My research team usually meet a few times every semester on a writing retreat. Last semester we did Zoom writing retreats, and that worked somewhat but was not optimal. We had the same schedule but people did not get the same level of inspiration for writing, and it was not as good.
This semester we will meet at in a conference room with lots of space in the Covid-19 spirit. The plan is to write on whatever we want, and to spend nine to five writing.
Here are three tips for organising a great writing retreat:
1) Bring a specific projects, or several small projects. Start off the writing retreat with everyone telling about their plans.
2) When at a writing retreat do a digital detox and put sms, SnapChat or Mails aside in order to do the writing.
3) Bring nice and supportive colleagues. The team support is super important for the atmisphere and for concentration.
4) See to it that you have nice and long coffee breaks! Swedes are famous for their ”fika” and of course we focus on that at our writing retreats too. A fika is a break where you sit down and have Tea, coffee or similar and talk for 15-30 min.
Before summer holidays the Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University called me asking if I would like be her adviser on equal opportunities, and of course I accepted! The previous adviser had accepted a new management role, and I will succeed in doing this important work until March 2021 if it is not prolonged.
Equal opportunities at Uppsala university means to make sure that everyone working or studying here has equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their legal sex, gender identity or gender expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation, age or social background.
I will do this work with equal opportunities on part of my time, and continue with teaching and research in parallel. The work includes chairing The university’s Equal Opportunities Advisory Board, and also to work with gender mainstreaming at the university. The work that people at the university are doing is really impressive, and there are many true experts in their areas.
I have been invited to talk about my experience as a leader in academia. I will talk to people working in different leadership positions at Uppsala University.
I was invited to do the same kind of talk a year ago, and that time it felt like I talked way too fast. This time I will do better!
There are five key things that I focus on in my leadership.
1) Celebrate success! I always celebrate success to really notice all small positive things. Academia is a tough place, and it is easy to remember and think of failure. And I fail a lot! I also try to encourage my team to celebrate success and to share success.
2) Collaborate with your team in decision. Your team consists of lots of knowledgeable people and discussing with them around decisions is for sure the best strategy in any situation. Of course you cannot discuss all decisions, but generally talking to other people and getting their perspective is a good idea.
3) Share failure stories. Sharing failure stories is as important as sharing success stories. When you fail in getting published, When you did not get that grant or when you did crap at that presentation – share it with your team and you will get support and create an atmosphere where it is OK to fail. ”Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” (Robert F. Kennedy).
4) Take time off work. There are far too many in academia who don’t understand that taking time off is the key to living in a sustainable way, to be creative and to be the person you want to be. We need time off work to be our best.
5) Never stop learning and being curious of people. People are an endless source of inspiration and there is always something you can learn from other people. Make sure that you keep your mind open to new ideas and new ways of thinking.
I haven’t had the energy to blog in a while, but now I will try to get my routine back again and write something every week. It’s been a turbulent start of the semester. The first week I was ill with fever and a cold. I spent the week separated from the family in our small house in the garden to make sure that everyone else stayed healthy. The Covid-19 test I took was negative, and I am happy about that. Not that I expected it to be positive since I hadn’t met anyone with the decease, but you can never be totally sure not to get it I guess.
The third week of work started with 24 hours in the children’s hospital. One of my teenage sons had strong chest pains for around 8 hours before it disappeared. I got less than two hours of sleep in 24 hours, and was really extremely worried. It looked like an heart muscle inflammation, but in the end they didn’t really find any problem. I am so grateful for the very professional care he received, and the constant surveillance they put him under. The health care professionals did all tests imaginable dressed up in their Covid-19 suits. All tests were done in our small room including X-ray, EKG and blood tests due to the virus situation. Of course I couldn’t help observing their use of technology. And as expected it didn’t work properly at all occasions.
I hope that next week is a boring and normal week. I love my work, and I look forward to focussing on that again. There are several new projects coming in, and I have also gotten a new role at the university.
In the beginning of May I was interviewed about my experiences from online teaching. And I thought that I might as well write a blog post about my experiences from moving online with my teaching.
As you might have noticed this semester the Covid19 situation made all university education move online, and so did my course called Complex IT systems in Large Organisations. This time it had around 45 students, and I teach it together with Diane Golay. My experiences from this was not entirely positive. We had a couple of days to plan the lectures, workshops and the process of the course. Here are my thoughts about the topic:
- I miss my students! You have very little contact with the students. And I miss them! I did not even see them! Teaching was like talking to a camera in a vacuum.
- How do you scaffold learning of open ended questions and complex problems without being able to really discuss with students. I did my best, but it was not at all easy. And I am quite sure that their learning was strongly affected.
- All interactions with students needed to be prepared in advance. Me and Diane prepared and used different collaborative tools for each lecture, and I think that they worked Ok, but I miss the spontaneity of face to face interaction.
- Most things are different in online teaching but some things are the same. Students still ask “Will this be on the exam” and I still get so frustrated. I want them to learn because they see the need to know more, not because it is on the exam. But i might be very naive.
