Anqi Hu
February 2020

What do you work on?

My work focus­es on under­stand­ing the indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences in word learn­ing in typ­i­cal­ly devel­op­ing chil­dren and chil­dren with Autism Spec­trum Disorder.

What did you do using Gorilla?

I used Gorilla to con­duct behav­iour­al exper­i­ments and recruit par­tic­i­pants online.

Cur­rent­ly, I use Gorilla to run a study that exam­ines the role of social inter­ac­tion in word learn­ing in school-aged chil­dren. Specif­i­cal­ly, I have cre­at­ed and con­duct­ed a fill-in-the-blank task on Gorilla to pilot the stim­uli in my project. In the future, I will also use Gorilla to con­duct other tasks that inves­ti­gate word learn­ing out­comes and lan­guage com­pre­hen­sion in children!

Why did you choose Gorilla?

I have used other online exper­i­ment plat­forms too. How­ev­er, Gorilla real­ly wins it all because it is built from the per­spec­tives of researchers. The tuto­ri­als, inter­faces, and func­tion­al­i­ty sup­port­ed in Gorilla are very suit­able for researchers who are con­duct­ing behav­iour­al experiments.

For you, what is the stand-out fea­ture in Gorilla?

“Gorilla is a high­ly user-friend­ly plat­form for any researchers who are inter­est­ed in con­duct­ing behav­iour­al research. Even those who are not expe­ri­enced in JavaScript can use it to build a well-designed web-based experiment.”

The month­ly fea­ture updates from Gorilla also pro­vide many use­ful resources for exper­i­menters that are look­ing for new func­tions on the platform.

How did Gorilla make your life or research bet­ter, eas­i­er or faster?

Gorilla has made it so much more con­ve­nient for me to col­lect data from par­tic­i­pants remote­ly and sig­nif­i­cant­ly short­ened the time I would have to spend build­ing a web-based experiment.

Are there any online cours­es, pod­casts, dis­cus­sion groups or resources that you’d rec­om­mend to others?

I high­ly rec­om­mend this video for best prac­tices in online experiments.

What is the biggest advan­tage of online research methods?

Online research can help us to reach a more rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple and make research more con­ve­nient for both researchers and par­tic­i­pants. Par­tic­i­pants will not be restrict­ed to a loca­tion or a time. Exper­i­ments can also be done in a com­fort­able envi­ron­ment at home.

How do you think online research is going to change your field?

Online research has the great poten­tial for us to reach out to a more rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple and to cre­ate a more par­tic­i­pant-friend­ly research expe­ri­ence. It is tremen­dous­ly help­ful for stud­ies that inves­ti­gate indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences and learn­ing in children.

When you’re not work­ing what do you enjoy doing?

I real­ly enjoy work­ing with chil­dren. Work­ing with them is very fun and engag­ing. Try­ing to think about how to make my exper­i­ments more child-friend­ly is chal­leng­ing but at the same time very rewarding.

Who or what orig­i­nal­ly inspired you to work in your field of research?

I have been inter­est­ed in lan­guage since I was young. Being a bilin­gual grow­ing up, I have always been fas­ci­nat­ed by how chil­dren can learn lan­guages. I am also very inter­est­ed in how learn­ing occurs in chil­dren that have dif­fer­ent lan­guage pro­files. Thus, com­ing to grad­u­ate school has inspired me to work on the indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences in lan­guage learn­ing in chil­dren with Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der with my advi­sor, Zheng­han Qi, and our amaz­ing lab members.

Anqi Hu
Language, word learning, autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
PhD student
University of Delaware
Anqi Hu

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