This study explored the processes in which adult readers integrate text-figure information when reading geometric descriptions. Because geometry conveys rich spatial information, we investigated the reading scanpaths as text- or figure-directed and the given-new effects. Eye movement data from 65 college student participants showed that approximately 1% inspected the figure-first, while the other displayed the text-first which included 86% displayed the text-directed. Although the descriptions that violated the given-new ordering did not affect the accuracy of the test, they did increase reaction time, figure-fixation duration, and the number of saccades from text to figure. The transition paths showed that the participants shifted their fixations to the figure to refer to corresponding elements when they encountered new geometric elements in the text. The descriptions that violated the given-new ordering influenced the reading processes and efficiency. These findings indicate that although the readers spent 40% fixation duration on figure, their reading pattern was text-directed, and the word ordering of description affects integration of geometric text and figure.
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 9, 2017
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