Nov 2009

Computerized Tutorials

Preparatory work for the collaborative study with Dr Brad Conner has been progressing during the last few weeks. In this study it is planned to test undergraduate students in small groups of 4-6 participants. In the course of this work it has become evident that the spoken instructions originally developed for one-on-one testing, and used by Dr Mattila-Evenden in the pilot study on psychiatric patients, are not optimally suited for small-group testing. This is mainly because it is impractical for the test administrator to interact with the participants individually when testing a group.

Although the spoken instructions were revised during pilot testing, the problem remained that different test participants progressed through the training at different rates, so that the information they were receiving from the test administrator was not in synchrony with the events they were experiencing when interacting with the computer. The optimal solution to this problem was found to be to integrate the instructions into the training component of each test.

To do this, individual computer-guided tutorials have been constructed for each of the tests in study, with prerecorded spoken instructions, and step-by-step exposition to the test contingencies. In this way, participants can proceed at their own pace through the training, and the test administrator can be confident that everyone has undergone the same training experience.

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