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Remote control: evaluating the potential of virtual desktops as a data collection tool in studies exploring how people use the Internet

Denvir, Catrina (2016) Remote control: evaluating the potential of virtual desktops as a data collection tool in studies exploring how people use the Internet. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20 (5). pp. 533-546. [Journal article]

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URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13645579.2016.1253196?needAccess=true

DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2016.1253196

Abstract

This study explores how virtual desktops hosted within a cloud computing environment can be used as a data capture tool to undertake research exploring web-browsing and web-searching behaviour. It details the protocol used to observe the task-orientated web interactions of 105 university and school aged participants within the confines of a research experiment and considers the comparability between data collected remotely via virtual desktops and data collected in a controlled environment. Data collected remotely via virtual desktops is found to be comparable to data collected in the field across a number of key statistics, with remote data collection making recruitment and participation more convenient, whilst potentially reducing response bias. The protocol detailed has broad potential for adaption where there is a need to remotely capture participants’ web-use in a cost-effective and non-technical manner. Limitations with the protocol are identified and possibilities for future adaptations are discussed.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Internet, virtual desktops, cloud computing, methodology, social research, human-computer interaction, legal knowledge
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Faculty of Social Sciences
ID Code:36677
Deposited By: Dr Catrina Denvir
Deposited On:31 Jan 2017 14:09
Last Modified:10 Jun 2018 22:23

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