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Thread: Setting time limit for open-ended responses (case 12651)

  1. #1

    Setting time limit for open-ended responses (case 12651)

    Is there a way to set a time limit for open-ended responses? I think this question more generally applies to any of the response options. Basically, I'd like participants to be forced to key in their responses under a certain amount of time, e.g., 30 seconds, and have the system move on to the next question automatically after that time if they do not.
    Last edited by jason_reed; 02-03-2014 at 04:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    You can use the d parameter in the .exp file to present a .que file that only contains a single open-ended response item. Just put dxx in the parameters field of the line of the .exp file that contains the .que file with the open-ended response item, where xx is the maximum number of seconds you want that item displayed.
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

  3. #3

    Re: Setting time limit for open-ended responses (case 12651)

    Thank you for the quick response! I apologize because I did not clarify that I want to do this in DirectRT rather than MediaLab. I did see that in the manual it notes a !Meta option, and that I can insert a !Meta column that then allows me to do instruct DirectRT to move on to another trial after a certain amount of time, e.g., by putting ">4:30000" to give respondents 30 seconds to complete trial 3 before they are automatically moved on to trial 4. However, I'm unclear where I should position the !Meta column within the DirectRT file. Should it be inserted right after the "trial" column, or at the very end after the "rt:text" column and before the "*"?

    Alternatively, I believe I can just specify a style folder that, if I store this in my stim folder, will allow me to update the styles without affecting DirectRT's default style editor. I did a "save as" on the default style file and saved a new version into my stim folder, which I presume I can alter without affecting DirectRT's default style. Additionally, when I created the !Meta column it still wanted me to specify the min/max response in the style editor, so it's possible that I need to do both.

    If you could let me know the best series of steps, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

  4. #4
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    Rachael,


    You are spot on with your read on DirectRT's features. You could use the !meta column placed between the trial and bgr columns of your input file to tell DirectRT to jump to a particular trial after a certain number of milliseconds have passed in the current trial. If you wanted DirectRT to move to the adjacent trial, you could just use the automatic continuation feature of the DirectRT Styles file. Just put 0-xxxx!,where xxxx is the maximum number of milliseconds you want for that trial-in the MinMax field of the row your Styles file that corresponds to the style code for the trial in your input file with the open-ended response. You can also just put the Styles file in the same folder as the DirectRT input file if you wanted to create one specific to that input file.
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

  5. #5

    Re: Setting time limit for open-ended responses

    Great, the method is working as you've outlined it -- thank you! However, what I want it to do is to interrupt the current trial when the time limit expires (i.e., whether or not the participant has filled in the open-ended response yet). It does not appear that the MinMax setting or !meta command allows this to happen. In fact, in the manual it expressly says that it doesn't: "Note that the time-based skip is started at the onset of the trial from which it is called and is executed when the time expires. The skip will occur no matter where DirectRT is but will wait until the current trial has been completed (it will not interrupt a session mid-trial)."

    Is there a work-around to this, i.e., a way to have DirectRT interrupt the session mid-trial and move on to the next trial (or session, if that's how I'll need to organize it)? It's not critical that we have this portion time-constrained in this fashion, but if there is a work-around I'd love to incorporate it.

  6. #6
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    Could you please upload an example input file so that I can see one or two of these trials in which you want to interrupt the text response portion?
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

  7. #7

    Re: Setting time limit for open-ended responses (case 12651)

    Absolutely. Attached is the file I've been working with.
    withmetaWFC_MSoriginal.csv

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately, DirectRT doesn't have a feature that allows for the timed interruption of open ended responses before participants press the Enter key. This is because DirectRT passes control to Windows and it cannot intervene until the text box is closed and control returns to DirectRT.
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jason_reed View Post
    Unfortunately, DirectRT doesn't have a feature that allows for the timed interruption of open ended responses before participants press the Enter key. This is because DirectRT passes control to Windows and it cannot intervene until the text box is closed and control returns to DirectRT.
    OK, that makes sense. Thanks so much for your help!

  10. #10
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    My pleasure. Please let us know if you have any questions in the future.
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

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