How gaze time on screen impacts the efficacy of visual instructions

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Abstract

This article explores whether GTS (gaze time on screen) can be useful as an engagement measure in the screen mediated learning context. Research that exemplifies ways of measuring engagement in the on-line education context usually does not address engagement metrics and engagement evaluation methods that are unique to the diverse contemporary instructional media landscape. Nevertheless, unambiguous construct definitions of engagement and standardized engagement evaluation methods are needed to leverage instructional media's efficacy. By analyzing the results from a mixed methods eye-tracking study of fifty-seven participants evaluating their visual and assembly performance levels in relation to three visual, procedural instructions that are versions of the same procedural instruction, we found that the mean GTS-values in each group were rather similar. However, the original GTS-values outputted from the ET-computer were not entirely correct and needed to be manually checked and cross validated. Thus, GTS appears not to be a reliable, universally applicable automatic engagement measure in screen-based instructional efforts. Still, we could establish that the overall performance of learners was somewhat negatively impacted by lower than mean GTS-scores, when checking the performance levels of the entire group (N = 57). When checking the stimuli groups individually (N = 17, 20, 20), the structural diagram group's assembly time durations were positively influenced by higher than mean GTS-scores.

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Eriksson, P. E., Swenberg, T., Zhao, X., & Eriksson, Y. (2018). How gaze time on screen impacts the efficacy of visual instructions. Heliyon, 4(6). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00660

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