This page provides some information on Think Research’s iSA application, now updated and available as a web service. Our original iSA app was used in over 30 countries all over the world, including most of Europe, the USA, Australia, China, Argentina, India, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea!
iSA is a portable, electronic version of the commonly used Instantaneous Self Assessment (ISA). ISA was first developed for use in Human-in-the-loop (HITL) Real Time Simulations (RTS) for Air Traffic Control (ATC) research and development (R&D) simulations. That’s ISA in HITL RTS for ATC R&D. Simple!
The purpose of the ISA technique is to continually ask a user the same question (“How do you rate your workload?”) and get their opinions over time on a scale. The question and the scale stay the same but the conditions of the test or simulation may be changing. After a period of time, the user responses can be judged against what was happening at that point in time in order to get an indication of the effect of the test conditions on the user’s perceived workload.
iSA is a mobile app for the ISA technique, which can be used anywhere, at any time and for any test. It was designed for cases where a simulation facility does not have a pre-installed ISA system or where one cannot be installed for reasons of cost or portability. The user can run the iSA application in these instances. Alternatively, since the question being asked is configurable, iSA can be used in any scenario.
Here are just some of the questions it’s been used to assess so far:
– How do you rate your workload?
– How tired/drunk/happy am I right now?
– How would I currently rate this film/song/soccer match?
iSA is configurable via the Client User pages directly from the web service. The the user can customise the following options:
Input Scale – choose between scales 1-5, 1-7, 1-9.
Labels – what variables are in your experimental design? These can be set up in advance to allow easier identification of run factors.
Test duration – The length of your test in minutes. You can set this to any number.
Prompt Interval – The length of time between each instance of the question being asked. For example, if you want the question to be asked every 2 minutes, set this value to 120 seconds.
Input Time Limit – The length of time the user has to enter a response in seconds. If the value is set to ‘10’, the user has 10 seconds in which to give their answer. If no answer is returned, the application records a missed value and the test continues.
Beep – The user has the option to turn on and off the audible beep each time the prompt appears. This is useful if the device is out of direct line of sight during use.
Number definitions – The default is for the input buttons to include only the scalar numbers. If you wish, the definitions of the numbers can be turned on. This will display text beside some or all of the numbers to indicate which represent a ‘low’ score and which represent a ‘high’ score.
Flash – As above, the user has the option to add an additional alert in the form of a flashing screen.
iSA records the session information and stores it on our cloud server. The data is viewable and exportable (in a *.csv file). iSA logs the interval number, the score recorded by the user, the response time (in seconds) for the user to enter the response, and a time stamp of the actual time of data entry. All log files remain under your Client User account until you either delete them or remove your user accountr.