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Adaptive multimedia: Using gaze-contingent instructional guidance to provide personalized processing support

, , , Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany ; , , Media University Stuttgart, Germany ; , University of Tübingen, Germany ; , , Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany

Computers & Education Volume 139, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The goal of the study was to develop an adaptive, gaze-contingent learning environment that would support learners in their information-processing behavior when learning from illustrated texts. To this end, three experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1 (N = 32) three groups of learners were identified based on differences in their eye movements obtained while they were learning with a non-adaptive multimedia learning environment. The group of learners who displayed longer fixations times and higher fixations counts on text and pictures as well as more text-picture transitions had better learning outcomes than a group with a less intense information-processing behavior. These findings were used to develop a gaze-contingent adaptive system. It analyzes learners’ eye movements during learning in real time and - in case of poor information processing (i.e., behavior similar to that of the unsuccessful learner group in Experiment 1) - alters the presentation of the materials in a way that is expected to trigger a more adequate processing (e.g., by highlighting relations between text and pictures). In Experiment 2 (N = 79) and Experiment 3 (N = 62) the adaptive multimedia learning system was compared to a non-adaptive, static presentation of the same materials. Experiment 2 showed no differences between both learning systems in terms of learning outcome. In Experiment 3, where the thresholds for adaptive responses were slightly modified, the gaze-based adaptive system hindered learners with weaker cognitive prerequisites, but tended to support learners with stronger cognitive prerequisites. Possible reasons are discussed and future research directions suggested.


Scheiter, K., Schubert, C., Schüler, A., Schmidt, H., Zimmermann, G., Wassermann, B., Krebs, M.C. & Eder, T. (2019). Adaptive multimedia: Using gaze-contingent instructional guidance to provide personalized processing support. Computers & Education, 139(1), 31-47. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 20, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on June 3, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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