A review of using eye-tracking technology in exploring learning from 2000 to 2012

Meng Lung Lai, Meng Jung Tsai, Fang Ying Yang*, Chung Yuan Hsu, Tzu Chien Liu, Silvia Wen Yu Lee, Min Hsien Lee, Guo Li Chiou, Jyh Chong Liang, Chin Chung Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

405 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to disclose how eye-tracking technology has been applied to studies of learning, and what eye movement measures have been used for investigations by reviewing studies that have employed the eye-tracking approach. A total of 81 papers including 113 studies were selected from the Social Sciences Citation Index database from 2000 to 2012. Content analysis showed that eye movements and learning were studied under the following seven themes: patterns of information processing, effects of instructional design, reexamination of existing theories, individual differences, effects of learning strategies, patterns of decision making, and conceptual development. As for eye-tracking measurements, the most often used indices were temporal measures, followed by count and spatial measures, although the choice of measures was often motivated by the specific research question. Research development trends show that the use of the eye-tracking method has proliferated recently. This study concludes that the eye-tracking method provides a promising channel for educational researchers to connect learning outcomes to cognitive processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-115
Number of pages26
JournalEducational Research Review
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec


  • Eye movements
  • Eye tracking
  • Process of learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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