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Thread: Separate questionnaire data-files

  1. #1

    Separate questionnaire data-files

    IŽd like to have an option that ML saves questionnaire-datafiles after a questionnaire is completed. To my knowledge (and my experience) ML only saves questionnaire-data after the experiment is completed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    May I ask why? Just curious.


  3. #3
    Hi Blair,
    this feature would make sense for online-calculations and further use of participant data by a custom item within a single Medialab experiment, e.g. for creating personalized stimulus sets for DirectRT based upon Medialab questionnaire-data of the participant.

    Unfortunately I'm not able to read out data from an output file unless a Medialab experiment session is finished.
    I know this is necessary because ML sorts data byquestionnaire and byvariablename , so it's easier to analyze the data with SPSS, but this is obstructive for automatized data analysis by another tool within an experiment.

    If Medialab would save data into separate questionnaire datafiles one could access data within a single experiment (namely after the questionnaire is completed).

    Maybe such a feature is a too special.

    Last edited by jason_reed; 09-23-2013 at 10:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Ah, that makes much sense. I've actually been thinking of having MediaLab and DirectRT be able to share a responses.xls file. In the meantime, have you tried to save your responses in MediaLab through a responses.xls file (see Advanced Features) and then access those from another application? MediaLab updates--in real time--whatever values you like in there. You may be able to access the spreadsheet values from another program. If you try it with any luck, please let me know!

  5. #5


  6. #6
    Hi Blair,
    yet, I have not tried to read out the responses.xls from another programm (because this task seems to be a tough nut to crack), but I found another way to get ML responses as stimuli in DRT. I'm(not yet) firm with C++, I used php, webbrower and server.

    Ok, here we go (ML/DRT V.2006, I had no time to try the 2008 versions):

    I made html-pages (strictly speaking: *.php, it's an html with php-scripts, but it seems that the server needs the php-file ending to parse the php code well) with html-formulas and use php-scripts to write the responses to a separate textfile. Afterwards, I use a short php-page to do the calculations and write the responses to another textfile which is located in the stim-folder of the experiment so that DRT can read it. In ML, I address the pages within the browser "outside" of Medialab, so data is tracked by php and not by ML. Unfortunately, if I use the HMTL-item type ML wants a file and not an url (I guess there is also a thread here about this topic), and php is only parsed if I call the php-files via a web-browser (because, of course, I need a server to parse the php commands, so my php and html-files are located in the htdocs of the server), e.g.via a short pipefile within ML as a command-parameter.
    This works very well because now I can "dictate" how the data is recorded and this makes it much easier to read it out afterwards (especially if DRT wants to read it out).
    And, to put it a step further, this procedure can not only generate stim-lists for DRT, but also complete DRT-csv-input-files, and I guess this is the "big-party-feature" of this approach (e.g. if you want to do a lexical decision task and want to match control words with unknown stimulus words according to the word length).
    I managed it to get the stuff run in three days using the online-tutorials, so, this may also be no problem for anyone other.

    Best, Tom

    P.S. I forgot to mention that, according to the parameter which you use to write the data-file, the information is may be overwritten. normally I use a short batchfile to copy the datafiles to another folder, or I simply tell my student research assistants who run the experiment to save the files by hand and rename it with the participant-number.
    Last edited by jason_reed; 09-23-2013 at 10:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Wow, that's some nice problem solving! If you feel inclined please post a super-simple sample that illustrates this in its most basic form. Would be curious to check it out--especially being able to generate a stimlist for directrt from medialab response during the same session--cool stuff! Admittedly, the php and web server requirement may be a tad intimidating for some. I will keep working on a friendly alternative--but until then--great work!

  8. #8
    First of all, thanks for the complement! I really appreciate it! And you are totally right, it requires learning at least basic php-programming and stuff like setting up a server, and normally we all buy experimental-software to get rid of stuff like that ;-). And I really look forward to a more userfriendly click-version of stuff like that.

    Anyway, I made a very, very basic example how I did it, but I must confess that we have always done stuff like that with a c++-programm, but I guess it should also work proper with files generated with php. Unfortunately, I have no licence for ML and DRT on my private machine (I do stuff like that in my spare time), so I was not able to test the example, especially if DRT takes the file. But if I call the pages from firefox, the stimlistfile is written in the format in which you also write the normal stimlists by hand. So I hope that DRT has no problem reading the file.
    So I hope I have not promised too much, normally everything should work fine.

    So, hope it works,

    P.S. You may give me a short reply after testing the stuff?
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Thomas; 11-27-2008 at 06:48 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Thanks Tom, much appreciated--I look forward to going through it. Let me know if you come up with any other neat solutions.

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