conference · Pedagogical development · Pedagogy

Paper on unexpected student behaviour and learning opportunities accepted to FIE 2017!

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Late last week it was confirmed that a conference paper I was co-authoring has been accepted for publication and presentation at the 2017 FIE (Frontiers in Education) conference! Åsa Cajander (lead author), Diane Golay, Mats Daniels, Aletta Nylén, Arnold Pears, Anne-Kathrin Peters from the IT department at Uppsala University and Roger McDermott from the School of Computer Science and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University are the other authors on the paper. The title of the paper is “Unexpected Student Behaviour and Learning Opportunities: Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour to Analyse a Critical Incident”.

In the paper we are using the Theory of Planned Behaviour to analyze a critical incident that occurred at the end of a course at Uppsala University. The incident relates to students refusing to present at and participate in a voluntary “design final” at the end of the course, where an external jury should choose the best project. During the course, project groups presented their work a couple of times in seminar groups and after each presentation the groups were awarded points by both the peers and the teachers. After the last presentation, the project groups with the highest number of points in the respective seminar group (three in total) were given the opportunity to present during the final.

The main idea with introducing the point system and design final was to add an engaging gamification component, providing an extra incentive for performing well during the entire course. The reactions from students, however, were unexpected in that some groups refused to take part in the design final and quite a few students did not see the point of the gamification related components.

Here is the paper abstract, outlining our main approach in analyzing the critical incident (I will come back to this topic and write more about the results and outcomes when the paper has been published in the conference proceedings):

One of the challenges in being a teacher is to set up an educational setting where the students receive relevant learning opportunities for the specific course, the students’ education in general, and for their future. However, efforts to create such educational settings do not always work in the way that faculty has intended. In this paper we investigate one such effort seen from a critical incident perspective. Central to the analysis in this paper is how the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) can provide explanations for the incident. The critical incident can be summarised as students refusing to take part in a non-compulsory, but from the faculty perspective highly educational, activity. We describe the incident in depth, give thebackground for the educational intervention, and analyse the incident from the perspective of TPB. This paper makes two major contributions to engineering education research. The first is the development of a method for analysing critical teaching and learning incidents using the TPB. The critical incident analysisillustrates how the method is used to analyse and reason about the students’ behaviour. Another contribution is the development of a range of insights which deal with challenges raised by Learning interventions, especially those involved with acquiring hidden or ”invisible skills” not usually seen or acknowledged by students to belong to core subject area of a degree program.

The tension between the teachers’ expectations and the students’ reactions is very interesting from a pedagogical point of view. In this particular paper we analyze a critical incident using a specific method (Theory of Planned Behaviour), but we are planning broader articles on this subject as well. One interesting aspect to delve deeper into is the difference between universities – one of the main reasons why gamification was tested at Uppsala University was that it had been extremely well received by students at another university taking a very similar course with similar gamification components!

 

 

 

communication · Group work · Haptics

More about my work with haptic communicative functions in collaborative virtual environments

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I’m currently in the process of writing a job application for an associate professorship and to make sure I don’t miss anything I recently browsed through my old conference folders to find the articles to append. When I came to EuroHaptics 2010 I was reminded about something I had completely forgotten – I was actually one of the organizers behind a workshop at that conference! I spent quite a lot of time preparing for the workshop, which focused on haptic communicative functions, but the weekend before the conference I got very sick and was forced to cancel my participation. I will take this opportunity to briefly introduce the workshop and discuss some of my work prior to it. My earlier blog posts on haptic feedback as an interaction modality were the following:

It was a shame that I could not attend the workshop/conference in Amsterdam, since it was based on my work on collaboration in multimodal environments up to that point. Thus, this was the perfect opportunity to discuss the work performed and get input regarding future work in the area. We described the focus of the workshop in the following way:

In this workshop, concrete examples will be presented and discussed in terms of how the touch modality can support communication and collaboration. Also, the technical challenges of distributed haptic feedback will be addressed. The target audience of the workshop is researchers and practitioners focusing on haptic feedback supporting people in settings where more than one user are involved. We invite other researchers and practitioners to share their research and experience from their different projects focussing specifically on the collaborative perspective. It might be that the collaborative aspects in your project have not yet been addressed. In that case, interesting collaborative aspects can be identified during the discussions in this workshop.

