In this article you will learn how to conduct a distributed data collection with Pro Lab, for screen-based projects.
Distributed data collection enables you to both scale your study and save time. By d
, we mean, the ability to deploy multiple data collection sessions across different locations and eye tracking setups. For example, you can reduce the time needed to reach the sample size goal of your study by running simultaneous data collection sessions with two or more eye tracking setups, or, collaborate with other research teams to perform large- scale and/or geographically separated studies. In this article you will learn how to conduct a distributed data collection with Pro Lab.
In order to see how we implement it in Pro Lab, let’s imagine the following scenario: As a lead researcher you are responsible for running a study where you need to collect data from two subject groups, located in two different geographical locations. In this scenario you can opt to travel to each location with your equipment and perform the data collection yourself, or, instead collaborate with local research groups, and outsource the data collection to their labs.
Let’s go with the second option, as it has the advantage of speeding up your data collection and cuts down on the travelling costs. From previous contacts and collaborations, you know that there are two research groups, one in each location, that have a similar Tobii Pro Eye tracker and a Pro Lab license and have been conducting similar studies, so you decide to contact them and propose to collaborate in this project. You agree the following:
The biggest challenge you have in this scenario, is that outsourcing your data collection requires providing multiple teams access to the experimental materials and procedures needed to complete the same study. This adds higher requirements on transparency and careful documentation of the data collection process. This includes, recruiting and debriefing participants, operating the setup, etc. The following workflow example illustrates how you can take advantage of different features in Pro Lab to help keep the process consistent and transparent across multiple teams.
Below you will find a possible workflow to keep data collection consistency in this scenario:
In this example, you used the the participant management features in pro lab to set your sample size, define the sampling order and standardize the participant information accross sites. Additionaly you used the export features to localise your participants (by selecting only to export part of them to each group).
It is important to instruct the data collection teams do not change the stimulius and trial structure in the Design module of Pro Lab. Any changes won’t be able to later be re-imported into the original project and may create conflicts when aggregating the data.
Distributed data collection offers different advantages when it comes to saving time or scaling the data collection phase of a study. This in turn allows studies to achieve high statistical power by increasing the sample size and opens the opportunity for different research groups to share and replicate the same study and verify the generalizability of the tested effects.
This article introduces one possible scenario of distributed data collection and how to best implement it with Tobii Pro Lab. The scenario can be used as a start point to implement a distributed data collection procedure in your own study and tweeked to your own needs and type of collaboration.