Spatial decision support systems: Exploring differences in pilot-testing with students vs. professionals

Romina Rodela*, Marta Pérez-Soba, Arnold Bregt, Peter Verweij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the implications of engaging students, versus professionals/experts, in pilot-testing of SDSS, and discusses likely differences in terms of expected outcomes for the given pilot-test. To this end we use data collected during two pilot tests of a novel SDSS that was developed by members of our project team. The pilot-tests were done with two different groups; one made of 13 doctoral students, while the other of 12 professionals/stakeholders. The pilot-test served to gather feedback on SDSS usability and other aspects of interest to the development team. On the basis of the outcomes obtained we develop an analytical framework meant to summarise what we come to notice as key aspects distinguishing how different types of testers will engage in an SDSS pilot-test, and the type of feedback these will consequently provide. These key aspects include expertise, stage of life, and institutional context (ESI). This framework could offer some help to other teams in planning, organizing, and delivering pilot-test, and processing the assessments received.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-211
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Early online date5 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Convenience sampling
  • Decision-making
  • Environmental issues
  • Pilot-testing
  • Spatial decision support systems
  • Students as research subjects


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