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Study: Eye-Tracking May Help Struggling Readers

Study: Eye-Tracking May Help Struggling Readers

Researchers have found that eye-tracking can be useful for struggling readers as they watch and learn from the eye movements of proven expert readers, according to EdSurge.com.

The studies, led by Lucia Mason of the University of Padova, used videos that recorded and analyzed the eye movements of expert readers through eye-tracking technology to "convey a sense of when he looked at each word or diagram, and for how long."

"The researchers hypothesized that watching the video would improve learning, with the specific reason being that it would help students understand how to integrate the diagrams with the text," the article said.

At the end of the study, this proved to be true. The study used a group of 42 middle school students, and time and time again the results found that students who watched the eye-tracking video scored "higher on both verbal recall and transfer of knowledge," the two indicators used to detect reading comprehension.

Mason and her team conducted a follow-up study with 60 different students and found even more conclusive findings when using the eye-tracking videos.

"For students with low reading comprehension, the video led to significant improvements in verbal recall and knowledge transfer. For competent readers, there were no effects. These results suggest that watching video of eye movements may be particularly helpful for struggling students," the article said.

Though the experiments with eye-tracking videos have only included reading so far, the article suggests it could be beneficial across subjects.

"... watching where a person looks as they do an algebra or geometry problem could provide a unique way to observe how a problem ought to be done. Similarly, watching the eye movements of somebody working on a piece of code may be useful for computer science students."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/28/2015

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