Evaluation of Rapid Development System using Eye Tracker


This paper presents the results of the evaluation of Linear Axis Rapid Development System10 (RDS), which is under development as part of a NSF funded project. The Linear Axis RDS is used in teaching control design/insertion in the Mechanical Engineering curriculum at a mid-sized midwestern university in the United States. The Linear Axis RDS has a graphical user interface with three main modes: simulate, emulate, and implement. The objective of this evaluation was to test the overall effectiveness of the Linear Axis RDS. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods were applied in the evaluation of thirty-four participants from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Missouri University of Science and Tech. The Technology Acceptance Model, a model that has been used extensively to study acceptance of technology was used to guide the study. Learning Styles and Learning Outcomes were added to study the learning effects of the system. Eye tracking was used in two of the tasks to provide both qualitative and quantitative data. Eye tracking is an innovative method that is increasingly being used in the field of human-computer interaction for usability studies, as it can provide useful insight into the cognitive aspect of the users. Based on the data analysis, a significant improvement was noticed in users interest after using RDS. Statistical analysis showed significant increase in career interest in science followed closely by enjoyment. Results from the analysis on learning outcomes suggest the RDS was perceived to have high real world applicability. Results also showed an increase in knowledge gained after using the system. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) constructs such as perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usefulness (PU), attitude (ATT) and intention to use (INT) were found to influence the learning outcome. Eye tracking results validated the results from the survey analysis. The gaze plots and heat maps indicated that the participants were able to identify important areas of the interface, such as tip box and help button, which were newly developed. Overall the results suggest that RDS is well received by the participants and is an effective learning tool. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2010.

Meeting Name

2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2010: Jun. 20-23, Louisville, KY)


Business and Information Technology

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

cognitive aspects; data analysis; effective larning; engineering department; eye trackers; eye-tracking; innovative method; learning effects; learning outcome; learning style; main mode; mechanical engineering curriculum; Missouris; overall effectiveness; perceived ease of use; perceived usefulness; quantitative data; quantitative research methods; rapid development system; statistical analysis; technology accepted model; usability studies

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 American Society of Engineering Education, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

23 Jun 2010

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