we are proud and would like to introduce you to our invited speakers
Norbert J. Pienta
Norb Pienta retired after a 40 year career in academics in 2018 and after a 10-year term as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Education in 2019. He earned a BS in chemistry from the University of Rochester (1974) and PhD at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1978), studying synthetic and mechanistic implications of organic photochemisty. Subsequently, he completed postdoctoral work with Ned Arnett at the Univ of Pittsburgh and Duke University (1978-80). He rose through the academic ranks at the Univ of Arkansas, Fayetteville (1980-9), Univ of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1989-99), Univ of Iowa (1999-2012), and Univ of Georgia (2012-8). For the first 15 years, he conducted research and scholarship in mechanistic organic chemistry, and for the last 25 years in chemistry education. His latter studies included student problem solving, the use of technology in lecture and the laboratories, online-based learning and self-assessment, and student interpretation of chemical representations.
Explorations in the Use of Eye Tracking to Inform Chemistry Education Research
The use of eye tracking in science education has greatly expanded since the mid-1990s. The presentation will outline efforts by our research group to explore the scope and potential use of the methodology and its use to understand student problem solving in introductory chemistry classes. A summary of each study and highlights of the outcomes will be presented. The first example comes from a project to study cognitive load in word problems assigned as exercises and self-assessment. Software generated questions with varying degrees of complexity, algorithmically selected from a set of variables, and logistic regression was used to probe the effect of those variables. For the eye tracking portion, a student would be given the question, a whiteboard space, and an electronic calculator that all appeared on the Tobii monitor. We examined gaze duration and pathways, comparing more and less successful students for which differences were found. In a second, different project, students were asked to identify structural portions (i.e., functional groups) in representations of simple organic molecules. There are several ways to represent those structures in two dimensions, one using lines and letters to denote chemical bonds and atoms and a second, ball-and-stick, showing the atoms as balls and the bonds as sticks. The former types were very common in textbooks, while that latter was thought to be equivalent to using plastic models that can be assembled and manipulated by hand. Based on gaze duration, students had more difficulty with the latter. The third project examined students’ use of spectral data to match a proton nuclear magnetic resonance (i.e., H-NMR) spectrum with potential molecular structures of simple molecules. Gaze duration and paths showed significant differences between novices (2nd year undergraduates) and experts (2nd or 3rd year undergraduates).
Prof. Dr. Halszka Jarodzka
Halszka Jarodzka studied Psychology at the University of Tuebingen in Germany since 2001. Afterwards, she worked as a junior scientist and conducted her PhD at the Leibniz-Institute for Knowledge Media in Tuebingen, Germany. In 2010 she was appointed assistant professor at the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technology in Heerlen, the Netherlands. In 2014 she initiated and chaired a Special Interest Group within the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). From 2014-2018 she was employed as a visiting scholar at the large eye-tracking laboratory at the Humanities Lab at Lund University, Sweden. Since 2019 she is a full professor of Educational Science at the Open University of the Netherlands and chair of the department "Online learning and Instruction". She chairs the university-broad ethical committee and represents the university within a nation-wide initiative to recognize and reward academic careers more broadly ('recognition and rewards' commission of the VSNU).
Her research interests lie in using eye-tracking to better understand and to improve processes underlying learning and testing. Therein, she focuses on three research topics: (1) unraveling, which cognitive and perceptual processes characterize expertise in a certain profession and how do these processes develop over time. (2) Using eye-tracking data of teachers directly to guide learners' attention within video tutorials in the form of so-called Eye Movement Modeling Examples. (3) Improving the instructional design of computer-based learning and testing multimedia environments based on insights from eye-tracking research.
Eye-tracking in Educational Science: What is there to gain and what is there to worry about?
Eye-tracking sheds light on how learning happens: it allows us to directly observe learning unfolding as a process and not only the outcome of it. Although most cognitive theories on learning assume diverse underlying processes, only with eye-tracking we can explore them directly. In this presentation, I want to showcase in which diverse areas eye-tracking has helped us to advance our understanding of processes underlying learning, testing and the development of expertise. I also want to share our most recent research agendas to advance this field even further, such as, design guidelines for educational videos, combinations of eye-tracking with learning analytics or the use of multimedia in testing. However, I also want to discuss the potential threats of eye-tracking in educational practice, such as overinterpreting the meaning of eye-tracking data or its potential threat to data privacy (cf. GDPR).