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written by Pascal Klein, Jouni Viiri, and Jochen Kuhn
The coordination of multiple external representations is important for learning, but yet a difficult task for students, requiring instructional support. The subject in this study covers a typical relation in physics between abstract mathematical equations (definitions of divergence and curl) and a visual representation (vector field plot). To support the connection across both representations, two instructions with written explanations, equations, and visual representations (differing only in the presence of visual cues) were designed and their impact on students' performance was tested. We captured students' eye movements while they processed the written instruction and solved subsequent coordination tasks. The results show that students instructed with visual cues (VC students) performed better, responded with higher confidence, experienced less mental effort, and rated the instructional quality better than students instructed without cues. Advanced eye-tracking data analysis methods reveal that cognitive integration processes appear in both groups at the same point in time but they are significantly more pronounced for VC students, reflecting a greater attempt to construct a coherent mental representation during the learning process. Furthermore, visual cues increase the fixation count and total fixation duration on relevant information. During problem solving, the saccadic eye movement pattern of VC students is similar to experts in this domain. The outcomes imply that visual cues can be beneficial in coordination tasks, even for students with high domain knowledge. The study strongly confirms an important multimedia design principle in instruction, that is, that highlighting conceptually relevant information shifts attention to relevant information and thus promotes learning and problem solving. Even more, visual cues can positively influence students' perception of course materials.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 1, Pages 010126
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Technology
= Multimedia
Education - Basic Research
- Problem Solving
= Representational Use
Mathematical Tools
- Vector Calculus
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 16, 2019 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
June 12, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 9, 2019
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AIP Format
P. Klein, J. Viiri, and J. Kuhn, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010126 (2019), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126).
AJP/PRST-PER
P. Klein, J. Viiri, and J. Kuhn, Visual cues improve students’ understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (1), 010126 (2019), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126>.
APA Format
Klein, P., Viiri, J., & Kuhn, J. (2019, May 9). Visual cues improve students’ understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(1), 010126. Retrieved October 22, 2019, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126
Chicago Format
Klein, P, J. Viiri, and J. Kuhn. "Visual cues improve students’ understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 1, (May 9, 2019): 010126, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126 (accessed 22 October 2019).
MLA Format
Klein, Pascal, Jouni Viiri, and Jochen Kuhn. "Visual cues improve students’ understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.1 (2019): 010126. 22 Oct. 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Pascal Klein and Jouni Viiri and Jochen Kuhn", Title = {Visual cues improve students’ understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010126}, Month = {May}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Pascal Klein
%A Jouni Viiri
%A Jochen Kuhn
%T Visual cues improve students' understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 15
%N 1
%D May 9, 2019
%P 010126
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Klein, Pascal
%A Viiri, Jouni
%A Kuhn, Jochen
%D May 9, 2019
%T Visual cues improve students' understanding of divergence and curl: Evidence from eye movements
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 15
%N 1
%P 010126
%8 May 9, 2019
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.010126


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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