Grant application · Pedagogy

My first week at Örebro University!


Starting on Monday, August 12, I spent my first week at Örebro University! I started my new job as assistant professor there already August 1, but I worked from a distance the first two weeks since the university was still pretty empty due to vacation periods. Obviously, a lot of interesting things happened during this first week at the University.

Unsurprisingly, the first day was mostly filled with different administrative things (like getting access card, keys and all the necessary computer equipment) and walkthroughs of the department and its surroundings. Before lunch, the head of department, Kai Wistrand, showed me around at the Informatics department, other departments at the School of Business and the campus area. The campus area is very nice, with buildings spread over a large area. It takes quite a while to go from the westernmost part of the campus, where I work in the Nova building, to the other side. There are quite a few restaurants in the area (most of them seem to be focusing on pasta 🙂 ) and it seems to be fairly easy to navigate around campus. It seems like I have ended up at a campus where the labelling of different houses actually makes some sense! The Nova building, hosting the school of business (including the Informatics department where I work) is fairly new. There are a lot of open areas and the overall atmosphere is very nice. I’m very glad that I have an office in that building (see blog image).

Aside from the usual introduction parts I also worked on a manuscript (after minor revision request from a journal) which I submitted the day after, and read up on all my university emails that I couldn’t access before. Among those emails I found two that were especially interesting and that have influenced my work during these latest weeks – a news letter from the grants office and information about grants for pedagogical development within the university. I found one Vinnova call about assistive digital technology particularly interesting and I also started thinking about how I could use pedagogical development funds to introduce haptic interaction design in some of the department’s courses!

During the rest of the week I worked on a couple of conference proceedings (for Medical Informatics Europe 2020) and journal manuscripts in progress, while I was transferring files from my old Uppsala University computer to my new computer from Örebro University. Transferring files is an extremely boring activity, and I’m very glad I could work with manuscripts at the same time. During this week I also implemented a new time management approach which you can read about here.

In summary, the first week at Örebro University was very nice. I felt very welcome and I think that I made a lot of good progress. I’m glad I found the information about the grants I mentioned above. I started writing on drafts and contacted some people directly and I currently have a complete draft for a pedagogical development project and I’m half way through a Vinnova project plan draft! I will of course write more about these applications later on.

Time management

Some thoughts on time management in academia


I have been thinking a lot about time management lately, and especially since I started my work as assistant professor at Örebro University. As I have mentioned in earlier blog posts I have 70% research and I’m responsible for filling that time with valuable content (apply for research grants, collecting/analyzing data, publish papers, etc.). 30% of my time (average over a year) should be devoted to teaching, and the content of that part of my time is of course more controlled by the department. There will, of course, also be some meetings on the department level and I assume I will have to use research time for those meetings unless they focus on educational matters. Especially now, when I’m supposed to fill around 70% of my time with relevant research (most of which I will lead myself), it is very important to find a got structure when it comes to time management.

A few days before my new job started I read two interesting blog posts on the blog, which were both related to time planning in academia. The web resource “Teaching Academia” is great in many ways and includes a lot of tips and links to short YouTube videos related to how you should navigate academia to make your best impact. The two blog posts focused on how to set aside time for different kinds of activities during regular weeks. In one of the blog posts an assistant professor describes how he e.g. gets time for writing during the weeks by scheduling one hour writing slots each morning. Even though I prefer longer time slots for writing I find the general idea of time allocation for different activities interesting. The second blog post introduces the concept of theme days and I find that particularly interesting. The basic idea is that you allocate days to particular activities. The blog post gives the following example:

  • Research, 3 days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday)
  • Teaching, 1 day (Wednesday)
  • Content creation (could concern e.g. blog posts or teaching material), 1 day (Friday)

You should definitely read the blog post, which elaborates a lot more on the concept and how you e.g. can schedule different types of activities during these days.

