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Atsip 2006. Noel Taylor University of Hertfordshire. Developing with Authorware. Testbed Revisited. Testbed. ‘Testbed’ is a Response Test Generator Program, developed using Authorware. Testbed. It is free Install on student notebooks Not intended for high level research projects

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Atsip 2006 l.jpg

Atsip 2006

Noel Taylor

University of Hertfordshire

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Developing with Authorware

Testbed Revisited

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  • ‘Testbed’ is a Response Test Generator Program, developed using Authorware

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  • It is free

  • Install on student notebooks

  • Not intended for high level research projects

  • Experiments setup quickly

  • Many types of media

  • Many types of experiment

  • On-going developement

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Types of stimuli

  • Images – bmp, tiff, jpeg, wmf, pict, giff, psd, targa, png

  • Sounds – wav, mp3, aiff, shockwave audio

  • Plain Text

  • Rich Text Files (from Word)

  • Video – Quicktime or Avi

  • Animations – flash, director, autodesk

  • Pdf

  • ‘stimuli lists’ of any combination of the above

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Types of experiment

  • Simple unevaluated response tests

  • Evaluated response tests

    • correct/incorrect

    • Correct/neutral/incorrect

  • Non-evaluated tests and surveys:

    • Likert Scales

    • Free Text Entry

    • Single key responses

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Details of experiment types

  • Text based tests can be configured as:

    • Basic Stroop Tests

    • To show x number of words before a response is required

    • Text can be formatted with colour, font size and screen position

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Additional features

  • Configure automatic time-outs

  • Pre-configured ‘fixation events’

  • Configure ‘thankyou’ messages

  • Configure ‘help screens’

  • Add questions to stimuli events

  • Pause between stimuli, pause between blocks, pause between subjects

  • Position stimuli on screen using drag and drop

  • Change background colours to any colour

  • Select stimuli randomly, alphabetical order, randomly with x repeats

  • Group blocks together.

  • Select blocks randomly, numerical order or manually at run time

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Speed of setting up

  • Testbed uses all the contents of a folder to create one block (except for word & stimuli lists)

  • Block settings can be duplicated when creating new ones

  • Blocks can be previewed from within the setup program.

  • Evaluated responses assigned via standard list boxes

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Response hardware

  • Mouse devices

  • Keys

  • Serial port devices

    • Cedrus Response Pads

    • Voice Keys

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Results files

Testbed offers two types of results records:

  • One file per subject – replicates the Superlab format

    • Advantage: easy for novice users to understand

    • Disadvantage: harder to import for analysis into SPSS/Excel

  • One file per experiment – all subjects recorded in a single file

    • Advantage: harder for novice users to understand

    • Disadvantage: easier to import for analysis into SPSS/Excel

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Authorware 7.0

  • Interactive learning materials

    negative points:

  • Unfashionable

    • No Shockwave plugin

    • Poor design tools

    • Limited transparency effects

  • Poor support – Adobe

  • Not fully object oriented

  • Overly linear

  • Interpreted code, based on Pascal syntax

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Authorware 7.0

main positive points:

  • Rapid development tool

    • Linear model is intuitive

    • Icons aid visualisation of structure

    • System substructure handled by the Authorware runtime

    • Knowledge Objects

    • Many third party functions

    • Highly Extensible to programers

    • Flash & Director Xtras supported

  • Imports Flash & Director under scripted control

  • Cross platform & Internet

  • Supports Javascript

  • Supports wide range of media

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Authorware & Testbed

  • Multimedia synchronisation features:

    • More accurate timings than system clock

    • Multimedia clock also used by Superlab

  • Built in support for wide range of media types

  • Interpreted code has minimal effect at the crucial points in program

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Testbed can be downloaded at:

(it’s best to download the sample media files as well)