Survey Awesome

Introduction to Conducting Experiments Online

August 18, 2021 - 4:30PM to 7PM (IST)
If you'd like to see a particular topic covered , please fill up the contact form and I'll try to include it in the workshop.


Experiments combine ease of conduct and power of predicting causal relationships and are an indispensable tool for research in the social sciences and management. Scholars in these fields are generally trained well in designing experiments and analysing data. However, there is very little help available for the intermediary step of implementing these experiments in the lab. With the pandemic almost mandating that data be collected digitally, this gap has been further widened.

This workshop aims to address this gap by introducing researchers in the social sciences and management to the tools available to successfully conduct experiments online.

The aim is to familiarise the participants with the technologies that power the web (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript) and provide an overview of existing tools that may aid data collection. An experiment is generally considered to be a series of stimuli and responses. Therefore, the demos will be related to modular tasks, such as implementing conditional timelines, displaying dynamic data to participants, incorporating external web services in the experiment, and collecting audio-visual responses. These can then be combined to administer complex experiments online. At the end of the workshop, it is expected that the participant will be able to run simple experiments on their own, while understanding the resources required and the knowledge about where to find them, for complex ones.

The workshop will use jspsych and lab.js for building the experiments. Qualtrics will be used as the platform to host and run the experiments; however, the concepts outlined can be used, with slight modifications, on other platforms such as, QuestionPro, RedCap and Lime Surveys, amongst others.


Ahmed Ashhar is a PhD candidate at the marketing department of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. His research explores how the use of empathy in marketing communications affects consumers. He works with data from multiple sources, such as social media and online experiments, and therefore, has an active interest in data collection methods and creating automated data pipelines. On various research projects, he has helped over 200 students and faculty from institutes around the world, such as the University of Liverpool, NUS and LSE, amongst others. He is also a registered resource with several universities, such as UNC-Chapel Hill, NYU, UMN and others, to advise and support their online data collection. He provides data collection consultancy to non-academic projects through his agency Survey Awesome, maintains a few public databases, and is an active contributor to several open-source projects.