Day 37, July 14 – Vidushi

All the work done today revolved around the study, which brought up a few issues. Because we had just sent out the email, we spent the morning preparing for the study. I printed out the appropriate forms, and spent some time double checking the procedure of the study. Since some of the students who had indicated an interest during the Open House were working in departments other than CS, I wrote a new email with more detail and sent them a link to the sign-up spreadsheet to make sure we followed up on the interest they had indicated. Because I wanted the morning to be free for preparation, I had blocked out the morning time slots, but in retrospect that was probably too much time, and we could have started earlier. But we still got through ten people today, which was a pretty good amount.

As for the study itself, it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I knew that I would have little to do beyond explain at the start and listen to their one-sentence summaries, but it was more awkward than I thought it would be and people were more easily confused. At least two people told us they didn’t realize they could go backwards, and so they didn’t reread sentences that they weren’t entirely sure about. These were both people who didn’t take part in the first study, which might be the cause, but I’m going to try and remember to tell people they can do that in the remaining studies. In other issues, I definitely felt that I had allotted more time to each participant than strictly necessary. Perhaps due to the lack of questions, people got through all 12 passages relatively quickly. In that downtime tomorrow, I’m going to try and find the points in each of the test passages where people should be confused and compare it to the corresponding point in the control passage.

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