Eye Tracking Research Course on University Curriculum

Recognizing a need for academic institutions to keep abreast of the rapidly changing business landscape and labor market needs, the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest has introduced a new course on eye tracking research methodology to their curriculum.

Background to eye tracking course

As eye tracking technology continues to advance in the business world, more and more companies increasingly rely on eye tracking methodology as a market research tool. The Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest has recognized that academic institutions need to keep abreast of the rapidly changing business landscape and labor market needs.

A new course on eye tracking research methodology has been introduced to the curriculum in response to the trend of higher expectations concerning employee knowledge and practical skills. The Eye Tracking Research course is a unique opportunity to explain how eye tracking can complement the traditional methods and techniques regularly applied in market research. Moreover, this technology provides a great opportunity to test and develop different theories related to social psychology, marketing, advertising and much more, and thereby contribute to scientific knowledge.

The Eye Tracking Research course is a good example of how the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Bucharest prepare our graduates for quick, smooth integration into the dynamic, competitive and integrated European labor market.

Prof. Dr. Marian Preda, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work

Course objectives

A gaze plot generated during the course.

The main objective of the Eye Tracking Research course is twofold. Number one is to familiarize students with the eye tracking methodology and how it is used in market research (including the social marketing component). Number two is to get them involved in experimental research, thereby demonstrating the importance of mixed methods approaches.

To carry out the Eye Tracking Research course the faculty needed a system that is quick and easy to calibrate, is intuitive and simple in terms of setting up and running research, and has dedicated software for data processing and evaluation. All these features were found in Tobii Pro eye trackers and software.

Throughout the course eye tracking methodology is used as a didactic instrument, showing students how it is used for different research objectives (testing prints, website usability, etc.) and how the gathered data can be analyzed using Tobii Studio. Eye tracking is also regarded as a research instrument, helping the students to apply their own research ideas.

We are glad that we can use Tobii eye tracking technology in the Eye Tracking Research course since it adds an interesting flavor to students' preparation for the labor market.

Marian Vasile, the head of the Eye Tracking Research course

Benefits all stakeholders

Everyone involved benefits from the introduction of the Eye Tracking Research course. The course, arranged as a laboratory (based on practical use of Tobii Pro eye trackers and Tobii Pro Studio software), gives students a realistic grasp of the day-to-day activities specific to a researchers' job. In addition, students learn to master another research tool that they can use for thesis project research.

The University benefits from extending its curriculum and offering a new course that is popular among students and aligned with labor market requirements. In terms of reputation and references in the scientific community and applied research markets in Romania and beyond, the benefits are indisputable.

The Department of Sociology offers solid training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies for research. The usages of Tobii eye tracking devices add new tools for understanding individuals and society.

Liviu Chelcea, director of the Department of Sociology

For future employers the benefits are monumental: they hire employees who understand their needs and who possess the technical abilities and skills to run market research. The University of Bucharest collaborates with GfK Romania in this course. GfK researchers are invited to share accomplishments and difficulties encountered in quantitative and qualitative research using eye tracking. GfK uses Tobii Pro eye trackers and the researchers then pass on their knowledge and hands-on experiences of performing eye tracking research to the methodology part of the course.

We very much appreciate the collaboration with the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work from the University of Bucharest. We plan to continue and even extend our partnership with the Department of Sociology by offering students internships at GfK Romania and we hope that, as before, many of them will become our full-time employees.

Mihaela Florea, HR Consultant, GfK Romania

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