The Participation page of the Researcher Dashboard includes two tabs: Participation and Invitation. These sections contain all the actions and information related to the current participants, and pending invitations respectively. We explained the Invitation tab in the Invitation section. Below we discuss the Participation tab.
The following screenshot shows the Participation tab:
The number in front of the tab label shows the total number of participants in the study, whether enrolled or dropped out of the study. In the above example, the total number of study participants is 3001.
The Participation tab is divided into two sections. The card on the top part shows some information and settings related to the study enrollment. This includes the following:
Edit allows you to modify the Enrollment Type:
The table at the lower half of the Participation tab lists all participants in your study. Clicking on each row opens a panel from the right side and shows additional information and actions related to the selected participant. Below we will explain these pieces of information.
Note that you can perform an action on multiple or all participants by selecting them first, and then clicking on the desired action on the table header:
Each row of the table shows the following information:
- Participant ID: is the participant's user ID in Ethica.
- Label: shows the label you have assigned to this participant. Labels help better identify a given participant within the study.
- Last Recorded Data: shows when was the last time that Ethica received any information from this participant.
- Joined In: shows the calculated Participation Start Time for this individual.
- In Operation: if your study includes sensors, this shows the percentage of the time the app was running and collecting sensor data from this participant.
- Session Status: shows statistics on the status of the sessions already presented to this participant. Please refer to Activity Sessions for more details on sessions and what statuses they can hold.
For example, consider the following record in the Participation table:
The ID of this participant is
26842, while it's been labeled as
724746. The participant joined in
May. 8th, 2020 at 8 pm (Researcher's local time), and the data received from him or her was on
May. 19th, 2020 at 1 am. The Participant's app was collecting sensor data for 34% of the time, therefore the
In Operation value is 34%, and out of 30 activity sessions presented to him or her so far, 20 of them are completed, and the status of 10 of them is still unknown.
You can see the list of devices a given participant has used in the
Device Info section of the side panel, shown when selecting a participant from the table:
For each device, the list shows a unique identifier. Each data record received from a given participant is tagged with the relevant device ID. So when analyzing the data, you can see which device was used to upload which data.
Furthermore, for each device, you can see the model and manufacturer. For example, in the image above, the participant has used two devices, both of them Android phones.
If your study records sensor data, when a participant joins your study, the Ethica app will continuously run on their phone behind the scenes and collect the requested data. The app also sends a report to the Ethica server on how often it was running and collecting data, and how often it was terminated, for example by the participant, or due to the phone being turned off.
In Operation event plot shown for each device can give you a good estimate of when the app was running on the participant's phone, and when it was not. For example, in the above image, the app was running most of the time on the first Android device (
LGE), while it was running only for a short period of time on the second device (
The sensor event plots show when sensor data exists from a certain device (colored region), and when it does not (blank region). As you hover the mouse over the plot, a tooltip appears to show the time which that part of the plot presents. If the area under the mouse is colored, it means the participant has uploaded the relevant sensor data during this time window, from the specified device:
When a given participant joins your study, the Ethica app calculates their individual participation period as explained before.
You can see the participation period for a given participant in the side panel, labeled as
Start Time and
End Time. For example, in the image below, Participant ID 28478 joined the study on
2020-07-05 13:48 and will be part of the study until
You can modify this period for one or more participants by selecting the intended participants and clicking on the
Modify Participation Period option. To do so:
- Select one or more participants from the list.
- Either from the table header or from the sidebar, click on
Modify Participation Period.
- Select a new start and end date from the dialog.
- Clicking on
Savewill apply the change immediately.
When you modify the participation period for a given participant, Ethica automatically adjusts their activity sessions based on the new period. For example, if you set their start time to a later time, the responses provided prior to this time will not be accessible anymore. Or if you reduce the end time, the sessions scheduled after the new end time will be removed. You must be cautious how you are modifying this period.
Ethica apps for Android and iPhone are capable of working offline. To do so, occasionally the app connects to the server, downloads all study settings, and uses those settings as the basis for its operation.
If you modify the study settings while participants are already enrolled in the study, you might make those settings invalid. In this case, the configuration of the study that the participants' apps have is out of date. You can wait for each participant's app to sync itself with the latest changes, or you can ask Ethica to reload the settings on the participant's device.
If you choose to reload participants' devices, Ethica sends a message to their device and performs the reload. The message is often received by the app right away, but this is not guaranteed. If the participants are offline, or in some rare cases, it can take days for the message to be delivered.
An alternative solution is to ask participants to open the Ethica app, navigate to
Settings, tap on
My Studies, and then tap on
Reload Studies From Server. This initiates the reload immediately.
You can choose to exclude one or more participants from the study. This will stop all data collection immediately and removes the study from their app (you may need to reload participants' devices).
For more details on dropping out of a study, please refer to the Study Dropout section.
This option allows you to remove a given participant from the study, and delete all their associated data as well. In this case, Ethica will delete the participation record for this participant, any collected sensor data, and any collected activity data as well.
The participant may join the study again. If the study is invitation-bases, she or he will need a new invitation to join the study. Also, if they join the study again, Ethica considers them as a new participant and recalculates their participation period