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EconPort Configuration and Experiment Setup

Each experiment on Econport uses a configuration. By separating the configuration from the experiment, Econport allows the same configuration to be reused for multiple experiments. This saves time for users who routinely run experiments with the same setup.

This page describes how to use a prepared configuration and how to create a configuration, and also how to use a configuration to create an experiment.

Use a Prepared Configuration

Prepared configurations are provided for a number of topics. If you add one of these to your EconPort profile, you'll automatically create a Configuration Group. When you choose to add a prepared configuration to your profile, you also can select the checkbox labeled "Create experiment." This is strongly recommended when you first run an experiment on EconPort.

There are five steps that you need to follow in order to run an experiment using a prepared configuration.

  1. Install Java Web Start.
  2. Log in to your EconPort account in the area labelled "Experimenter Login" on the left sidebar.
  3. Click the button for the configuration that you want. When you do this, you have the option to select a Configuration Group where the configuration will be saved. The simplest way to proceed is to use the default "Public Configurations" group. Also, at this point, if you check the box labelled "Create experiment" then you will be ready to run the experiment in the next step.
  4. Click on the "Experiments" link in the area labelled "User Menu" on the left sidebar.
  5. Click on the "Run" button at the right end of the entry for the experiment.

Create a Configuration

The first step in creating a configuration is to create a Configuration Group if you don't already have one. A Configuration Group is something like a directory that you can use to store your configurations. The Configuration Group should help you manage information effectively.

Create a Configuration Group:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in to your EconPort account. If not, you must create a new account by using the "Register" link in the "Experimenter Login" box on the left sidebar.
  2. Click the "Configurations" link in the User Menu at the left of this page to view the "My Configurations" page.
  3. Click the "Add New Group" button (near the bottom of the page).
  4. Enter a name and a short description for the group, and then click the "Add" button.

Configuration groups are able to store an arbitrary number of configurations. Now that you have created a configuration group, you are ready to add a configuration to your group.

Create a Configuration:

  1. On your "My Configurations" page, click the "Add New Configuration" button located within the configuration group you just created. You will now see a configuration setup page with several options.
  2. You will now enter a name and a brief description of your configuration, as well as choose the experiment software to be used for the configuration. For specific information about each software package, please refer to the documentation available from the Experiments page.
  3. Once you click the "Add" button to commit your input in the step above, you will be returned to your "My Configurations" page. You should now see your new configuration listed in your group. Note that this new configuration has a red "X" in the status column. This tells you that the configuration is not yet complete. More precisely, you still need to open the specific experiment software and complete your setup.
  4. Click the "Edit" button associated with your new configuration. This edit page allows you to change the name and description of the configuration, move or copy the configuration into a new group, as well as launch the actual experiment software that will allow you to finish your configuration. To launch the experiment software to further edit your configuration, click the "Paramaterize Configuration" button. For help with this additional configuration, you must refer to the specific software documentation.
  5. Once you have completed this final configuration, exit the setup software. Your work is now saved on Econport.

Create an Experiment

Experiments are contained in Experiment Groups.

Create an Experiment Group:

  1. Click the "Experiments" link in the User Menu at the left of this page.
  2. Once on the "My Experiments" page, click the "Add New Group" button.
  3. You will now enter a name and a short description for the group.
  4. Note that there is an "Access Code" field. Enter a short code into the right access code text box. When your students come to EconPort to participate in your experiment, they will enter your access code -- your e-mail address followed by the short code that you enter here. For example, if your e-mail is 'your_name@your_school.edu' and you enter the access code 'abc' then students will access your experiment on EconPort by entering the access code 'your_name@your_school.edu-abc'
  5. Click the "Add" button after you have filled in all three fields.

Now that you have created an experiment group, you will now create an experiment session.

Create an Experiment:

  1. On your "My Experiments" page you will now see the experiment group you have created. Within this group, click the "Add New Experiment" button.
  2. Give your experiment a name and description.
  3. Use the dropdown to select the configuration you wish to use for this experiment. You will be able to select a configuration from all of the configurations that are stored on your "My Configurations" page.
  4. Click the "Add" button to complete your setup.

NOTE: Now that you have created an experiment session, it is initially inactive. This means that subjects are not yet able to connect to the session. The "Status" field on your "My Experiments" page displays for each experiment whether it is new, running, or ended. To initiate your experiment session, click the "Run" button associated with your experiment. At this point, experiment software behavior differs somewhat by application: please refer to specific software documentation for functionality past this point.

 
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