Shifting a laboratory-based study to one that employs a remote-testing approach, or designing a new remote study, requires the investigator to consider numerous issues that could impact the accuracy, reliability, validity, or legality of the work. In this section, we aim to explore the many questions that an investigator might consider and–where possible–identify some of the clearest options. Although a long-term goal of the task force is to identify best practices or guidelines for remote testing, the necessary evidence base (in terms of what works well and what does not) does not yet exist. Thus, for the time being you will find few explicit recommendations here, and investigators are encouraged to carefully consider each issue as it pertains to the specific goals of their own research. Please refer to Examples for additional specific information provided by investigators regarding the successes and failures of individual projects. View this content as a single concatenated page.
Discussion content is distributed across these major areas:
- Reasons/motivations for remote testing
- Discussing some advantages of remote testing and connections to similar activities (e.g. telehealth) in related fields.
- Compliance issues
- Legal and institutional requirements related to human-participants protection, privacy, consenting, data and safety monitoring etc.
- Participant administration
- Practical considerations for recruiting, consenting, and working with research participants remotely.
- Stimulus presentation
- Hardware and software considerations for controlled stimulus presentation: audio, video, hearing device compatibility.
- Response data collection
- Hardware, software, and design considerations for collecting data from research participants.
- Stimulus / response calibration
- Information about calibrating audio and video stimuli. Approaches to monitoring stimulus levels, background noise, transducer frequency response, etc. Also, calibration of response devices.
- Task Performance considerations
- Types of experimental tasks and potential limitations on participant performance in various remote settings.
- Data handling
- Practical considerations related to storing and transmitting data obtained during remote testing. Types of data, client/server side storage, privacy and security, backup.
- Data Analysis
- Special considerations for the analysis and validation of remote-testing data. Validation studies, analytical approaches.
- Platform considerations. Some dimensions along which platforms vary:
- Broad consideration of dimensions across which remote-testing research platforms vary, in terms of capabilities, requirements, etc.
- Considerations for special populations, including pediatric considerations
- Challenges and approaches unique to specific populations, e.g. sensory loss, pediatric, and other special needs.
- Peer review
- Considerations for peer review of disseminated remote-testing research. Evaluating rigor, communicating limitations, identifying relevant resources (e.g. comparable literature).
- Identifying best practices
- Consideration of why, how, and when recommendations or guidelines for remote testing might be generated. A growing list of best practices which should be included in remote-testing studies.
- Relevant Standards
- Published standards relevant to tests, measurements, and equipment that are commonly used in laboratory hearing assessment.