Activity

Activities refer to the tasks you ask participants to do, once or multiple times, while part of your study. This can include responding to a survey, completing a cognitive task, reporting their time use or nutrition diary, or visiting a page containing their personalized intervention. A study activity, regardless of its type, contains a few core components. They include:

  • Triggering Logic defines when the activity should be prompted to the participants, and how it should be repeated
  • Notification defines how and when the participant should be notified (or reminded) about completing the activity.
  • Criteria specifies under what conditions the activity is enabled or disabled for a given participant.
  • Expiry Time specifies how long Ethica should wait for the participant to complete the activity.

We describe each of these components, and other available attributes, in the following sections.

Accessing Activities

As a researcher, you can use the Activities page of the Researcher Dashboard to view the list of activities in your study, add a new activity, edit or delete the current ones, or perform other actions on them. To access this page, click on the Activities item:

Accessing Activities Page in Ethica Researcher
Dashboard

You can add a new activity by clicking on the + New Activity button. This will open the Activity Creator dialog. First, you must select an activity type from the list.

Creating A New Activity in Activities
page

After that, you will be asked to choose whether you want to create a new activity or import an existing activity definition file.

Creating or Importing an Activity in Activities
page

Currently, Ethica only supports importing surveys via an activity definition file. So the Import option is only shown if you have chosen a Survey Activity. After finalizing this dialog, you will be taken to the Ethica Activity Editor page where you can program your activity.

Each activity that you add to your study is listed on the Activities page with a card. Clicking on the activity opens a panel on the right side where you can see more details about that activity:

Activity Properties panel in Activities
page

This panel shows the following information:

  • ID: The ID of the activity. Each activity in Ethica is automatically assigned an ID unique across the whole system. This ID is shown here.
  • Status (only for survey activities): This indicates whether an activity is already published, or is in draft mode. More on that here.
  • Name: The friendly name assigned to this activity by the researcher.
  • Expiry Time: How long the activity remains active waiting for the participant's response. You can read more about Expiry Time here.
  • Triggering Logics: When the activity should be promoted to the participant. More on that here.
  • Notifications: How the participant should be notified or reminded about the activity. You can read more about Notifications here.

Via the right-side panel, you will also get the option to perform the following actions on a given activity:

  • Edit opens the activity in the relevant Activity Editor where you can modify it.
  • Release prompts the activity to one or more participants right away. More on that here.
  • Delete deletes the activity from your study. The data currently collected for this activity will not be removed.
  • Move moves the activity from the current study to another study. You need to have the required permissions on both studies.
  • Duplicate creates a copy of this activity.

Note that when you make any changes to a given study, such as adding, modifying, or deleting its activities, or moving them via Move, or duplicating them, the change is not immediately received by the participants' devices. You need to update the device for all participants currently enrolled, as described here. Any participant who joins your study after this change will have the latest changes to the activities.

Also, note that deleting an activity or moving it to another study does not delete or move the activity's current responses.

Activity Editors

Ethica provides a graphical user interface that allows you to create a new activity or make changes to an existing one. The options you have in this editor depend on the type of your activity. For example, Survey Activity Editor allows you to add different survey questions, while Stroop cognitive task allows you to configure your task. The following screenshot shows the Survey Activity Editor:

Ethica Survey Activity Editor
UI

Each activity editor in Ethica contains a few sections shown on top of the page. You can switch between different sections by clicking on their name. The first section, Content, shows you the configurations available for the current activity. What you see in the Content section will be different depending on the activity type. You can refer to the article for each activity type to learn more about the options available for that activity.

The next, Triggering Logic allows you to define and configure triggering logics for your activity. We explain Triggering Logics in-depth in the Triggering Logics section. The third section, Notifications, allows you to configure the Notifications for your study. You can learn more about Notifications in the Notifications article. The final section of the Activity Editor, Preview & Publish, allows you to preview your activity based on the settings you entered, and if everything is the same as you expect, publish it to your study.