News

April 2009: Added new measurement to log files
We added a new measurement to the log files for experiments hosted on WEXTOR. Since April 4, 2009, you'll find the "%D" entry, the "time taken to serve the request, in microseconds" at the end of each line (see http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_log_config.html#formats for more information). The new log format string is:
LogFormat "%P\t%{%m/%d/%y}t\t%{%T}t\t%c\t%h\t%U\t%B\t%{User-Agent}i\t%{Referer}i\t%T\t%q\t%D" wextor
June 2008: Tutorial featuring screenshots and detailed descriptions
Ulf-Dietrich Reips set up a tutorial featuring screenshots and detailed descriptions that shows the complete process from logging in to downloading results. Get it here (pdf, 6.9MB):
http://wextor.org/wextor_docs/WEXTOR_tutorial.pdf
February 2008: Flash content and soft validation
Flash objects are available as a new item type.
This faciliates the integration of multimedia content such as video and audio into your experiments.
There's also a new option in Step 9c that let's you add 'soft validation' to your experiment. If soft validation is turned on, an alert message informs the participant that not all items on the page were answered, if this is the case when the submit button is clicked. The alert, however, is shown only once for each page to avoid psychological reactance that may result in random answering behavior (Reips, 2002; Stieger, Reips, & Voracek, 2008). If the participant decides to continue without filling in all the items, he or she may as well do so.
August 2007: WEXTOR now has 1500 registered users.
Download and upload of experiment files is now managed via the more compatible and more widely pre-installed .zip format instead of the .tar.gz format.
March 2007: WEXTOR 2.5 released
WEXTOR now features
- flexible timing out of individual pages
- a "path variable" in the data output file that shows the sequence of pages a participant visited
- flexible high hurdles for the first three pages
- double response time measurement of second and millisecond resolution for detection of suspicious cases
March 2006: Hosting updated
Hosting of Web experiments is now available in trial account mode. Following repeated requests we implemented download of data in Excel/SPSS ready 'each-participant-a-line-each-variable-a-column' format in addition to the log file format. It is available separately in paid account mode. Please contact wextor@deusto.es for details.
November 2005: WEXTOR 2.4 released
Following repeated requests we have now implemented hosting of Web experiments. It is available separately in paid account mode. Please contact wextor@deusto.es for details.
August 2005: WEXTOR 2.3 released
WEXTOR now features
- the seriousness check technique
- the high hurdle technique
- improved navigation in Steps 9 and 10
- In Step 9b, page icons can be clicked to access the 'Adding HTML forms' page. Also, generated web pages can be previewed directly from here.
- better graphical analogue scales: they now have an upper limit of 200 discrete steps and improved appearance in the generated pages.
October 2004: WEXTOR in the APS Observer
In his article "Brave New World ... Wide Web", Michael Schulte-Mecklenbeck discusses pros and cons of Virtual Learning Environments and points out where, how and why they can be most useful for both teachers and students. Virtual laboratories, such as WEXTOR, are found to be just as valuable in education as conventional labs. Read the whole article at the APS Website.
June 2004: WEXTOR 2.2 is online!
Experimental designs can now be duplicated and renamed. Using these features, designs that are highly similar but not exactly equal can be created in a very timesaving manner. Additionally, a participant pool has been implementet: every registered WEXTOR user can on the one hand choose to participate in the pool and on the other hand request a number of participants from the pool for their own experiments.
WEXTOR 2.1: The new version includes automatically generated meta tags for ensuring that search engines will only register the first page of Web experiments generated with WEXTOR, long text fields for question entries in the content wizard, new administration features, and an improved Javascript for randomized distribution of participants to experimental conditions. In the past, it could happen that the participants were not equally distributed to the different conditions in *laboratory* experiments conducted with WEXTOR-generated code, because the simple "math.random()" function in Javascript is not truly random when accessed from the same computer over and over again (because the same seed is used as a basis repeatedly) - a nice example for what we see as a general danger in relying on single technical devices in laboratory experiments.
We went through a change in the WEXTOR development team. Christoph Neuhaus has finished his thesis work at our department, and is now pursuing a doctorate at the polytechnical institute in Zurich. We welcome Thomas Blumer as the new driving force in programming future versions of WEXTOR!
WEXTOR 2.0 beta 3: This database-driven version of WEXTOR allows you to store your experimental designs on our Web server and access them from anywhere, at any time. Your personal WEXTOR account allows you to create up to ten experimental designs that you then may modify repeatedly. A long requested feature, support for downloading of the generated Web pages, has been implemented.
In addition to the major improvements mentioned above we have made many more changes. Some of the features that have been added or improved in WEXTOR 2.0 are listed below.
  • support for factorial designs with up to 5 within-subjects factors
  • improvements to the visual display of experimental designs
  • improvements to the content wizard: you can now easily create and modify interactive form elements (dependent measures) and other experimental materials via content wizard
  • improved generation of HTML and Javascript code
  • improved user guidance speeds up and simplifies the process of designing laboratory experiments or Web experiments
  • extended help functions including examples and links to related topics
  • completely redesigned Web site