The feasibility of capturing learner interactions based on logs informed by eye-tracking and remote observation studies

Jonathan P. San Diego, Patrick McAndrew


Two small studies, one an eye-tracking study and the other a remote observation study, have been conducted to investigate ways to identify two kinds of online learner interactions: users flicking through the web pages in "browsing" action, and users engaging with the content of a page in "learning" action. The video data from four participants of the two small studies using the OpenLearn open educational resource materials offers some evidence for differentiating between 'browsing' and 'learning'. Further analysis of the data has considered possible ways of identifying similar browsing and learning actions based on automatic user logs. This research provides a specification for researching the pedagogical value of capturing and transforming logs of user interactions into external forms of representations. The paper examines the feasibility and challenge of capturing learner interactions giving examples of external representations such as sequence flow charts, timelines, and table of logs. The objective users information these represent offer potential for understanding user interactions both to aid design and improve feedback means that they should be given greater consideration alongside other more subjective ways to research user experience.

Editors: Doug Clow and Alexandra Okada (Open University, UK).

Reviewers: Ann Jones (Open University, UK) and Alexandra Okada (Open University, UK).

Interactive Demonstration: Readers are encouraged to go through some of the learning units available at OpenLearn. The website may require some computer applications (e.g. pdf viewer, video player, Flash player, etc.) in order to go through some of the materials within OpenLearn such as documents, files, videos, audio, etc.

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How to cite: San Diego, J.P. and McAndrew, P 2009. The feasibility of capturing learner interactions based on logs informed by eye-tracking and remote observation studies. Journal of Interactive Media in Education 2009(1):2, DOI:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
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This article has been peer reviewed (journal peer review policy).

Published on 24 December 2009.

ISSN: 1365-893X | Published by Ubiquity Press | Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.