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Eye-Tracking for Evaluating Understanding

Project Full Title:

Using Eye-tracking to Determine Student Reading Patterns of Multiple Representations: Development of a Novel Time-sensitive Principal Component Analysis (PCA/Eigenvector) Approach

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Project Description:

Over the years, eye-tracking has proven to be an essential resource for Human- Computer Interaction Researchers around the globe. Eye-tracking is a technique where a subjectís eye movement can be measured in order to locate of his or her point of interest at any given time. Additionally, it allows researchers to observe the sequence in which the subject is looking from one location to another. This in return can permit observers to determine whether or not the movement of oneís eye can be used to indirectly study the cognitive responsiveness of a student. The overarching goal of this study is to utilize eye-tracking to determine whether Chemistry students have the ability to make conceptual connections between different representations of the same Chemistry information. Making use of microscopic, macroscopic and symbolic representations, we would be able to observe the variations in attention which the student give various representations to determine their understanding of the relationship between them. A novel approach to analyzing eye-tracking data will be discussed along with preliminary data showing how relational connections can be extracted from eye-tracking sequences to highlight differences in viewing patterns between different readers. This analysis is done using eigenvalue/eigenvector decomposition, also known as Factor Analysis or Principal Component Analysis.
This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Psychology . However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Chemistry.

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