MicroBatching Your Study

MicroBatching breaks your study into multiple HITs of 9 assignments or less and runs HITs sequentially, allowing you to slow down data collection. MicroBatch cuts MTurk fees from 40% to 20%.

What is MicroBatching?

At its heart, MicroBatch is a tool for slowing down your data collection. When using MicroBatch, you can divide your study into multiple HITs and determine how many participants you would like to sample per HIT. HITs with nine participants or less reduce Mechanical Turk fees by 50%.

Once your study is launched, HITs are run one-at-a-time. This means a HIT with 9 assignments may be launched to start the study. Then, CloudResearch will wait to launch the second HIT until either: a) 9 participants complete the study, b) the maximum time allowed for the HIT elapses, or c) the time specified by you in the MicroBatch setup elapses.

CloudResearch restarts your HIT after the maximum time allowed for the HIT elapses in order to continually keep the HIT near the top of the Worker Dashboard. When you specify an Auto Restart time, your study will restart and launch a new HIT when the value you specify elapses. Importantly, the Auto Restart time can be used to spread your data collection out over the day or multiple days. By specifying how many minutes to wait before launching your next HIT, you can effectively ensure your data collection does not all occur at one time.

TIP! Our batching features prevent workers from taking multiple HITs within the same study. In addition, at the end of your study, we provide a consolidated csv file with all the HIT IDs and Worker IDs associated with the study.

When you Cannot Use MicroBatch

You may be unable to use MicroBatch in your study for the following reasons:

  • The maximum time allotted per assignment is greater than 90 minutes.

One feature of MicroBatching is that your study is periodically restarted to ensure it remains near the top of the Worker Dashboard. The Restart function does not work with studies expected to take more than 90 minutes. Therefore, MicroBatching cannot be used for studies with a maximum time allotted per assignment greater than 90 minutes.

  • You are using the Include Workers feature.

When you use an include list, all the workers on your list are eligible for the study. As a result, it makes sense for the HIT to be open to all those workers whenever they are ready to take it. When you use the Include Workers feature, MicroBatch is disabled. You can still use HyperBatch to save on MTurk fees.

  • You are sampling more than 1,000 workers.

If you’re targeting more than 1,000 workers, MicroBatch is disabled. To run a large study and still use MicroBatch, you can try creating a Survey Group.

  • You are using HyperBatch.

MicroBatch and HyperBatch are mutually exclusive ways of subdividing your study into multiple HITs. Only one option can be used at a time.