Appointed Member of the Technical Educational Board at the Faculty of Science and Technology

Since this fall I am a member of the technical educational board at our faculty. This job will be super interesting and I probably will learn lots of new and good things. The first meetings will be related to new master programmes, and I am looking forward to an interesting discussion 🙂

TASKS

  • formulate overall visions and strategies as well as implement the decision of the council board / faculty board for the long-term development of education programs and independent courses
  • structuring and renewing the courses with regard to ongoing internationalization, research and the needs of society and working life
  • take strategic initiatives on issues related to national and international education cooperation
  • take strategic initiatives on renewal of teaching and examination, throughput and study results, as well as recruitment and marketing
  • follow up on various aspects of quality in education and individual programs, decide on quality improvement measures and routines, as well as report to the area board / faculty board
  • formulate and revise the objectives of the respective programs and follow up the objectives
  • follow and support the work of the program manager and program council and, if necessary, decide on assignments for these
  • annually establish training plans and new syllabi for all programs and independent courses within the respective education board
  • appoint examiners based on proposals from the department responsible for the course
  • collaborate with other education committees

 

Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organisations

Just before Christmas Pariya Kashfi successfully defended her PhD thesis on Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organisations. This thesis is worth reading for anyone struggling with the integration of UX principles and practices in organisations!

I was on the examination committee for the defence together with professor Natalia Juristo and professor Kaisa Väänäenen. Associate professor Marta Larusdottir was the opponent. Note that this was an all-women committee with a woman opponent!! 

The overall research question for the work was:

 

How can software companies integrate UX principles and practices into their development processes and organizations?

Pariya Kashfi started the defence by an excellent presentation of her work. The presentation was followed by an in-depth discussion among professionals with Marta Larusdottir. Pariya Kashfi was super good at answering all questions, and managed to do a very good defence. I really enjoyed the discussion, especially since this thesis is in the area of my own PhD, but seven years later and with a focus on UX and not Usability.

The PhD is by publications and included six papers. All papers are available on Pariya Kasfi’s page on Research Gate.

  1. P. Kash􏰄, A. Nilsson, R. Feldt, 􏰀Integrating User eXperience Practices Into Software Development Processes: Implications of The UX Charac teristics”
    PeerJ Computer Science (an Open Access Journal), 3, e130, 2017.
  2. P. Kash􏰄, A. Nilsson, R. Feldt, R. Berntsson Svensson, 􏰀A Conceptual UX-aware Model of Requirements”
    6th International Working Conference on Human-Centred Software En- gineering, 234-245, 2016.
  3. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, 􏰀Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organizations: A Case Study of In􏰅uencing Events􏰁
    In submission to The Journal of Systems and Software.
  4. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, 􏰀Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organizations: A Case Study of Challenges and Success Factors”
    In submission to The Journal of Systems and Software.
  5. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, R. Berntsson Svensson, 􏰀Evidence-based Timelines for User eXperience Software Process Improvement Retrospec- tives: A Case Study of User eXperience Integration”
    42nd Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Ap- plications, 59-62, 2016.
  6. P. Kash􏰄, K. Kuusinen, R. Feldt, 􏰀Stakeholder Involvement: A Success Factor for Achieving Better UX Integration”
    1st Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Agile Development, NordiCHI, 2016.

Taking a New Course: To Lead and Develop in Academia

It’s been a few years since I last took a leadership course. I’ve taken a few in my life, and often they are a great source for inspiration. For me courses are an opportunity to reflect, and to develop as an individual and also to learn from other people. I am quite convinced that mental stability and mental health for me is dependant on constant reflection, And on taking the time to make choices that are good for me. I do not consider myself being in desperate need of new skills in leadership, but see this as an opportunity to deepen my understandings and practice the existing skills. Life is also in constant movement and things that were discussed in a course that I took five years ago might not have rung a bell at that time – but might do it this time.

So this spring I signed up for a leadership course again. This course is called “To Lead and Develop in Academia” and is an internal Uppsala University course. In the course description it says:

“The training aims to strengthen you in your current or future role as a leader. The goal is sustainable leadership and good research and education environments.”

The course consists of six full-day lectures and participation in the a mentoring group on four occasions . The purpose of the mentoring is to reflect with colleagues on our everyday lives and thereby develop in our roles.

  • I’m really looking forward to this! 

Kevin Doherty Viva and PhD

In the beginning of December I had the opportunity do discuss Kevin Doherty’s PhD at his Viva voce. Kevin Doherty defended his Ph.D. thesis in Computer Science at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at University of Dublin, Trinity College. The PhD thesis has with the title “Designing the Self Report of Wellbeing in Pregnancy”. The PhD was an impressive piece of work indeed, and Kevin Doherty defended his work in the best possible way!