I like the idea of concentrating on one particular type of activity during an entire day (I have rarely done that before) so I have decided to give it a try. I will try to work with these simple guidelines and see what happens over time:

  • I will try devote at least three full days a week to research activities (which days obviously depends on the current teaching schedule). I will make this four days if the teaching schedule allows it. Within these days I will work primarily with writing activities (plan, write, perform literature surveys, etc.) before lunch and other research activities such as grant application writing, data gathering, analysis after lunch.
  • When I get dedicated research time on projects, either as a PI (Principle Investigator, often the main applicant) or co-applicant, I will try to allocate days (or parts of days) that corresponds with the time I have applied for.
  • During teaching periods I will, to as a large extent as possible, try to perform most activities related to teaching (teach, plan, admin, etc.) during one single day of the week. I realize that the teaching activities will probably spread over more days than one during certain periods due to uneven workload and course schedules, but I still think it’s good to assign one day of the week that will carry the most of the teaching load.
  • Whenever possible, I will try to schedule meetings with colleagues, related to teaching, writing or research, during the days/times allocated to the respective activities. Thus, I will e.g. suggest meetings on writing activities before lunch during research days. I think this is a good idea, as long as it works for everyone else who will join the meeting.
  • When it comes to public outreach activities I will try to add new posts to this blog one or two times a week. Depending on what a particular post is about I will write it on a teaching or research day, respectively. I will also write press-releases on research time whenever something major happens.
  • When it comes to other meetings, like internal research seminars, dissertations or meetings in committees, I cannot do much about the scheduling. Most department-specific meetings are scheduled around lunch time, so I guess there will not be that many cases when meetings will break to overall plan.

The above is an attempt to organize a common work week. Of course there will be weeks when I’m at conferences or weeks with a lot of grading and examination that will break the plan, but this is not a big problem. I’m just looking for a time management plan that will work most of the time.

I have decided to try this out during this autumn, and then I will follow up what happened in another blog post towards the end of the year. So, stay tuned  🙂


(I took the blog image during a trip to Abisko a few years ago)

communication · Pedagogical development · Pedagogy · Social media in higher education

Overview of my pedagogical research


In my last two blog posts I presented overviews about my research within the eHealth and multimodal interaction domains, respectively. Now, the time has come for an overview of my pedagogical research. This blog post will focus on research that has been presented at pedagogical conferences and in books – my research on multimodal learning environments, which has not been published at such venues, is covered in my previous blog post.

What have I done related to pedagogical research?

When it comes to research related to pedagogy, my focus has mainly been on the use of social media in higher education courses. I have conducted studies on both Twitter and teacher administrated Facebook groups in courses I have been responsible for at KTH and Uppsala University. In those studies, I have mainly looked at how social media can be used as complementary communication channels and how these kinds of media affect the interaction among students and between students and teachers. The blog image above illustrates one of the contributions from my research in this area – a book chapter about the use of Twitter in a large course in communication, which I wrote with my colleague Pernilla Josefsson. You can read more about the chapter here. The chapter describes the only study on social media that I performed at KTH. You can read about another study, based on a teacher-administrated Facebook-group, in this blog post.
In total, my pedagogical research has, up until today, resulted in the following three conference proceedings at pedagogical conferences:

and the following popular science contribution (in Swedish):

My ongoing pedagogical research

I’m currently not involved in any data collection activities related to this research area, but I’m still analyzing the data I have already collected from the study on Twitter in a higher education course that I mentioned above. A journal article about the study will soon be submitted to a journal focusing on educational research. I will of course write more about this later on.

Upcoming pedagogical research

There is still a lot that remains to be decided regarding my involvement in pedagogical research at Örebro University. I will of course continue trying to incorporate social media in different ways in courses that I teach and I will also continue to analyze the data from the Twitter study from different perspectives – there is a lot of interesting data there!

A few days ago I also found out about small grants that teachers and researchers at the university can apply for. These university specific grants should be used for pedagogical development projects. Similar funding opportunities were offered by Uppsala University, but I never applied during my years as a postdoc there. This year, however, I will take the chance to apply for some funding for a project related to pedagogical development. The deadline is in the second half of September and I will start writing on the project plan any day now. I will focus my application on haptic feedback in education and I will of course get back to this as work progresses. If the project is funded I will work on it during 2020.

communication · design · Group work · Haptics · Human-Computer Interaction · Multimodality · sonification

Overview of my research within multimodal interaction


In my last blog post I presented an overview about my research within the eHealth domain. In this blog post I will do the same thing, but for my other main research field – multimodal interaction in virtual environments.


