Build­ing an Engag­ing Child-Friend­ly Task for Remote Admin­is­tra­tion: Exam­ple of a Gam­i­fied Mouse-Track­ing Task on Paired Asso­ciate Learning

Simone Lira Cal­abrichm, Ban­gor University
@Simonecalabrich

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The Covid-19 pan­dem­ic has restruc­tured behav­iour­al research, dri­ving sci­en­tists to adapt and move tra­di­tion­al­ly in-lab stud­ies to online exper­i­ment deploy­ment plat­forms. While adult par­tic­i­pants are gen­er­al­ly able to under­take remote exper­i­men­tal tasks unas­sist­ed, most stud­ies involv­ing child sub­jects still require the pres­ence of a researcher mon­i­tor­ing and ensur­ing par­tic­i­pants stay on task. To ensure high-qual­i­ty data col­lec­tion, it is imper­a­tive that the researcher not only be appro­pri­ate­ly trained to test chil­dren remote­ly, but also that the task be child-friend­ly and suf­fi­cient­ly engag­ing to keep the chil­dren focused in front of their screens for the dura­tion of the experiment. 

Here, we will share tips on how dif­fer­ent freely and wide­ly avail­able resources (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Praat, Wug­gy, Audac­i­ty, attri­bu­tion-free con­tent web­sites) can be employed to build an engag­ing and child-friend­ly mouse-track­ing task for either assist­ed or unas­sist­ed admin­is­tra­tion on Goril­la Exper­i­ment Builder. We will present a nov­el gam­i­fied mouse-track­ing par­a­digm which we have used to inves­ti­gate paired asso­ciate learn­ing in skilled and less-skilled Key Stage 2 chil­dren remote­ly. The gam­i­fied task, which includ­ed a short nar­ra­tive and ani­ma­tions to keep the par­tic­i­pants engaged, was remote­ly mon­i­tored by trained research assis­tants who pro­vid­ed sup­port and cod­ed ver­bal respons­es live.

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Build­ing an Engag­ing Child-Friend­ly Task for Remote Admin­is­tra­tion: Exam­ple of a Gam­i­fied Mouse-Track­ing Task on Paired Asso­ciate Learning