What Gaze Data Reveal About Coordinating Multiple Mathematical Representations

Theodore WillsTemple University, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Thomas ShipleyTemple University
Briana ChangTemple University
Jennifer CromleyTemple University
Julie BoothTemple University

Abstract

40 High school students were given a battery of paper and pencil tests, which collectively assessed a variety of spatial abilities, graph and table competencies, conceptual mastery of calculus, and achievement in common topics from typical precalculus and calculus courses. In addition, students completed a computer-presented measure of Coordinating Multiple Representations (CMR), in which they had to assess whether two mathematical representations (e.g. an equation and a graph) depicted the same underlying mathematical function. Gaze data were captured during this measure, using a Tobii T60 eye tracker. Findings suggest that good or poor performance on several paper measures is associated with distinct and specific gaze behaviors. Better achievement scores are associated with fewer fixations near the centerline of the graph, and with fewer point-plotting and function scanning behaviors. These findings are discussed in terms of differing approaches or strategies for engaging in CMR.

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