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Thread: Tracking which documents participants look at

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,323

    Tracking which documents participants look at

    [edited from support email]

    I have a question for you regarding the Medialab. We are trying to get participants to choose a few of the articles and record which article they choose and how long they spend reading them.

    The first page is the main manu in which participants can see options of articles. Then, once they click on the article, the computer will take them to the article. After they read the article, the computer will take them back to the main menu.

    I was wondering if it's possible to set up the menu page such that participants can go back and forth between the menu page and articles, and that we will have a record of participants' behavior. If so, which question format should I use?

    The version of the medialab that I am using is 2004. I understand that the Medialab doesn't update the data once you select an answer and go back to the previous page to change it. If I can use the Medialab for this study, is there any way to go about this issue? If you could get back to me, that would be great!

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,323
    Check out the WebTracker item type. You can enter a URL to start and this item will track any changes in the URL until the participant clicks Continue. So you could set you main page up with a series of hyperlinks to local documents and they could all have links back to the main page to allow for more browsing. MediaLab will track which documents are selected, the order in which they are selected, and the time for which they are viewed.

    -Blair

  3. #3

    Web Tracker

    Blair,

    This feature sounds like what we are looking for!

    Do you, or others, have a sample of a program using web tracker that I could play with, to look at how it's set up and how the data files look?

    Also, I'm not sure if this is a fair question, but it's on my mind, so let me ask - does Media Lab's web tracker operate similarly to Mouse Lab? I haven't learned Mouse Lab but had been directed to check it out. But since I already know Media Lab, it would be better than learning new software. What I'm interested in understanding is how the two differ, if any out there has already done the due diligence on the comparison?

    THANKS!
    Dolly Chugh, MediaLab lover!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    3,323
    Hi Dolly,

    Haven't tried Mouse Lab so I can't say. As far as the WebTracker item type goes, it's pretty straightforward--just select the item type in your questionnaire. List the starting file or URL in the fielname field. That's it--the subject just clicks on Continue when they are done and the browsing data are written to a file in your data folder.

    The following is a blurb from the user's guide:

    The HTML item type allows you to present HTML and other "browser-compatible" files. The WebTracker item extends this functionality by tracking a subject's behaviour while browsing through a sequence of HTML or other browser-compatible files. It stores each link that the subject follows as well as the time at which the link was followed and how long the subject stayed there before continuing to the next link. The item ends when the subject clicks the "Continue" button. These data are all written to a separate spreadsheet file (.csv) that will be named after the variable name you assigned to the WebTracker item and will be located in the experiment's data folder.
    I notice one thing it omits is that you can, I think, optionally add a password (x) parameter to the item in order to indicate a file or URL that will end the item automatically. For example, if you entered (xhttp://www.empirisoft.com) in the parameters field and the subject browses to that link then the item would end at that point.

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