Think-aloud data

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When study participants, like students or domain experts, are asked do an activity or perform a task, such as solving a problem, the experimenter can ask them to "think aloud" as they work. The researcher typically records participants' speech and may also video tape their actions.

When the participant is working on a computer, often a screen-capture recording system (like Camtasia) is used so that the analyst can see what it is on the computer screen that participants are talking about and doing. Speech quality is often better if students wear close-talk headset microphones.

There has been controversy and research about whether think-aloud data collection affects students' cognition. After many experiments comparing performance with and without such data collection, the answer is "it depends" on what the activity is. See