Saß, S., Schütte, K., & Lindner, M. A. (2017). Test-takers’ eye movements: Effects of integration aids and types of graphical representations . Computers & Education , 109 , 85–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2017.02.007
The effect of integration aids (i.e., signals) on students’ processing of various graphical representations, such as pictures and diagrams, was investigated. Integration aids have the potential to support students in integrating multiple external representations, leading to increased comprehension and achievement.
Sixty students in grades 5 and 6 in Germany participated.
Students’ inspections of different graphical representations were examined by tracking eye movements. Eye movements were recorded while students completed 12 multiple choice questions on a science achievement assessment that was adapted from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS).
Students' age, science grade, reading ability, general cognitive ability, and time spent completing the test had no statistically significant impact on scores. Students scored higher on the test when diagrams were presented in integrated formats (i.e., text integrated in the diagram) compared to non-integrated formats (i.e., text separated from the diagram). Students spent more time looking at graphical representations in an integrated format compared to a non-integrated format.