The Potential of Computer-Assisted Direct Observation Apps
Keywords:computerized observation, data collection, observation systems, mobile devices, computer-assisted direct observation programs
Direct behavior observation, i.e., without first creating a video recording, is a challenging, one-shot task. The behavior has to be coded accurately during the situation itself. Mobile devices can assist direct observation, and there already are applications available for these purposes. However, the mobile revolution has led to new developments in devices, infrastructure, and market penetration that have opened up new, yet untapped, possibilities. In this article, expanded activity theory is used to highlight the unused potential of computer assisted direct observation (CADO) apps. If this potential is realized, it can provide observation with the same advantages online questionnaires and sites like Mechanical Turk have provided for surveys and Internet experiments.
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