Quite a lot of work was performed by me and my “multimodal colleagues” 🙂 prior to the workshop. First of all, I had performed my master’s thesis work back in 2006 which focused on collaboration between visually impaired and sighted pupils in elementary school. Evaluations were performed in schools, where visually impaired and sighted pupils collaborated in dynamic collaborative environments where objects could be moved. During that work, and especially during a re-analyses performed during my first year as a Ph.D. student (2008) I realized that communicative functions based on haptic feedback had a real potential both when it came to supporting collaborative work and supporting inclusion of the visually impaired pupils in group work with sighted peers. It became especially clear that haptic functions for guiding (holding on to the same object or holding on to the peer’s proxy) can replace verbal guidance to a large extent.

Imagine a situation where you need to guide a visually impaired pupil to a particular place in a virtual environment. If you only have the visual feedback to rely on when establishing a common frame of reference, you need to talk a lot like  “go down, more down, …no, too much, go back…, now to the right…no, not down, up again… here it is!”. If you have haptic feedback available you can just grab the other person’s proxy and move the visually impaired peer to the right place and just say “here”. Needless to say, haptic feedback affects the dialogue between collaborators in this case. If you want to learn more about this explorative study you can read the journal article we finalized a few years after the study.

One problem that was evident from the evaluations with the visually impaired and sighted pupils was that the visually impaired pupil was not aware about what the sighted pupil did when haptic guiding was not utilized. This is why we performed a follow-up study where we added sound cues to the above mentioned dynamic interface to provide feedback on actions taken in the interface (e.g. grasping and putting down objects). We compared the new visual/haptic/audio version to the original visual/haptic one. We managed to show that the dialogue between the collaborators differed depending on which program version they worked in and it was also clear that the work was more effective (measured as time to complete task) in the visual/haptic/audio version. Once again, we could also clearly see how access to haptic feedback influenced the communication. You can read more about this study in this article.

These two studies resulted in a theoretical conference paper presented at HAID (Haptic and Audio Interaction Design) 2009, where we tried to develop a kind of conceptual model regarding haptic communicative functions’ effects on the dialogue between collaborators. This was my first attempt at a meta-analysis of the insights gained within this research area. The paper summarizes and discusses all the effects on the dialogue I had seen in my studies thus far. The paper made quite an impression – it is still the most referenced of all the papers I have produced up until today! At that point we were still quite unique when it came to haptic collaborative environments and I still think I’m one of the very few researchers who study the effect of haptic and audio feedback on the dialogue between collaborators.

The HAID conference paper laid the ground work for the workshop described in the beginning of this post and during the workshop the idea to study collaboration between two sighted persons was introduced and discussed. Next time I write about my earlier work I will introduce my latest study on collaborative multimodal interfaces, that showed that haptic and audio feedback indeed have effects on the dialogue between sighted persons as well!

 

Analysis

Interesting seminar on methods for analyzing interview data!

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As I already wrote in this blog post Christiane Grünloh (KTH, TH Köln) visited our HTO group at Uppsala University last week to work with us on joint studies. We worked mostly with the last preparations for the interviews with physicians and nurses at the oncology department, but also e.g. on the first national patient survey paper.

During the last day of her visit Christiane held a very interesting seminar about methods for analyzing interview data – see picture above. She is very experienced when it comes to this kind of qualitative analysis and she really made the main points and challenges clear. The presentation was based on both theory (mostly analysis methods described in the paper (Braun & Clarke, 2008) and the book (Braun & Clarke, 2013)) and personal experiences of analyzing large quantities of transcribed interview data.

Analyzing interview data, or observational data for that matter, is certainly not an easy process. Christiane made a very strong point about that themes do not just “emerge” (you often read in articles about themes that “emerge” from the data), but that you really need to work hard and arrange the material in several different ways to end up with relevant themes. Especially for researchers who are new to qualitative research, thematic analysis by Braun & Clarke offers a systematic approach to identify and analyze patterns in qualitative data.

Several concrete tips were shared and I think one of the most important ones was to print the entire material, after it has been sorted according to the chosen codes. Playing around with codes and coded samples physically is really something I also recommend. I have been doing that myself when analyzing interviews and most of all observations – it is really challenging trying to find out (based on transcriptions of dialogues and notes) how non-verbal audio and haptic cues affect collaboration and communication in a collaborative environment!

