Eye tracking and studying examples: how novices and advanced learners study SQL examples
Eye tracking provides information about a user’s eye gaze movements. For many years, eye tracking has been used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research. Similarly, research on computerised educational systems also relies heavily on students’ interactions with systems, and therefore eye tracking has been used to study and improve learning. We have recently conducted several studies on using worked examples in addition to scaffolded problem solving. The goal of the project reported in this paper was to investigate how novices and advanced students learn from examples. The study was performed in the context of SQL-Tutor, a mature Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) that teaches SQL. We propose a new technique to analyse eye-gaze patterns named EGPA. In order to comprehend an SQL example, students require the information about tables’ names and their attributes which are available in a database schema. Thus, if students paid attention to the database schema, they would understand SQL examples more easily. We analysed students’ eye movement data from different perspectives, and found that advanced students paid more attention to database schema than novices. In future work, we will use the findings from this study to provide proactive feedback or individualised amounts of information.