Short description


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MEPA: Multiple Episode Protocol Analysis  


A computer program for interaction analysis  

MEPA (Multiple Episode Protocol Analysis program) is meant to be a flexible program for annotation, coding and protocol transcription of dynamic verbal or nonverbal observational data. In an educational setting these data could consist of classroom discussions, collaborative dialogues, tutorial dialogues, thinking aloud protocols, email forums, electronic discussions, videotape transcriptions, etc.

MEPA is multifunctional in the sense that within this program a system for coding or transcription can be developed, and with the same program the coded verbal or non-verbal protocols can be analyzed with a variety of quantitative or qualitative methods. MEPA currently provides for the following methods of analysis: frequency and time-interval analysis; cross tables with association measures; lag-sequential analysis, inter-observer agreement and reliability analysis; visual chart analysis; word-frequency and word-context analysis; sorting and searching procedures. Tools for inductive pattern recognition are currently being implemented.

MEPA is built on a multidimensional data-structure, in which protocol data can be coded or labeled on several dimensions or levels. A distinction can be made between event and episode variables. An event refers to a single occurrence, while an episode refers to a period or series of events with a specific characterization. To reduce the effort of protocol coding and to enhance the reliability, a programming module is built in with which the user can automate the coding process to a certain extent.