The steady-state fluorescence (SSF) technique was employed for studying the drying of polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogels. Disc-shaped hydrogels were prepared by free-radical crosslinking copolymerization of acrylamide (AAm) with N,N'-methylene bisacrylamide (BIS) as crosslinker in the presence of ammonium persulfate (APS) as an initiator. Pyranine (P) was introduced as a fluorescence probe and the intensity of pyranine was monitored during in situ drying at various temperatures. It was observed that the fluorescence intensity of pyranine increased during the drying process. A supporting, gravimetrical experiment was also performed. A phenomenological equation was introduced to determine the desorption coefficient, D, of water molecules from the drying hydrogels at various temperatures. The desorption activation energy, triangle E-d, values were measured for the drying processes and found to be 91.08 and 36.82 kJ mol(-1) by fluorescence and gravimetrical methods, respectively. This difference most probably originates from the origin of the techniques; the fluorescence technique measures the parameters at a molecular level, whereas the gravimetrical technique measures a parameter in the bulk.