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September 16, 2013

Eye-tracking technology now available for Purdue researchers

A new remote eye-tracking device at the Discovery Learning Research Center is available for use by faculty, staff and graduate students engaged in STEM-related learning research. The equipment, located in the Hall for Discovery Learning Research, will be used in the development and evaluation of digital curricula and instructional materials.

Development and evaluation of multimedia educational materials can be limited by inadequate knowledge of how the learner is interacting with the content. Eye trackers can fill this research gap, as they are ideal for studying how a learner uses any content that can be presented in a digital format. 

The eye-tracking device, a Tobii model TX300, allows subjects to have freedom of head movement so they may interact naturally with the system as they would with any computer. It is capable of providing information about the location, sequence, and duration of a participant's gaze fixations.

Eye movements and fixation duration can be linked to cognitive activities. For example, fixation duration can be related to subject complexity while fixation sequence can elucidate information-processing strategies. With the Tobii TX300 eye tracker system at the DLRC, researchers will be able to get a view of learning and cognition that is impossible with current paper and online assessment materials.

The eye-tracking equipment is available upon request. Users of the eye tracker will be required to attend training. Contact Debora Steffen at dmsteffen@purdue.edufor more information. 

More about the DLRC is at www.purdue.edu/discoverypark/learningcenter.