What have I done related to multimodal interaction?

Even though I have spent the last couple of years focusing mainly on eHealth, I have done a lot of research – especially as a Ph.D. student at the Royal Institute of Technology – related to multimodal interaction. Most of this research has been focused on multimodal learning environments for collaborative task solving between sighted and visually impaired persons. Haptic feedback has played a major part in the collaborative virtual environments that I have designed and evaluated both in lab settings and in the field in e.g. primary schools. Quite a while ago, I wrote a blog series on haptic feedback focusing on the work I performed within the scope of my doctoral studies. Here are the links to those posts:

During my time as a postdoc at Uppsala University, I also performed some activities related to multimodal interaction. Most of this time I devoted to research grant applications and I also wrote a few conference papers. You can read a short summary of these activities here.

In total, my research on multimodal interaction has, up until today, resulted in the following five journal publications (some links lead to open access publications or pre-prints):

and the following 11 conference papers (some links leads to open access publications or pre-prints):


My ongoing research within multimodal interaction

Currently, there is not much going on related to this research field (at least not in my own research). The only ongoing activity I’m engaged in is an extensive literature review related to communication in collaborative virtual environments which will lead to a theoretical research article where I will discuss different technical solutions for haptic communication in the light of the research I have performed within the area up until today. I’m collaborating with my former Ph.D. supervisor Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander on this activity. I hope that this research activity will help me in my continued research on collaboration between visually impaired and sighted pupils based on different types of tasks and learning material.

Upcoming research on multimodal interaction

As I wrote in a recent blog post multimodal interaction, with a focus on haptic feedback, seems to be a new research area at the Centre for empirical research on information systems (CERIS) where I just stared my assistant professorship. Thus, this is the research area in which I can contribute with something new to the department. An area that is already represented at the department, however, is “Information Technology and Learning”, which seems to be a perfect fit in this case!

Last year, I also submitted a research grant application focusing on continued work with collaborative multimodal learning environments. Unfortunately, that one was rejected but no one is giving up. I will work somewhat on revising the application during the autumn and submit as soon as a suitable call pops up. Maybe I will also have additional co-applicants from the CERIS department by then.

DOME · eHealth · Grant application · Medical Records Online · National patient survey · Popular science · Uppsala Health Summit

Overview of my research within eHealth


Since I am still very much on a planning stage regarding the research I will perform during my recently started assistant professorship at Örebro University, I will take the opportunity to write a few posts about the research I have performed and what is currently going on. I will start by discussing research within the eHealth domain.

What have I done related to eHealth?

Those who have followed this blog during the latest years already know about my research on patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs), which I conducted during my time as a postdoc at Uppsala University. You can read a short summary about my two major studies (a national patient survey and an interview/survey study with clinicians at Uppsala University Hospital), submitted grant applications and conference activities in this blog post.

In total, my research on eHealth has, up until today, resulted in the following two journal publications (links lead to the open access articles):

and the following seven conference proceedings (most of the links lead to open access publications):

The work within the eHealth domain has also resulted in the following popular science publications (and some other news coverage, which you can read about here and here):

To sum up, my research within this domain, up until today, has focused on PAEHRs and their effects for patients and healthcare professionals.

My ongoing research within the eHealth domain

I am currently involved in quite a few ongoing research activities related to eHealth, especially when it comes to pushing journal manuscripts through the peer-review process.

When it comes to data gathering and analysis, there is still a lot of work to do in the large interview/survey study at the Oncology department at Uppsala University Hospital that I mentioned before. For many different reasons we were not able to conduct all the 20 interviews with nurses that we had planned. Around 10 more interviews need to be performed. When it comes to the physicians, the data gathering is complete and we are working with the analysis. My hope is that we will be able to submit a first overview article about those interviews in late autumn 2019 or early spring 2020. Specific theme articles are also planned, but they require a more in-depth analysis. The articles based on this study will be very important for research on patient accessible electronic health records in Sweden, since this is the first large follow-up study in Sweden regarding long-term effects of PAEHR on the work environment of healthcare professionals.

