The point of the first assignment is to get to acquainted with Mechanical Turk from the worker’s perspective. The crowdsourcing platform allows us, the programmers, to work with humans as though they are function calls (fulfilling every antisocial CS student’s dreams). Since, for the rest of the semester, you will be relying on crowd workers to complete work for you quickly and accurately, you should take this first assignment as an opportunity to understand your workers and the ways you can help them work best for you. Pay attention to what makes tasks interesting and attractive, how much each task pays, and whether you think the compensation is fair. We will ask you to turn in a short writeup describing your experience.
You should be excited about this assignment! You may actually get paid to do it! For my 50 HITs, I made a full $1.14. Only 438 more HITs to go before I can go downstairs and buy lunch at the Franklin Table food court. So go! Have fun!
In this assignment you’ll choose at least 50 HITs to complete. We’re going to do an experiment to compare how much money you make under two conditions. The first condition is using the MTurk interface, and the second condition is using a productivity tool that your instructor has built, called Crowd Workers.
Note: The Crowd Workers extension you tried is like totally the next big thing in crowdsourcing. It started with humble beginnings, being run out of the coffee-cup strewn office of a mere tenure-track professor at an Ivy League university. Help it gain some credibility by leaving a review of it in the Google Chrome store.
What should I do if Amazon rejects my application to be a Mechanical Turk worker (or rejects my Amazon Payments account, which has the same effect)?
If you cannot create a Mechanical Turk worker account, create a Mechanical Turk Sandbox account.
Mechanical Turk’s “Sandbox” version is a test version of the Mechanical Turk marketplace. Requesters use it to test out tasks before publishing them. These tasks, despite showing a reward on the site, do not pay any money. Anyone who has an Amazon account can create a Sandbox account, and no SSN information is required.
The Crowd Workers extension doesn’t work with the workersandbox, so please put N/A in your survey answers for questions involving Crowd Workers if you do not have access to it.
What should I do if Crowdworkers isn’t showing information for my completed tasks?
An alternative to Crowdworkers is Greasy Fork, which can help get information on your overall hourly wage as well as different requesters’ hourly wages. Here are instructions on how to get a web extension for your browser to load the Greasy Fork script, and here’s a link to download the script. Once you have the script loaded, you should be able to see hourly wage information on your mechanical turk dashboard page. On the dashboard, click on a given date, and you should be able to see the HIT(s) that you did, what their rewards were, and what their hourly wages are.
After loading Greasy Fork, why are all the hourly wages on the MTurk dashboard listed as N/A?
Greasy Fork does not track previous tasks. It will give an associated hourly wage to the tasks you complete after enabling the feature.
Below are the questions that you will be asked to answer about your experience as a Crowd Worker. Please turn in your answers using the Homework 1 survey on Gradescope.
It is a good idea to write your answers in a file on you own computer, instead of typing them directly into Gradescope, so that you’ll have a copy after you press the submit button.
Note: Please put N/A in your survey answer for questions involving Crowd Workers if you do not have access to it.
This assignment is worth approximately 5% of your overall grade in the course. Please answer the survey questions thoughtfully.