UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Online experimenter : an evaluation of experiments conducted under local and remote conditions Zhang, Ying


When conducting experiments, researchers traditionally work in a lab setting where they have access to specialized equipment and can meet their subjects faceto- face. This is definitely the way that traditional experiments in behavioral research are carried out. However, with the growing need for recruiting experiment participants from different social and cultural backgrounds, it may be difficult to design a traditional lab experiment for the research. Moreover, highly specialized lab equipment cannot always be easily accessed, and the costs of commuting present financial constraints. We explored the necessity of co presence in experimentation by evaluating a facility to determine whether experiments conducted in a non co-present context would achieve the same scientific outcomes as the ones conducted in a traditional lab context. The facility that we used was designed to allow researchers’ access to a sophisticated lab for the purpose of experimentation in educational research. There are two research goals explored in this thesis: (1) to evaluate the relative efficacies of running an experiment under co-present and non co-present conditions, and (2) to assess whether the participants’ experience differs in the experimental process between the co-present and non co-present condition.

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