Several members from our HTO group participated and also a few other members from our department. Most of the participants were Ph.D. students and I really think they got a lot of help from this method seminar. Several of the participants asked questions after the presentation and the discussions those gave rise to were also very interesting.

 

DISA · DOME · Medical Records Online · National patient survey

Workshop day with DOME researchers

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This week, Christiane Grünloh (Ph.D. student from KTH and one of the researchers within the DOME consortium) is visiting Uppsala University to work mostly with the oncology interview study but also the national patient survey. Today, Gunilla Myreteg and Maria Hägglund, also from DOME, joined us. In the picture above we are looking at and discussing the current interview template (from left to right: me, Christiane, Gunilla and Maria). It was very nice to work together in this small group – normally we are spread out and communicate only via Skype.

Christiane, Maria and I started out by going through the interview questions once again, since we have not yet conducted any of the interviews with physicians at the oncology department. We did some updates and piloted the interview with Gunilla when she arrived. We are not sure, but hopefully we can do the first interview(s) tomorrow.

During the last hour we also discussed what was needed to be able to finalize an overview article about the national patient survey. It should not take long before we have a manuscript ready!

We ended the day with a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant in Uppsala, where more persons, mostly from the HTO group at Uppsala University, also joined. Even though we did not spend the entire day writing on the overview article for the national patient survey as we planned from the beginning, we still had a very productive day. Hope we will all meet again soon!

 

Academic writing

About turning master’s thesis reports into scientific articles

I’m currently working on transforming a master’s thesis report, related to effects of patient accessible electronic health records, into a journal article together with some colleagues. In this particular case the work is mostly about prioritizing and cutting. Hopefully, the manuscript will be ready for submission in the beginnng of next week.
This is not the first time I have been involved in this kind of activity since I started at Uppsala University – a few weeks ago I submitted another eHealth related article, based on a master’s thesis, to Interact!

In both the above (and other similar) cases researchers rewrite/adjust the report after request from the students and submit the resulting article to a conference/journal, keeping the students as authors (of course). In some cases, like the one I’m working on right now, the student is also actively involved in the report transformation process.

I really like the idea of researchers turning master’s thesis reports into proceedings or journal articles for several reasons:

  • The work performed, which is in most cases of high quality, will most probably reach a much larger audience
  • Researchers/teachers who have supported/supervised the student during the work will get a publication for the effort (the supervisor is often part of the “transformation process”)
  • The student will get a chance to be an author of a scientific article – could prove valuable especially if the student wants to continue working with research.

I’m currently supervising two master’s thesis students who have reached very interesting conclusions regarding usability testing of eHealth applications. Hopefully, the result can be yet another report forming the basis for a journal article!

Council · eHealth · National information structure

Just became member of the eHealth council at National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden!

Yesterday, it was confirmed that I’m now, after being nominated by Åsa Cajander, the representative for “Education” on the council for eHealth and national information structure (e-hälsorådet) at the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) in Sweden! The board is a government agency under the Ministry of Health and Social affairs, with a wide range of tasks related to health, patient safety, etc. Read more about the board here. When it comes to eHealth the board’s responsibilities are related to interdisciplinary terminology and development/management of the national information structure. These are the areas where the e-health council should give the board guidance.

The eHealth council consists of representatives from several different areas, like:

The area I will represent is education – the plan is that national information structure should be a topic taught at universities later on. I really hope I will get the chance to make significant contributions in this role (as I do in all my research 😉 )! I also hope that I will be able to make use my own research here and of the fact that I’m actually a patient who has quite a lot of experience with the health care system in Sweden. A patient’s perspective could be valuable in such a council. Let’s see what I can bring to the table!  😀

DOME · eHealth · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Vitalis

A very successful session about patient accessible electronic health records at Vitalis 2017!

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I recently got back home to Stockholm again, after three great days at the 2017 version of Vitalis (Senska mässan) in Gothenburg. As I wrote in this blog post, several researchers from the DOME consortium and representatives from Inera and SALAR (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) were presenting during a 1.5 hours session May 26. We are all very pleased with the outcome and I will try to summaize the main points below (all presentations were in Swedish).

