WebGrid II is an update of our original WebGrid program that is compatible with it and offers the same mode of operation for basic repertory grid elicitation. In addition, WebGrid II offers new modes of operation that make more capabilities available.

Online Information

A small icon showing a white question mark on a blue background appears in each section of all the WebGrid screens. Clicking on this icon provides information on how to use the WebGrid capabilities in the relevant section.

The information facility can be turned on and off as required. The information is diplayed in a separate window so that it does not interfere with the eliciation and analysis.

Ease of Entering Existing Grids

WebGrid II provides a special mode of operation to facilitate rapid entry of existing grids for analysis, exchange, and so on.

Customizing WebGrid

WebGrid II allows the user to specify the header and footer material to appear on each screen and to customize background and text colors and rules. This can be used to customize WebGrid for particular applications and to support links to other applications.

Multimedia Annotation

WebGrid II allows text or HTML annotation to be input for each element and each construct. This annotation is displayed, for example, in triadic elicitation so that pictures, sounds and comments may be made available, as well as hypermedia links to other material.

Saving and Exporting Data

WebGrid has always supported local saving of grid data. Since both the grid data and the server address are held in hidden fields inside the documents returned, it has always been possible to save a grid on the user's machine and continue elicitation and analysis at a later date by simply opening the saved file in a web browser.

WebGrid II extends this capability by holding data in the documents in a tab-separated format that can be read by spread sheet and statistical analysis packages, and by providing facilities to return the data to the user as a file not embedded in HTML. The file formats available include that of RepGrid allowing WebGrid data to be exported to RepGrid.

Categorical and Numerical Constructs

WebGrid II allows the basic repertory grid to be extended with additional forms of construct such as categorical constructs (equivalent to naming each value of a rating scale) and numerical constructs (equivalent to rating scales with a large number of values).

The extended grids can be analyzed in the same way as conventional grids.

The availability of these extensions is controlled by the level of operation that is specified:-

Extended Analysis Capabilities

As already noted, weights may be specified for constructs and, in addition, the parameters for each analysis can be specified. For example, in Principal Components analysis the components to be graphed can be specified and the analyzed data can be returned in text form for use in other packages.

Interactive Graphical Output

The graphical plots returned by Cluster (FOCUS) and Map (PrinCom) are interactive. If the analysis of an element or construct appears anomalous the user can click on its name in the plot and WebGrid takes them to a screen which shows the detailed values and allows them to be edited.

Full Support of Exchanging and Comparing Grids

WebGrid I supported the comparative analysis of exchanged grids and grids with the same elements. However, the original grid had to be stored on the server and there was no facility for normal users to do this. WebGrid II supports users in caching their grids on the server and making them available to others in studies using grid exchange methodologies.

No password or special privileges are required to do this. Grids are retained for a period of 3 months and it is simple to extend the period by caching them again. Privacy cannot be guaranteed but the grid name is a complex one generated at random. It is only returned to the user who requested the cache so that it is not easy to access a cached grid unless one is given the name.

Expert System Capabilities

WebGrid II supports the development and operation of expert systems based on repertory grid elicitation. Rules may be developed by entailment analysis and inferences may be made on test cases based on these rules.

The rule induction and inference procedures support open-world semantics and correctly handle cases with missing data. Rules with exceptions may be generated to give smaller models that are more natural to people.

Messages about WebGrid

You can contact us about WebGrid through the email address WebGrid@Tiger.cpsc.ucalgary.ca.

Brian R Gaines and Mildred L G Shaw, 11th January 1996.