The essence of multimedia design is optimizing how things appear to the eye when looking at a screen with digital content. Content that is placed in ways that catch the eye and take advantage of available space is more likely to be remembered, and for learning purposes, remembering the content is crucial. Eye trackers can now be used to record how the eye moves when learners are looking at educational content. Such recordings can provide insight into what engages learners the most and what kind of multimedia design can lead to the best learning outcomes. In a study performed by Drs. Xue Wang, Richard E. Mayer, Pu Zhou, and Lin Lin, eye tracking technology revealed that content that was graphically interactive led to better learning outcomes of content that was text only. In a similar study by Drs. Xue Wang, Lin Lin, Meiqi Han, and Michael Spector, eye tracking technology revealed that added text or graphic cues in instructional videos helped students with retention and transfer tests over students who were not given the cues. While these findings are insightful, there is still much research to be performed concerning the use of eye trackers in education.
For more information about multimedia design and the use of eye tracking technology in education, please see the publications below:
• Wang, X., Lin, L., Han, M. & Spector, J. (2020). Impacts of cues on learning: Using eye-tracking technologies to examine the functions and designs of added cues in short instructional videos. Computers in Human Behavior, 107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106279
• Wang, X., Mayer, R. E., Zhou, P. & Lin, L. (2020, August 27). Benefits of interactive graphic organizers in online learning: Evidence for generative learning theory. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037.edu000606