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Using Eye Tracking to Evaluate and Develop Innovative Teaching Strategies for Fostering Image Reading Skills of Novices in Dental Education

Project description

The ability to read medical images (e.g., panoramic X-rays) is an important skill required in dental medicine. Previous studies showed that reading X-rays is an error-prone process, with proficient performance requiring an extensive amount of practice. It is assumed that diagnostic errors occur in approximately 30% of the cases. Despite its relevance, evidence-based methods for teaching medical image reading to novice students are lacking. Furthermore, previous research on medical image reading in other clinical domains such as internal medicine cannot be directly transferred to the field of dental medicine because diagnostic strategies are strongly dependent on the task.


The project aims at gathering insights on students’ information processing during (learning about) medical image reading in dental medicine and at designing novel teaching methods to support knowledge work. As regards information design, the effects of different visualizations of another person’s eye movements superimposed onto medical images on learning will be studied. With respect to interaction design, an adaptive gaze-based training environment will be created, where students’ eye movements during image processing are analyzed online and individualized feedback is given.


Four in-situ studies embedded in the dental medicine students’ regular radiology courses will evaluate current educational practice as well as the developed training methods. Study 1 investigates the effects of massed practice on visual processing and diagnostic accuracy as a baseline; moreover, medial image reading is studied in various student populations that differ in their domain knowledge and task experience. Studies 2 and 3 address the add-on influence of targeted interventions based on eye movement modeling. Students will for example watch a video that shows the gaze replay of a person with high diagnosis accuracy. Study 4 investigates the effectiveness of gaze-based adaptive feedback.


  1. Project Team