Instructional suggestions supporting science learning in digital environments based on a review of eye tracking studies

Fang Ying Yang, Meng Jung Tsai, Guo Li Chiou, Silvia Wen Yu Lee, Cheng Chieh Chang, Li Ling Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)


The main purpose of this study was to provide instructional suggestions for supporting science learning in digital environments based on a review of eye tracking studies in e-learning related areas. Thirty-three eye-tracking studies from 2005 to 2014 were selected from the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) database for review. Through a literature analysis program, CATA, and in-depth content analysis of the research methods and findings, five research theme clusters were abstracted from the selected papers, namely, cognitive activities in processing multimedia presentations, multimedia effects, roles of personal factors, effects of instructional design, and learning with dynamic e-platforms. Based on the results of the in-depth theme analyses, it is suggested that the design of e-learning instruction should consider placing related text and graphics in adjacent areas, using one verbal mode at a time, and providing explicit and clear verbal explanations. When using animations, instructors need to explain carefully the goals and contents of the animations to reduce the extraneous cognitive load. In the dynamic learning environment, a pre-training program is necessary for students to become familiar with the new environment. Finally, individual differences such as background knowledge, cognitive abilities and cognitive styles should be taken into consideration in the instructional design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-45
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Digital learning
  • Digital learning environment
  • Eye tracking
  • Instructional design
  • Science learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)

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