Faculty Publications


Using Eye-Trackers to Study Student Attention in Physical Science Classes.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

David Rosengrant

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Date Issued



Physics education researchers have had a strong impact on how professors teach physics and physical science courses. Faculty can find an instructional strategy to match their personal philosophies, yet how do students pay attention in those classes? There is the old belief that you have your students’ attention for the first 15 minutes of class but after that their attention declines. Researchers have studied student attention in the past but have not used an eye-tracker to truly capture what students look at during class. This study is the first to introduce eye-trackers to investigate student attention in a lecture or more accurately a large group instruction environment. I conducted this study in the fall and the spring semester of a physical science course. One student in each class wore an eye-tracker. I found that the first 15 minute adage is not necessarily true. Over the course of an entire class students have the ability to stay on-task fairly consistently.




Michigan State University

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.