Blended learning is used as a teaching strategy to improve students’ chemistry performance. It reverses the traditional learning environment delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. How blended learning improves performance has not been examined using objective measurements. Eyetracking is a useful tool to study learners’ visual attention. Researchers have conducted studies to measure learners’ cognitive processes while solving complex gas law word problems (e.g. Tang & Pienta, 2012). This study measured chemistry students’ problem-solving performance while in a blended learning environment answering the research question. What is the impact of blended instruction on students’ chemistry problem-solving skills? Data were collected from ten students in a General Chemistry course. Two conditions were measured, time and group type. Mixed ANOVA using SPSS analysis was conducted. Results show that on average, students spent slightly longer fixated on the periodic table (targeted as the area of interest) during the post-test (M = 19.81, S.D. = 17.96) than in the pre-test (M = 9.34, S.D. = 10.63). There was a significant interaction between time and condition. The experimental group (blended learning) spent longer looking at the periodic table on the screen during the post-test (M = 28.26, S.D. = 21.88) than during the pre-test (M = 0.02, S.D. = 0.00). Performance on the nomenclature test show that the experimental group scored higher on the posttest than the control group (traditional lecture) reflecting fixation behaviors recorded on the eye-tracking system. Findings have implications for chemistry education and software development to improve chemistry education.
Angelicque Tucker Blackmon, University of Virgin Islands, United States