In the thesis Kevin Doherty presents a contribution to knowledge in the area of design of a mobile application named BrightSelf for self-reporting of psychological wellbeing during pregnancy. The research themes addressed are related to how technology shapes the self-report of wellbeing, how users are engaged in the disclosure of health concerns and how healthcare professionals might act upon reports of psychological well-being.

Many parts of the thesis are worth reading, and I especially liked the work on engagement as a theoretical concept, and also the definitions of the concept wellbeing. My guess is that Kevin Doherty would have a brilliant career in academia if he wants that 🙂

 

Many Factors Behind IT Stress

The magazine Publikt did a survey study with public authorities. The results showed that there are enormous work environment problems related to the IT systems. Many of the union elected representatives who responded to Publik’s survey indicate that employees are stressed and frustrated due to the shortcomings of IT tools.  In their presenteation of the survey, I was asked to comments on the results:

“Most people I interview now have 15 to 20 different systems, including smaller systems like phones and other. If you go back ten years in time, nobody could know or suspect that this development could happen. The situation has just arisen, and this has contributed to this enormous problem.”

Some of the problems experienced by users can be linked to the difficulty of meeting the needs of the business with standardized systems.

“Standard system fits no one,” says Åsa Cajander. There are too long distances between those who use the systems and those who develop them. Even if you have user groups or the like, it’s very hard to make it work.

Developing and managing your own system is of course much more expensive than buying a standard system, she states.

“But you start counting the costs in a big organization, then maybe it would pay off. This could be a research study.”

The full article in Swedish is found here:

https://www.publikt.se/artikel/manga-faktorer-bakom-it-stress-21966

 

Making Films as a Part of Your Learning: Adoption and Evaluation of the Self Flipped Classroom Concept

We got some funding for pedagogical development work from the Faculty of Science and Technology at our university. This will give us the possibility to explore the self-flipped classroom concept in two different courses, and to evaluate the effects of the approach. The idea that we have used so far is that students make films that other students learn from. The films are discussed in workshops to get a thorough understanding of them.

I will collaborate with Mats Daniels and Anne Peters in this project, and hopefully we will also get some help from Anna Vasilchenko from NewCastle University.

Here is the abstract of the application: 

Learning by making, as pointed out by for instance Seymour Papert, is a well known strategy for efficient learning. However, the ideas are rarely used in practice. The self-flipped classroom (SFC) concept is a promising idea for using the learning by making approach with a reasonable time cost for students. It is also a student contributing pedagogy, which is one of the focus areas in our faculty. We will adopt, implement and evaluate the SFC concept for two different courses, where we will have a focus on making videos. The overarching aim for this project is to develop pedagogically anchored strategies for using the SFC concept that will help teachers who want to use this concept in a scholarly manner. This work will include tailoring the SFC concept to two different course contexts, studying how the pedagogical interventions are received by the students, including effects on their learning, and working on dissemination of findings and observations.

New Publication: Patients reading their medical records: differences in experiences and attitudes between regular and inexperienced readers

The national patient survey related to medical records online has resulted in a new publication. This one is focusing on older patients and their use of the system. The paper is a collaboration with the HIBA project in Finland led by professor Isto Huvila. The team behind the paper also included Jonas Moll, Heidi Enwald, Noora Hirvonen and Rose-Mharie Åhlfeldt.

The results are not super surprising, but still relevant. Older patients are more likely to use the phone when seeking clarification, whereas younger people use the internet. There are clear clear age differences shown in the data.

The abstract is coped below. And the full paper is available online: http://www.informationr.net/ir/21-1/paper706.html#.W_ff4XpKhZE

Abstract

Introduction. Patient accessible electronic health records can be used to inform and empower patients. However, their use may require complementary information seeking since they can be difficult to interpret. So far, relatively little is known of the information seeking that takes place in connection to health record use, and especially the way it varies in different age groups. A better understanding of patients’ preferences of where and how to find explanatory information provides valuable input for the development of health information provision and counselling services.

Method. The analysis is based on the results of a national survey of Swedish individuals (N=1,411) who had used a national patient accessible electronic health record system (Journalen).

Analysis. The data were analysed in SPSS 24.0 using Kruskal-Wallis tests for detecting group-wise differences and Jonckheere-Terpstra tests for discovering age-related trends in the data.

Results. Older patients were more likely to use a telephone and younger patients to use social contacts to ask for clarification. Generally, older adults born between 1946–1960 appear as passive information seekers.

