Set up your system

Good and thorough preparations will provide you with better data and will save you time in the end. Decide what kind of license structure you need, set up your hardware, install the software, and design a coding scheme. You can benefit from our experience with different hardware set-ups ranging from video recording to interfacing with data acquisition systems, or synchronized starting of other programs or systems. With The Observer XT at the core of your lab, it is possible to automate the recording of various types of data along with live behavioral coding or to code off-line later.

The Observer XT is a modular software package

The basic The Observer XT system offers the solution for live coding and data analysis. You can extend this basic system with up to five modules, for multiple video, or for example advanced analysis, whatever suits your research needs. There is also a SDK available for developers who want to build their own modules or interfaces with other systems. Our sales consultants can design the perfect solution for your application. More information about the modules can be found here.

The Observer XT  supports the Floating Site License functionality. This functionality makes the software more versatile. A hardware key is no longer needed! Researchers can easily use the software throughout a department, a building, around the campus, and even from their own houses. The Floating Site License offers a number of significant benefits because of its focus on easy use, flexibility and efficiency. Read more...

Designing a coding scheme - made easy

Designing a coding scheme is a crucial step in behavioral research. The coding scheme is the actual measuring instrument. Choices made at this stage determine what you can do with your data at later stages.

  • Describe complex phenomena in few keystrokes. The coding scheme has a powerful syntax
  • Coding, editing, and adding comments in Chinese, Russian, and Japanese characters is possible enabling.
  • Record social interactions, group processes, and other complex behaviors with a minimum of different codes, minimizing learning efforts and errors.
  • Add or change codes while observing.

The Observer XT guides you through the process of building a coding scheme. For example, if you want to add behaviors, the software instantly shows you what kind of results you can expect.

In The Observer XT you can save a project as a template. These templates provide ease of use, security, and flexibility.

  1. Save and lock a coding scheme for others so they can contribute to a research project by coding behaviors. For example, create a coding scheme for several others who work with Coder Licenses.
  2. As a lab manager, you have defined your hardware settings. Using a template, you can now reuse them every time somebody opens a predefined template. Next to hardware settings, you can also save independent variables or coding scheme settings. 
  3. As a researcher you spend a lot of time and effort in developing coding schemes. With the new online exchange functionality, sharing coding schemes has become easy. You can upload templates with coding schemes to share with other users or download coding schemes that are already online. This will save time and it is free of charge! Once you download  a coding scheme, you can find who set it up and contact him or her directly. Then feel free to modify that coding scheme in your version of The Observer XT to exactly suit your needs.

Multiple methods

In The Observer XT you can use both time (instantaneous) sampling and continuous recording as sample methods. Time sampling is a straightforward method that works best in live observations. You sample behaviors at pre defined intervals which reduces your workload. Furthermore, it is easy to learn and suitable for the study of individuals in groups. For all the reasons mentioned above, use The Observer XT to combine these sample methods! Choose one or more focus subjects, which you observe and code continuously. At a set time interval the software will remind you to code the behaviors of your other subjects, which you code using time sampling.