Project: Eye Read, Therefore Eye Learn?


Period: 2019-2022 (Postdoc project; FWO)

Short description

In higher education, academic texts are the main medium through which students acquire scientific knowledge. Learning from these kind of texts is therefore an important key to success in higher education. However, research on reading comprehension has mainly focused on learning outcomes and far less is known on how students read to learn from academic texts, and more specifically, which cognitive processing strategies are crucial for better academic text comprehension. Current research on cognitive processes uses predominantly self-report instruments to uncover differences in students' general preferences towards processing strategies when studying. Although these self-report measures are claimed to be reliable and valid at a general level, many authors argue that the results are poor indicators of the actual processing taking place at a task-specific level while studying. Furthermore, research on the relationship between self-reported processing strategies and academic achievement remains inconclusive. In this research project, we aim to:

  1. Adopt eye tracking as an innovative measure to map in-depth students' task-specific processing strategies
  2. Link theories of reading comprehension and student learning in empirical research to gain more insight in the cognitive processing component while learning from academic text
  3. Link task-specific processing strategies to task-specific learning outcomes.

Key publications