Internet Self-Efficacy and Visual Search Strategies: The Use of Eye Tracking Technology in the Development of Web-Based Learning Resources

Peter Eachus, Simon Cassidy, Sarah Norgate, Lynne Marrow, Leah Greene
InSITE 2008  •  Volume 8  •  2008
Higher Education is increasingly relying on e-leaming as a means of providing students with teaching and learning resources. Almost inevitably, this means that students interact with these learning resources through the medium of the computer screen. Although there have been significant advances in the design and implementation of on-line resources, exactly how students interact with these resources is a relatively new field of research. In this study, students were asked to interact with three types of virtual learning environment, i.e. BlackBoard, IngentaConnect and Wikipedia, while their eye movements were scanned and recorded using a Tobii 1750 eye tracking system. The data gathered was analysed dynamically, statistically, and graphically in order to identify search patterns and “hot spots” within the online information source. The data was also correlated with a measure of Internet self-efficacy, the Web User Self-Efficacy scale (WUSE). Preliminary findings suggest that qualitative data obtained in this type of study may prove more useful than quantitative data.
Eye tracking, Internet self-efficacy, visual search, e-learning
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