scriptingrt and mturk

I got a question by email and thought it would be best answered by a post:

First, is MTurk the most popular avenue for ScriptingRT?  Or is there another/better platform of access?

Mturk is definitely the best way to recruit participants quickly, and the data quality is reasonable. We also used facebook to spread a link to studies, but it is usually much slower. But note that we always use another platform, Qualtrics, to build a questionnaire around the scriptingRT. I guess it would be possible to embed a scripingRT file directly in a Mturk task, but I never tried that.

Also, is it possible to use either ScriptingRT or MTurk to create a design where a worker must complete several tasks (eg reading three sets of sentences over a span of 3-5 days) before being paid?

I guess yes. You could create one Mturk task that would have such a long duration. Alternatively, you could create one Mturk task for the first measurement point, and then invite your workers to do the second and third measurement points, stepping up the payment if they also participate a second and a third time.

embedding scriptingrt in qualtrics in chrome

In earlier posts and the manual we described how to embed scriptingrt files in qualtrics.

There is now a problem with this. Qualtrics serves its pages using secure http, or https. However, when you put your own flash files and the swfobject javascript library on your server, these servers will usually be regular http. Until recently, that was not a problem, but as of recently, Chrome bulks at this combination: When it displays a http website, it will not include anymore “unsafe”, regular http content. You recognize this when the small silver shield appears in the address bar. Or you can open the developer console, where you see the error message.

As a result, your flash file is not shown in Chrome. At the moment, Firefox and IE will still show it, but that might go away soon as well.

The solution is to serve your content from a secure http server as well.

Unfortunately, it is not cheap. My service provider charges over 70 € per year for a registered SSL certificate, and nothing else will do. However, there is a workaround: You can put your files in a your dropbox. Both links in the “public” dropbox folder and “share links” seem to come from https by default.

I quickly tested this last week, it seems to work. Also, it seems to work that these dropbox-served flash files then send their data to a php script on a regular (non https) server.

If that doesn’t work for you, please comment below.

In principle, though, dropbox-served files will probably load more slowly. So it might be a good idea to either get access to your institution’s https server, or to upgrade your own.

UPDATE 11/10/2013: it seems that is not a problem anymore? At least in a first test today, it was possible again to include non-https-served flash files in qualtrics.