As I have written in earlier blog posts, I took three pedagogical courses this spring to get closer to the associate professor goal (15hp). I wrote about the course on oral presentations here and the course on methods for activating students here. I will soon write about the third course on assessment, grading and feedback. Apart from pedagogical courses I also took a group leadership course, which ended Wednesday last week with a full-day session about how to detect and handle conflicts.
During the scope of the course a small group of researchers/leaders, with varying backgrounds and positions at the University, met about once a month for full-day sessions on different themes related to group leadership. Lunch was included every time. Even though theory was provided through short lectures, the focus was on discussions, role play and other leadership exercises. Since quite a few of the discussions and exercises were based on the course participants’ own experiences, I will not give any concrete examples here. We decided at the first session that we should not talk about the issues discussed during the course with people outside the group.
The course covered a wide range of topics and the common theme was active listening. The course covered establishment of norms, listening strategies, reflective teams, positive and negative feedback to colleagues and private talks, just to mention a few of the themes.
One of the most challenging themes was the one about providing negative feedback. It is really hard to give someone negative feedback on their actions, while at the same time framing the feedback so that 1) it will lead to a change in behaviour and 2) it will not have a negative impact on the work relation between me as a leader and the co-worker. Another one of the more challenging topics was private talks initiated either by me as a leader or by a co-worker, with the focus of discussing some problem encountered at the workplace (often focused on someone’s behaviour). The most challenging part in this case is that the problem that gave rise to the meeting is often not the big issue. In these talks it is up to me as a leader to ask open questions and search for “free information” in order to get the whole picture and find possible underlying problems that are much more important to deal with. If you are not good at active listening techniques during these meetings you may end up focusing on a minor problem instead of a major one.
I really enjoyed each and every session of the course and I can really recommend this or a similar leadership course to persons in any kind of leadership position! I really think that I will be able to approach my colleagues in the groups I’m leading in a better way now and I hope I will also be better at spotting potential problems early on and taking measures to handle them.
Christiane Grünloh, who came from Germany to visit as a few weeks ago (see this blog post), came back to us this week. The main reason for her visit was once again to work with us in the large eHealth studies which I’m currently leading. As always, it was nice to have her with us and we got a lot of things done during these few days. First of all, we got several interviews done for this study. I will not discuss results here, since it is too early in the process and nothing has been analyzed, but after these days I’m sure that the study will give a lot of new insight. I also learned that Christiane is a very talented interviewer! It was obvious that she is a good active listener and that she can create a nice atmosphere during the interviews.
While Christiane was here, we also discussed about possibilities for writing CHI-papers and I think we came up with some really good ideas. I will try two write one related to mediated communication and haptic feedback and one, together with other researchers in DOME, related to eHealth. We also discussed ideas for submissions to other conferences. I will of course write more about this in future blog posts.
We also had progress when it came to accepted papers. A while ago I wrote a blog post about some papers being submitted to Interact. Yesterday we learned that one of them, a method paper about a workshop the DOME consortium hosted last autumn, had been conditionally accepted! I will write more about it when we have a final answer after resubmit. This also means that Christiane will get funding for visiting the conference in Mumbai, which in turn means that we (Åsa Cajander, Christiane and I) can submit a prepared workshop paper to the same conference (I will write another post about that if the WS contribution gets accepted)! The other paper we sent to Interact, about nurses’ views on patient accessible electronic health records, did not get accepted this time. But, we do have a plan for the future of that paper.
So, we had a lot of good progress this week and I hope we will have more of these weeks ahead of us!
Last Sunday, I finally submitted an application for a position as associate professor in implementation research (didn’t have much of a choice since that was the last day to submit)! One positive outcome, apart from the obvious, is that I really had to think through what different roles I have and how I can make use of them. Since I have not written about all of them on this blog, I will list the different roles I came up with here (some of them will have follow-ups in more focused posts):
- Researcher in multimodal communication and interaction – I have already written about my thesis and quite a few other blog posts about haptics as an interaction modality. My main focus in this role has been to study how different modality combinations affect collaboration and communication in collaborative virtual environments
- E-health researcher – I have already written quite a lot about the studies I have been leading, regarding patient accessible electronic health records, since I stared my postdoc. What I have not yet written about is my earlier contact with healthcare – a quite intense collaboration with physicians at the Gastro department at Karolinska institutet during about two years of my doctoral studies. I will definitely write about that project later on.
