insights to more researchers across the world.

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Relevant eye tracking studies

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.

Enabling success

Tobii offers tailored support to address research needs throughout your journey with Tobii’s eye tracking.

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Tobii Funding support services

Tobii Funding support services help you improve your grant proposals for research that includes eye tracking in its methodology

Tobii Connect

Tobii Connect

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.

Tobii Academy

Tobii Academy

Tobii Academy our online learning platform, helping you ensure study success at every step of the way from study design to interpreting your eye tracking data.

Publications

Klein P, Lichtenberger A, Küchemann S, Becker S, Kekule M, Viiri J, et al. Visual attention while solving the test of understanding graphs in kinematics: an eye-tracking analysis. Eur J Phys. 2020 Feb;41(2):025701.

Łuniewska M, Wójcik M, Jednoróg K. The effect of inter-letter spacing on reading performance and eye movements in typically reading and dyslexic children. Learn Instr. 2021 Nov 26;101576. 

Southwell R, Gregg J, Bixler R, D’Mello SK. What Eye Movements Reveal About Later Comprehension of Long Connected Texts. Cogn Sci. 2020;44(10):e12905.

Liu T, Yuizono T. Mind Mapping Training’s Effects on Reading Ability: Detection Based on Eye Tracking Sensors. Sensors. 2020 Jan;20(16):4422.  

Evans-Harvey K, Erridge S, Karamchandani U, Abdalla S, Beatty JW, Darzi A, et al. Comparison of surgeon gaze behaviour against objective skill assessment in laparoscopic cholecystectomy-a prospective cohort study. Int J Surg. 2020 Oct 1;82:149–55.