|Authors||A. Karahasanovic, B. C. D. Anda, E. Arisholm, S. E. Hove, M. Jørgensen and D. I. K. Sjøberg|
|Title||A Think-Aloud Support Tool for Collecting Feedback in Large-Scale Software Engineering Experiments|
|Publication Type||Technical reports|
|Year of Publication||2003|
|Publisher||Simula Research Laboratory|
The think-aloud method has proven useful for studying how a technology is used. However, it is labour-intensive and makes demands on resources for studies with many subjects. This paper describes a tool, called the think-aloud tool, that we have developed to support the collection of feedback from subjects in large-scale software engineering experiments. This tool instructs the subjects, at regular intervals, to write down their thoughts on a web-based screen and collects their feedback. An empirical evaluation of this tool is reported. The results from four controlled experiments suggest that the think-aloud tool is a valuable means for increasing the quality of large-scale software engineering experiments. The results also indicate that the participants were mostly positive to the tool and had no significant problems in verbalising their thoughts. The tool we proposed adds to an available set of tools for data collection in software engineering experiments. Whereas we have experience with the think-aloud tool in software engineering experiments, there is also potential for using such a tool in other areas in which the think-aloud method is used in studies involving a computer system.