- Pedagogical development researcher – A role I have not written that many posts about yet. During an extended period of time I e.g. took part in a study about Twitter use in a higher education course. I will come back to this when a paper has gone through the review process.
- Teacher – Another role I haven’t written that much about. My teaching has focused on written and verbal communication in engineering sciences, haptics and human-computer interaction. I will definitely come back with blog posts on this topic, especially when it comes to master’s thesis supervision – my favorite teacher role.
- Software developer – I have not written that much about this role either, since it was quite a while ago that I actually developed an application. My focus in this case has been on haptic interfaces and haptic collaborative functions.
- Member of eHealth council – This is the newest role, which I wrote a blog post about a while ago – I represent “Education” and “patients” in the eHealth council at the The National Board of Health and Welfare.
- Research network member – I have written about the DOME consortium several times, but I have not yet written about my participation in the “Nordic Network for ICT and Disabilities”, which specializes in assistive technology for people with deafblindness. I will introduce that network more thoroughly in its own blog post.
- Patient – I am a regular patient since more than a decade ago, and I have already used that in my own research on eHealth at e.g. conferences. This is why I add it as a “role” in this list. There will be plenty of blog posts from the patient’s perspective on this blog – that’s for sure!
- Blogger – No comment… 🙂
I might have missed a few roles, but I think these are the big ones at least for the moment. As I said earlier, not all these are relevant for the position in implementation research but I started thinking about all of them as I was writing the quite extensive application. Writing this type of application forces you to really think about what you have done and what types of roles you have taken, and I really found it rewarding to reflect on this.
Earlier when I had written these kinds of applications I let them rest in peace and just waited for the decision, but this time I’m not going to leave what I wrote behind me and just hope for the best. This time, I will try to transform my sketched research ideas into funding applications as soon as possible. There will surely be more posts about that process!
Earlier this week I wrote about a paper that was accepted to the Frontiers in Education (FIE) 2017 conference, but the fact is that yet another paper which I co-authored was accepted to another conference, Sound and Music Computing (SMC) 2017, earlier in May! Emma Frid (lead author), Roberto Bresin and Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander from the department of Media technology and Interaction Design at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) are the other authors on that paper. The title of the SMC paper is “AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON THE EFFECT OF AUDITORY FEEDBACK ON GAZE BEHAVIOR IN A VIRTUAL THROWING TASK WITH AND WITHOUT HAPTIC FEEDBACK”.
The paper is based on a small part of an extensive study, focusing on the effect of haptic and audio feedback on perception of object qualities and visual focus, performed a few years ago. In this particular paper we use eye-tracking metrics to investigate if auditory feedback in particular affects gaze behaviour in an environment where the task is to pick up a ball and throw it into a target area. We looked at both the effect of sound in general and effects of different sound models. Like in many other studies we have been involved in, conditions with different modality combinations were compared against each other. I will write more about the results when the paper has been presented and there is a link to the published proceedings. Search for the title given above if you want to find the specific session and listen to Emma’s presentation at the conference!
Here is the abstract, summarizing the main points:
This paper presents ﬁndings from an exploratory study on the effect of auditory feedback on gaze behavior. A total of 20 participants took part in an experiment where the task was to throw a virtual ball into a goal in different conditions: visual only, audiovisual, visuohaptic and audiovisuohaptic. Two different sound models were compared in the audio conditions. Analysis of eye tracking metrics indicated large inter-subject variability; difference between subjects was greater than difference between feedback conditions. No signiﬁcant effect of condition could be observed, but clusters of similar behaviors were identiﬁed. Some of the participants’ gaze behaviors appeared to have been affected by the presence of auditory feedback, but the effect of sound model was not consistent across subjects. We discuss individual behaviors and illustrate gaze behavior through soniﬁcation of gaze trajectories. Findings from this study raise intriguing questions that motivate future large-scale studies on the effect of auditory feedback on gaze behavior.
As was the case with the FIE paper mentioned earlier, the SMC paper is just presenting a small part of a large study, so there is definitely a lot more to tell about the study and the different parameters measured. I will return to the overall study as soon as more papers are out! 🙂