Split-attention effects in multimedia learning environments: eye-tracking and EEG analysis

Mutlu-Bayraktar D., Ozel P., ALTINDİŞ F., YILMAZ B.

MULTIMEDIA TOOLS AND APPLICATIONS, vol.81, no.6, pp.8259-8282, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 81 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11042-022-12296-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, FRANCIS, ABI/INFORM, Applied Science & Technology Source, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, zbMATH
  • Page Numbers: pp.8259-8282
  • Keywords: Multimedia learning, Electroencephalography, Eye movements, Attention, Retention, COGNITIVE-LOAD, MOVEMENT ANALYSIS, REDUNDANCY, DESIGN, METHODOLOGY, PRINCIPLES, MODALITY, IMPACT
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to evaluate the split-attention effect in multimedia learning environments via objective measurements as EEG and eye-tracking. Two different multimedia learning environments in a focused (integrated) and split-attention (separated) format were designed. The experimental design method was used. The participants consisted of 44 students divided into two groups for focused attention and split-attention. There were significant differences between the fixation, brain wave, and retention performance of the two groups. Fixations of the split-attention group were higher than the focused attention group. A significant difference was found in the focused attention group in the alpha brain wave in the frontal region for intra-group comparisons and in the split-attention group in the beta brain wave in the frontal area for the inter-group comparison. The retention performance of the focused attention group was higher than the split-attention group. Accordingly, more cognitive activity emerged in environments where the text was not integrated into the picture. Additionally, the narration of text instead of printed text is effective for focusing attention. To prevent the emergence of a split-attention effect, the text should be integrated into the picture in designs. Due to the split-attention effect, the eye-tracking and EEG data were different between the groups.