Conclusion. Age groups differ in their preferences on how to seek clarification, which underlines the importance of a better understanding of individual differences in delivering not only technically but also intellectually accessible health information. Calling by telephone could be a habit of present older generations whereas, to a degree, searching information online could be a comparable habit of current younger generations.

Recent Publication: Why do They Need to Check me?” eHealth as Power Struggle in the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Physicians have a very stressful situation and many of them risk stress symptoms due to working too hard. The situation in health care is indeed alarming, and the numerous new IT systems introduced and changing health care are not always well received. One doctor I met asked:

What is the problem they are trying to solve with these new systems, the only thing they do is to create new problems!!

There is also research studies describing this situation such as as Sofie Wass and Vivian Vimarlunds publication named: I got 99 problems and eHealth is one which signals the same thing as the above quote.

When patient accessible electronic health records was launched into the lives of physicians many of them strongly disliked the idea. Some of them even thought of the system as a threat to their profession, and thought that the system was there to monitor physicians and the mistakes they make. Like the cat in the picture who sneaks and peaks on something patients would use patient electronic health records to sneak on physicians and control them as in the question in the title of the paper “Why do they need to check me?”.  There was indeed a very long list of things physicians worried about, and in this publication we dig into and explore some of their perspective on the system. The abstract is coped below, and the full publication can be found here.  The paper is written together with the excellent Christiane Grünloh, Gunilla Myreteg and Hanife Rexhepi.

ABSTRACT

Background: Roles in the doctor-patient relationship are changing and patient participation in health care is increasingly emphasized. Electronic health (eHealth) services such as patient accessible electronic health records (PAEHRs) have been implemented to support patient participation. Little is known about practical use of PAEHR and its effect on roles of doctors and patients.

Objective: This qualitative study aimed to investigate how physicians view the idea of patient participation, in particular in relation to the PAEHR system. Hereby, the paper aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of physicians’ constructions of PAEHR, roles in the doctor-patient relationship, and levels and limits of involvement.

Methods: A total of 12 semistructured interviews were conducted with physicians in different fields. Interviews were transcribed, translated, and a theoretically informed thematic analysis was performed.

Results: Two important aspects were identified that are related to the doctor-patient relationship: roles and involvement. The physicians viewed their role as being the ones to take on the responsibility, determining treatment options, and to be someone who should be trusted. In relation to the patient’s role, lack of skills (technical or regarding medical jargon), motives to read, and patients’ characteristics were aspects identified in the interviews. Patients were often referred to as static entities disregarding their potential to develop skills and knowledge over time. Involvement captures aspects that support or hinder patients to take an active role in their care.

Conclusions: Literature of at least two decades suggests an overall agreement that the paternalistic approach in health care is inappropriate, and a collaborative process with patients should be adopted. Although the physicians in this study stated that they, in principle, were in favor of patient participation, the analysis found little support in their descriptions of their daily practice that participation is actualized. As seen from the results, paternalistic practices are still present, even if professionals might not be aware of this. This can create a conflict between patients who strive to become more informed and their questions being interpreted as signs of critique and mistrust toward the physician. We thus believe that the full potential of PAEHRs is not reached yet and argue that the concept of patient empowerment is problematic as it triggers an interpretation of “power” in health care as a zero-sum, which is not helpful for the maintenance of the relationship between the actors. Patient involvement is often discussed merely in relation to decision making; however, this study emphasizes the need to include also sensemaking and learning activities. This would provide an alternative understanding of patients asking questions, not in terms of “monitoring the doctor” but to make sense of the situation.

 

We Need to Digitalise Carefully – My Professor Installation Lecture

I did my professor installation lecture last week. And of course I was super nervous. And of course I as usual felt:

“Why on earth did I agree on doing this”.

This was of course also combined with a sense of imposture syndrome including thinking that everyone else that is a full professor has understood everything about their subject area. My area just evolves and becomes more difficult to explain by the day. Sigh.

The abstract of the lecture is found below:

Systemutvecklingsarbete är svårt, och många IT-system fungerar inte på ett tillfredsställande sätt trots intensiv teknikutveckling. Min forskning handlar både om att förbättra situationen och att förstå vad problemen beror på. Jag forskar på att ta fram förbättrade arbetssätt i de organisationer och i de projekt som utvecklar och inför IT. Fokus här är användarcentrerade metoder, genus, sociotekniskt perspektiv och agil utveckling. Jag har också forskat på de kompetenser som personerna i projekten behöver bemästra för att kunna arbeta med utveckling av komplexa system som stödjer människor på ett bra sätt.

The lecture is found here: