Frontline Learning Research

Rethinking Pedagogical Use of Eye Trackers for Visual Problems with Eye Gaze Interpretation Tasks

Written by David John and Ritayan Mitra (15 November 2023)

Eye tracking technology enables the visualisation of a problem solver's eye movement while working on a problem. The eye movement of experts has been used to draw attention to expert problem solving processes in a bid to teach procedural skills to learners. Such affordances appear as eye movement modelling examples (EMME) in the literature. This work intends to further this line of work by suggesting how eye gaze data can not only guide attention but also scaffold learning through constructive engagement with the problem solving process of another human. Inferring the models’ problem solving process, be it that of an expert or novice, from their eye gaze display would require a learner to make interpretations that are rooted in the knowledge elements relevant to such problem solving. Such tasks, if designed properly, are expected to probe or foster a deeper understanding of a topic as their solutions would require not only following the expert gaze to learn a particular skill, but also interpreting the solution process as evident from the gaze pattern of an expert or even of a novice. This position paper presents a case for such tasks, which we call eye gaze interpretation (EGI) tasks. We start with the theoretical background of these tasks, followed by a conceptual example and representation to elucidate the concept of EGI tasks. Thereafter, we discuss design considerations and pedagogical affordances, using a domain-specific (chemistry) spectral graph problem. Finally, we explore the possibilities and constraints of EGI tasks in various fields that require visual representations for problem solving.

Read full article