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Research at St Andrews

Overcoming mental blocks: a blocks-based approach to Experience Sampling studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Daniel John Rough, Aaron John Quigley

School/Research organisations


Experience Sampling Method (ESM) studies repeatedly survey participants on their behaviours and experiences as they go about their everyday lives. Smartphones afford an ideal platform for ESM study applications as devices seldom leave their users, and can automatically sense surrounding context to augment subjective survey responses. ESM studies are employed in fields such as psychology and social science where researchers are not necessarily programmers and require tools for application creation. Previous tools using web forms, text files, or flowchart paradigms are either insufficient to model the potential complexity of study protocols, or fail to provide a low threshold to entry. We demonstrate that blocks programming simultaneously lowers the barriers to creating simple study protocols, while enabling the creation of increasingly sophisticated protocols. We discuss the design of Jeeves, our blocks-based environment for ESM studies, and explain advantages that blocks afford in ESM study design.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE Blocks and Beyond Workshop (B&B)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538624807
ISBN (Print)9781538624814
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Event2nd Workshop on Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments - Raleigh, United States
Duration: 10 Oct 2017 → …
Conference number: 2


Workshop2nd Workshop on Lessons and Directions for First Programming Environments
CountryUnited States
Period10/10/17 → …
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Visual programming, End-user development (EUD), Experience sampling method (ESM)

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