Date of Award

Summer 6-29-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Joe Olmi, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Hans Stadthagen, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Crystal Taylor, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Michael Mong, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4 School



As more students move to online learning, this results in not only new barriers but new opportunities in academia. The purpose of this study was to examine how behavior-contingent praise affects visual engagement with an online video lecture when using WebGazer, a publicly available eye tracking software, with a user’s integrated webcam. A second aim of this study was to examine if using WebGazer with an integrated webcam was a valid alternative to hand scoring when collecting visual engagement data. Results of WebGazer measurement indicated a moderate effect size for three participants in the presence of contingent praise, and a large effect size was observed for one participant when provided contingent praise. Based on visual analysis and simple linear regression, level, shape of data paths, trend, and overall range of data were similar for three participants. One participant’s WebGazer and hand scoring data demonstrated a notable discrepancy in range, level, and shape for the Demand and Praise conditions. These results indicate that contingent praise may result in an increase in visual engagement in online learning environments and that using WebGazer and an integrated webcam may be a valid tool for measuring visual engagement in online learning environments. Discrepancies in WebGazer and hand scoring data are discussed.