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User-adaptive explanatory program visualization: Evaluation and insights from eye movements

Loboda, TD and Brusilovsky, P (2010) User-adaptive explanatory program visualization: Evaluation and insights from eye movements. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, 20 (3). 191 - 226. ISSN 0924-1868

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User-adaptive visualization and explanatory visualization have been suggested to increase educational effectiveness of program visualization. This paper presents an attempt to assess the value of these two approaches. The results of a controlled experiment indicate that explanatory visualization allows students to substantially increase the understanding of a new programming topic. Furthermore, an educational application that features explanatory visualization and employs a user model to track users' progress allows students to interact with a larger amount of material than an application which does not follow users' activity. However, no support for the difference in short-term knowledge gain between the two applications is found. Nevertheless, students admit that they prefer the version that estimates and visualizes their progress and adapts the learning content to their level of understanding. They also use the application's estimation to pace their work. The differences in eye movement patterns between the applications employing adaptive and non-adaptive explanatory visualizations are investigated as well. Gaze-based measures show that adaptive visualization captivates attention more than its non-personalized counterpart and is more interesting to students. Natural language explanations also accumulate a big portion of students' attention. Furthermore, the results indicate that working memory span can mediate the perception of adaptation. It is possible that user-adaptation in an educational context provides a different service to people with different mental processing capabilities. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Loboda, TD
Brusilovsky, Ppeterb@pitt.eduPETERB0000-0002-1902-1464
Date: 1 August 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction
Volume: 20
Number: 3
Page Range: 191 - 226
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11257-010-9077-1
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0924-1868
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2011 18:55
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 15:58


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