Control group study setup help

Project Guidance

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Craig White

Jun 2015

I need guidance on how to set up a side by side comparison of nursery plant trials using biochar. We have just started trials of a product called Cool Terra in several varieties of nursery plants such as Ornamental grasses, Loropetalum, Encore Azaleas, Hydrangeas and more to come. Do I need to set up 3 different projects or more or can I do comparisons in one project? We have a control group, and 2 more groups with the material we are testing.

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Dan TerAvest

Jun 2015

You can set up your comparisons in one project regardless of the number of species you are testing or the number of materials you are testing. You will need to make sure that you have a 'user question' for every critical variable in your project. Here are a few tips:

  1. Using "multiple choice text" question for variables such as species or the material you are testing (treatment). This option is best if you have a limited number of species or treatments (you don't want to scroll thru 24 possible answers for every question if you can avoid it). You can then set up questions like: what species? material tested? location (if testing these materials over different locales)? replicate? etc.

  2. Another option is to use the "text answer" option when creating your user questions. If you use this option you can have an unlimited number of options for each variable (e.g. species, management, etc). An additional benefit is that, for example, if you decide to add a new species to the project after the project has already been created, you do not have to go back and add another possible answer. A couple of things to keep in mid if you choose the 'text answer' option: a) you will need to type the answers into the app, which can be time consuming, and b) when using this option the data viewer will add a new filter set for every spelling of an answer. So if 1 user enters "1" has an answer and another user enters "one," then you will end up with 2 different filters in the data viewer.

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Craig White

Jun 2015

Thanks Dan, do you know of or have any examples? Where are the user questions set up? I don't see that option on the dashboard.

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Dan TerAvest

Jun 2015

The user questions are set up when you create the project. When you go to photosynq.org, there with be a tab at the top of the page labelled "create." This is where you create your project, add user questions, and choose protocols to measure. Here's a link to a tutorial video about creating a project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lEg-aR44cQ&feature=youtu.be

You can look at the following project: http://photosynq.org/projects/photosynq-ecs-testing to see how the project was set up (if you go to the data explorer you will see the custom filters on the right of the screen).