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Research Software

The Communication Research Lab/Focus Group Room in 314 Murphy Hall is a jewel for supporting a wide-range of communication-related studies and data collection. This small, centrally located campus research facility offers an intimate setting and treasure of resources for graduate and faculty research.

The 314ABC Testing Rooms each have two PC computer workstations with the following research software programs installed for conducting studies and experiments.

MediaLab Research Software by Empirisoft

Created specifically for the Windows environment, MediaLab allows for a wide variety of experimental design for researchers with all levels of technological proficiency. Highly intuitive and user-friendly, MediaLab has sample experiments, a simple tutorial and an easy-to-follow manual allowing users to create basic experiments in 15-20 minutes.

MediaLab allows researchers to design surveys from simple to complex with powerful multi-media capability to embed files alone or in combination. If MediaLab can’t perform a specific task, it will branch off to run an independent program during the experiment and return to where it left off.

It allows for a variety of input including multiple choice responses, fill-in-the-blanks, essay-type open ended responses, thought and recall listings and even rates one’s own open-ended responses. It writes data to an easy-to-analyze ASCII file or imports files into either Excel or SPSS. The format in which the study is saved works great as a codebook, too.

DirectRT Research Software by Empirisoft

Direct RT easily and quickly creates reaction time tasks requiring precision timing. It can run within a MediaLab experiment or independently. It easily retrieves accurate high speed response input from keyboards, mice, joysticks, microphones and external hardware – minimizing timing errors associated with most third party hardware. It handles sound, video, images and text with exacting precision. All input and output files are created and saved in .CSV format which is editable from any standard spreadsheet application.

MediaLab and DirectRT are indispensable for creating basic surveys or complex interactive multi-media experiments.

SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)

SPSS is among the most widely used programs for statistical analysis in the social sciences, and is used by researchers across a broad spectrum of academia and industry. SPSS supports the analytical process with data preparation, data management, output management and charting features.

SPSS is compatible for importing data from ASCII text files, other statistics packages, spreadsheets and databases. This analytical tool is user friendly, flexible and provides the basics of statistical analysis in research.

HLM (Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modeling)

HLM allows for the study of relationships at any level in a single analysis. This program can fit models to outcome variables and generate a linear model that accounts for variations at each level. It is commonly used for research studies where data is of hierarchical structure.

Survey Tools

Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey allows users to create professional surveys easily in any browser. Users can choose from pre-configured question types, survey templates or design a custom survey. Features such as skip logic and validation options improve response rates and answers. Results are immediate with cross tab and filter features. Data can be turned into charts and graphs, or downloaded into Excel and Adobe PDF docs, and HTML or XML for the web.

The SJMC Research Division has a subscription to Zoomerang Premium. This subscription level offers unlimited questions and responses per survey, professional survey creation tools, advanced survey creation, analysis and reporting tools, secure survey data collection and expert toll-free phone support. It also deploys surveys to Facebook, Twitter and to mobile phones.