Introduction of the speakers and DOME

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The whole session was introduced by Isabella Scandurra, who gave a quick overview. As a part of this introduction every one of the 10 ten persons who should talk during the session, came up on stage and presented themselves shortly. After the introduction, Åsa Cajander presented the history behind the DOME consortium and Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHR) in Sweden. The image above show the current partners; Uppsala University, University of Skövde, Örebro University, Karlstad University, Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet.

Role play!!

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After the introduction a role play was carried out between Isabella and Åsa (see picture above). Isabella played the physician (with the 1177.se scarf!) and Åsa the patient and the idea was to present an ideal scenario where Journalen (a PAEHR system in Sweden) was used as a focus in the communication during a patient visit. Unfortunately, Journalen is not used in that way today – it’s seldom mentioned during visits and some example comments from physicians, from earlier interview studies, showed that they were not enthusiastic. Nevertheless, this was a very good way of illustrating the intended use of Journalen, and comments from the audience show that this part of our session was very appreciated.

The national patient survey

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Hanife Rexhepi and I were next in line! We presented a collection of results from the large national patient survey. Hanife started by introducing the rationale behind the survey and its basic building blocks, after which I described some demographic results (e.g. that most respondents were from Uppsala and Skåne, that most of them were highly educated and that women were in majority). I also discussed general attitudes, which are very positive as shown in the image above, importance of different information types and common reasons for using Journalen. Hanife then ended with some more results, e.g. stating that the respondents understand most of the contents in Journalen, and a summary.

Journalen for children

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After Hanife’s and my performance it was time for Maria Pettersson from Inera and Martin Price from SALAR to get up on stage and talk about Journalen for children. As it is today, parents can access their child’s PAEHR until the child turns 13 and the child itself then gets automatic access to Journalen from the day he/she turns 16. There is currently a gap, 13-16, where no one gets automatic access. It is, however, possible for the child and/or a parent to apply for direct access. Maria’s introduction (illustrated in the image above) brought this up, as well as how security in that age group can be tackled. Martin then continued with results from studies performed with parents and children, highlighting key aspects regarding e.g. usage, risks, access by parents vs. children and understandability. Quite a few audio recordings with interesting quotes were played during this presentation.

Journalen is the key – for the one who is sick

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The last presentation was held by Jenny Juremalm from Inera and focused on comments from patients who use Journalen (when logged in to Journalen, there is a possibility to contact Inera and comment on Journalen and how it is being used). In the picture above, there is a summary about why patients want to use Journalen. Most of the points coincide with results from the national patient survey. Access to test results was very high up on the list. It is good that “being in control” and “better communication with care” are also at the top on the list. The facts that all county councils have not yet introduced Journalen (at the end of 2017 everyone should have joined, though) and that different information is shown in different county councils were also brought up to discussion. Increasing the use and taking care in listening to experiences from patients and medical professionals were among the points we need to focus on for the future.

Sneak peek panel and mentometer

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The last part consisted of a “sneak peek panel” lead by Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt, where two of our Ph.D. students from the HTO group at Uppsala University, Ida Löscher and Diane Golay, presented the newly started DISA (The effects of digitalization on the work environment of nurses) project. Åsa presented some preliminary results from the Interact submission about interviews with nurses that I mentioned here and Isabella presented the newly started PACESS (patient-centred assessment of patients’ online access to electronic health records) project.

At the very end, the audience was given the possibility to submit questions to the panel through a mentometer solution. Most of those questions were directed to Maria and Jenny from Inera. In fact, the audience was invited to interact through mentometer after each presentation – a few questions, relevant to the respective presentations, were presented and everyone could see a live presentation of the results as they were pouring in! The mentometer activities were also lead by Rose-Mharie. In the image above the question “How many years will it take until Journalen is used for communication between care professionals and patients?”, and we can see that 5 years won in this case. Isabella, Åsa and Rose-Mharie, shown in the image, are also the three researchers forming the managing team of the DOME consortium.

Short sum up

We were all pleased with our session and the audience also gave very positive comments on several of the presentations! So, I guess it is safe to label our session a success. It was very fun to be a part of this and I especially liked the varying presentation modes (text, diagrams, audio recordings, role play…) and the mentometer interaction with the audience. In fact, we got quite a lot of information from the audience in this way and we may use it for a publication later on! I am very sorry the event is over and I look forward to next year’s version of Vitalis, which will also be held in parallel with the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) conference in Gothenburg. We will most certainly be back with several submissions to MIE and presentations at Vitalis next year!