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Secondary-Task Effects on Learning With Multimedia: An Investigation Through Eye-Movement Analysis

Acartürk, Cengiz
This study investigates secondary-task interference on eye movements through learning with multimedia. We focus on the relationship between the influence of the secondary task on the eye movements of learners, and the learning outcomes as measured by retention, matching, and transfer. Half of the participants performed a spatial tapping task while studying the instructional materials, whereas the other half studied the materials, without spatial tapping. The results revealed suboptimal learning outcomes under the secondary task, which was accompanied by fewer transitions of gaze between the text and the figure. We propose that the suboptimal learning outcomes might be due to the disrupted processing of pictures, and possibly due to the less efficient integration, of the information gathered from the text and figures.