When it comes to the national patient survey all data gathering is completed, but there are still some themes from the survey that we want to look into in more depth. These include information literacy, computer security and comparisons between different disease groups.

I’m currently working on some journal publications together with colleagues in the DOME consortium. One of these articles reports on findings from the survey on the effect of PAEHR on the work environment of healthcare professionals, distributed to physicians and nurses at the Oncology department at Uppsala University Hospital. I expect this article to be published quite soon (a minor revision is about to be submitted back to the journal), so there will be a publication and, of course, a press release coming up pretty soon. One journal manuscript focusing on sharing health records is currently in the first review round and two journal manuscripts based on the patient survey, focusing on cancer and psychiatry patients, respectively, can be submitted to journals quite soon.

Upcoming research on eHealth

As I said in the beginning of this post, I’m very much on the planning stage when it comes to future research. There are a few activities, however, that I’m sure I will be working with during the upcoming months (these will get their own blog posts later on):

  • Currently, it seems that I will submit at least two conference articles to next year’s version of Medical Informatics Europe. The deadline for submissions is September 1st, but on the other hand there is a scope limit on five pages. One article will be about results from the interview/survey study with healthcare professionals and the other will focus on results from the patient survey.
  • Quite soon, I will take the lead on a more theoretical journal article, focusing on the role of the PAEHR as a communication mediator in healthcare.
  • The above-mentioned article is directly related to a research grant application which is currently being reviewed by the Swedish Research Council (VR) – if the application is accepted I will finally get the opportunity to lead my very own research project!
  • There is also another grant application, related to psychiatry records online, which is currently being reviewed by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. 2020 can be a very interesting year, indeed!
communication · eHealth · Group work · Haptics · Human-Computer Interaction · Medical Records Online · Multimodality · Social media in higher education

Today I start working at Örebro University as an assistant professor!


Today I can finally take the next step on the academic ladder, since I’m starting up my new job as assistant professor in Informatics at the centre for empirical research on information systems at Örebro University! In November 2018 I applied for the position and in the middle of the spring 2019 I was called to an interview. A few months later I was offered the position. I’m very excited about this great opportunity and I of course intend to make the most out of it. After a very long blog break (mostly due to health issues and the fact that my research efforts during the spring has been rather minor), this also seems like a good opportunity to start posting again.

The assistant professorship is the first step on the so called tenure track. It is an academic position limited to four years, but the intention is often (as in my case) to promote the assistant professor to an associate professor towards the end – a position which is not limited in time. My job includes 70% research and 30% teaching, which is quite common for assistant professorships. I’m not sure yet where e.g. service and communication (like administration, blogging and interviews) fits in.

The job as assistant professor in Informatics is a very good fit for me, since I will be able to continue to work with all my main research interests (the main theme is computer supported communication):

  • eHealth
    – I will continue looking at how patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHR) affect the communication between patients and care professionals. One thing I’m particularly curious about, and that is actually the focus of a project grant application currently in review, is how one can incorporate the PAEHR as a communication mediator curing doctor-patient meetings. Another application in review is about the effects and implementation of psychiatry records online.
  • Multimodal interaction
    – I will also continue looking at how multimodal feedback (especially haptics and sound) can be used to promote collaboration between sighted and visually impaired pupils/students in group work. Most of today’s assistive technologies that are used in school settings are not adapted for collaboration and this is highly problematic when it comes to inclusion of visually impaired pupils/students in group work settings.
  • Social media in higher education
    – My intention is also to continue investigating how social media like Twitter and Facebook can be used as supplementary communication channels in higher education courses.

When it comes to the areas of eHealth and social media in higher education, research is already being conducted by my new colleagues at Örebro University. Multimodal interaction would however be a new research theme for the department. I will elaborate on the different themes listed above in later blog posts as work is progressing. Other research themes from the department (like computer security and ICT for development) could also be added.

I have not heard anything yet regarding the teaching, but given the department’s focus I guess I could be involved in master’s thesis supervision, human-computer interaction project courses and programming courses. I will write more about the teaching part when I know more.

The blog image that I used for this post is one of my own – I took it a few weeks ago during a week I spent in Abisko in northern Sweden.