Eye tracking and early detection of confusion in digital learning environments: Proof of concept

  • Mariya Pachman Science of Learning Research Centre/ Macquarie University http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9140-5502
  • Amaël Arguel Science of Learning Research Centre Macquarie University
  • Lori Lockyer Science of Learning Research Centre/ Macquarie University
  • Gregor Kennedy Science of Learning Research Centre/ University of Melbourne
  • Jason Lodge Science of Learning Research Centre/ University of Melbourne
Keywords: Eye-tracking, cognitive-affective states, virtual learning environments

Abstract

Research on incidence of and changes in confusion during complex learning and problem-solving calls for advanced methods of confusion detection in digital learning environments (DLEs). In this study we attempt to address this issue by investigating the use of multiple measures, including psychophysiological indicators and self-ratings, to detect confusion in DLEs. Participants were subjected to two intrinsically confusing insight problems in the form of visual digital puzzles. They were asked to solve problems while their eye trajectories were recorded and these data were triangulated with self-ratings of confusion and cued retrospective verbal reports. All participants had a significant increase in fixations on relevant (i.e., related to the solution) and not-relevant areas at an early stage of the problem-solving process. However, only fixations on not-relevant areas were positively correlated with confusion ratings. Moreover, participants who significantly solved the problem differed in their fixations duration on relevant and not-relevant areas from non-solvers. The importance of early detection of confusion and the affordances of emerging technologies for this purpose are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Mariya Pachman, Science of Learning Research Centre/ Macquarie University

Department of Educaitonal Studies

Research Fellow

Amaël Arguel, Science of Learning Research Centre Macquarie University

Department of Educaitonal Studies

Research Fellow

Lori Lockyer, Science of Learning Research Centre/ Macquarie University

Department of Educational Studies

Professor

VFFF Chair of Teacher Education

Gregor Kennedy, Science of Learning Research Centre/ University of Melbourne
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Educational Innovation), and Professor in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Jason Lodge, Science of Learning Research Centre/ University of Melbourne

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Research Fellow 

Published
2016-12-15
How to Cite
Pachman, M., Arguel, A., Lockyer, L., Kennedy, G., & Lodge, J. (2016). Eye tracking and early detection of confusion in digital learning environments: Proof of concept. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 32(6). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.3060