communication · Pedagogical development · Social media in higher education

Time to start a new pedagogical project!

In earlier blog posts I have mentioned a pedagogical project I was involved in, related to the use of Twitter as a communication channel in higher education courses. I have been a little vague about it, since we are still waiting for an article to be published. Pernilla Josefsson, a Ph.D. student in Media Technology at KTH who lead the Twitter study, and I started to discuss the possibility of conducting a follow-up study based on Facebook more than a year ago but we could not find the time for a new study. 

Thanks to a pedagogical project course given at Uppsala University, which started September 1, we will now finally be able to start a one year pedagogical project on the use of Facebook as a communication medium in higher education! The idea behind the project course is to give teachers pedagogical course credits (= development time) to dig deep into a pedagogical development area of one’s own choice. Those who follow the course are expected to spend three weeks on the project during the period September 2017 – May 2018. 

When I came to the first meeting it turned out that I was the only course participant this year! I was also quite surprised by the fact that the course responsible, Amelie Hössjer, had research and teaching interests very similar to my own. During the first meeting we discussed the idea that Pernilla and I had prepared in advance as well as e.g. course goals. Questions discussed concerned what could be measured, benefits and risks of using teacher administrated Facebook groups as well as our role as researchers – should we be one of the teachers, or even the course leader, in the studied group or should we only act as passive observers? 

I have actually used Facebook groups (in which I have been the administrator) as a complement to other communication channels for several years in courses I have lead at KTH. I usually invite all involved teachers and all students directly after the first lecture. I have very positive experiences from using Facebook in this way, but I have never used the resulting communication in any research. 

The next steps are for Pernilla and me to discuss the input from the first course meeting and to choose a target course. I’m really looking forward to the new pedagogical project and to once again get the opportunity to collaborate with Pernilla! 

Academic writing · DOME · Medical Records Online · Social media in higher education

Researching and teaching like never before!

This week has really been filled with both research and teaching activities related to eHealth, communication in engineering sciences and social media in higher education, just to mention a few areas. I will summarize this week’s activities in this blog post, just to give a broad overview of what I’m currently working on. The activities will be discussed more thoroughly in later posts. It may look below as though I never have any spare time. This week is, however, not very representative when it comes to work load – especially the teaching part takes up more time than usual.

 

Research

As I wrote in an earlier blog post I’m one of the organizers behind a workshop with a focus on eHealth, and more specifically on differences between eHealth services between different regions. I will act as a patient, asking questions to the other organizers who in turn act as representatives from hospitals in different regions. This week I have been working on finding relevant questions to ask, which is not an easy task since these questions need to pinpoint differences in eHealth services not only between different Swedish county councils but also between Sweden and Norway! I will get back to this in another blog post when I know how the event turned out.

I have also been working on another eHealth related study, focusing on interviews with physicians about how their work environment and communication with patients have been affected by patient accessible medical health records. This will probably be the largest study I will lead during my time as a postdoc at Uppsala University. In this study I’m leading a group with both researchers from several Swedish universities and medical doctors. This week we were brainstorming interview questions – an activity we will work on continuously during the next couple of weeks. During this week I have also been working on the application we need to send to the ethical board later on. I will introduce this study a lot more thoroughly in an upcoming blog post and I will of course also post updates about the work we do.

 

Teaching

In parallel with the research activities at Uppsala University I have also worked as a teacher at KTH (have a 30% leave of absence for this). I’m responsible for two groups of about 30 students in the course “Writing in the Engineering Profession”, where first year computer science students are taught how to write scientific reports. This week I have (and will) used 30% of my work time and some of my spare time to comment report drafts that the students have handed in. In a few weeks I will grade the students based on their final reports. I will write more about this course later on, since I want to clearly point out why I think this kind of course is so important to have as a mandatory course early on in education programs.

 

Writing

No week in academia is complete without some writing, right?  🙂  In case you are worried that there could be some blank spaces left in my calendar I can assure you there are not! During most of the spare time I have left this week I have been working on a paper manuscript, together with my colleagues Pernilla Josefsson from KTH and Renate Andersen from University of Oslo. The study concerns the use of social media in a higher education course. (Very) preliminary findings from the study were presented at the conference “Conference KTH Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2015”. The manuscript (abstract) can be found among the proceedings posted here or on Research gate. I will, of course, write a lot more about the study after the journal article has been published.