Gaze tracking variables as indicators of learning
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The process of learning contains multiple aspects, whose intricacies have yet to be fully understood. The current experiment utilized gaze tracking technology to observe whether variables in subjects' gaze (e.g total time spent on a given image, percentage of time spent on cognitively salient features of the image) was predictive of the subject learning the material. Subjects consisted of students from a Medical Gross Anatomy course, who were tested twice-once before they had learned the course and once after they had learned a certain amount of material. Following the baseline testing, subjects were broken up into three groups, A, B and C, each representing a later visit in the course. Results indicated that groups B and C tended to spend more time on cognitively salient areas of interest, but this was moderated by familiarity. Moreover, results indicated that groups B and C tended to spend more time on images overall (end time) compared with group A or the baseline group. Overall, the results obtained were ambiguous, and warrant further study in order to arrive at a clear conclusion. Future directions of study may want to consider other gaze tracking variables, such as the time at which a subject first looks at a cognitively salient area of interest.