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay
Academics work quite hard, and many don’t have much time. So why spend it on writing blog posts? Well, I have had this blog for a few years now, and I also blog for NordWit and in my research group HTO. Why do I do this? Here are my top four reasons why I blog:
- I spread the word about my research to people outside of academia, and now and then I have been contacted by journalists and other people who have read blog posts that seem relevant for them.
- I enjoy writing, and blogging is easy and quite fun!! They don’t need to be serious, and they don’t really take that much time to write.
- My blog has resulted in new opportunities for me and my team. One example is visitors coming to Uppsala who have read about our research, others are funding opportunities that are based on blogs that people have read, and it is also a way to be invited to collaborations.
- I reflect and learn while writing. Often I only have a topic for a blog post when I start writing, and as the text appears on the screen I understand and reflect on what I have done and why. Writing about my work helps me reflect and learn from it!
Recently I have spent a considerable amount of time working for NordiCHI 2020 in the role of case studies chair for the industry track. There were 11 papers submitted in the industry track, and each paper needed two reviewers.
Here are my thoughts from this experience:
- It has so far taken me around two days of work to find people willing to do the reviews. I had never imagined that! If you are one of the people who has accepted I want to give you a warm THANK YOU!
- The conference system crashed after the first day, and all the invitations that I had sent were gone. Usability is still an issue in 2020, and those of us who engage in UX and usability will not be out of work due to systems being perfect.
- The people I asked from the data base of reviewers in the conference system mostly declined my invitation.
- I mailed three people that I had never met but from searches in databases I could see that the paper was relevant for them and sent off a personal invitation later. None of these accepted.
- Many of my colleagues are overwhelmed with reviews for this conference, and many declined due to having accepted to do many reviews already.
It will be interesting to see what the reviews look like when they come back. Some people that I asked have already done theirs, and that is truly impressive since it has only been a few days.
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay
We are a group of seven people who will organise a special session at the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference 2020. Most of the organisers are from Uppsala, and the “hero” behind the idea for the special session is Anne Peters from the UpCERG research group. Most probably Frontiers in Education will be an online conference in October 2020, and I am very much looking forward to participating and discussing how to integrate sustainability issues in education. The title for the special session is: “Care ethics to develop computing and engineering education for sustainability”
Here is the abstract for the special session:
The aim of this special session is to connect researchers interested in computing and engineering education for sustainability. We will explore the use of care and care ethics as a theoretical perspective to develop sustainability education. Theoretical discussions in environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research and feminist research will be introduced to develop an understanding of care for education. Those theories will be illustrated and motivated based on concrete examples in computing and computing education. The participants get to choose among four different topics of discussion in the session, 1) the role of education to prepare for care, 2) theoretical discussions of care as a concept to develop education and education research, 3) pedagogical methods to foster care, 4) care and responsibility in the curriculum. The outcome of this session is two-fold: The participants will gain new ways of conceiving education for human and planetary well-being and they will get to know researchers and educational developers with an interest in and experiences with sustainability education.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
A few years back i organised a PhD summer school together with Gavin Doherty, Jan Gulliksen, Conor Linehan and a whole bunch of very well known HCI people were lecturers. The course was is presented in this paper if you are curious: “ACM SIGCHI/EIT health summer school on user-centered design in e-health”. The course consisted of one week at Trinity College in Dublin, and one week in Stockholm at the Royal Institute of Technology and I participated in the background during the whole course. During this course I got to know several inspiring people, one of which is Leysan Nurgaleva. She spent an internship in my research group, and we wrote a paper together that has been in review since two years or so (!). You can read about Leysan’s experience from this collaboration around the paper here.
Last week the paper was finally published! It is really an interesting, and relevant, paper on patients’ sharing of their information to family and friends. The research questions answered are:
- RQ1. What values, considerations, and conditions motivate patients to share or not to share medical records?
- RQ2. What are the critical issues constraining the sharing of medical information in person and digitally?
Among other things the results showed that 1) Older and less educated patients share more. 2) Health conditions and illnesses affect sharing and 3) Sharing is connected to its perceived usefulness
You find the abstract below, and the full paper is found here.
Abstract: This study explores patients’ perspectives on sharing their personal health data, which is traditionally shared through discussions with peers and relatives. However, other possibilities for sharing have emerged through the introduction of online services such as Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHR). In this article, we investigate strategies that patients adopt in sharing their PAEHR. Data were collected through a survey with 2587 patients and through 15 semi-structured interviews with cancer patients. Results show that surprisingly few patients share their information, and that older patients and patients with lower educational levels share more frequently. A large majority of patients trust the security of the system when sharing despite the high sensitivity of health information. Finally, we discuss the design implications addressing identified problems when sharing PAEHR, as well as security and privacy issues connected to sharing.
Erebouni Arakelian is organising a very interesting session on psychosocial work environment and nurses and my research group has been invited to join. The conference is organised by Svensk förening för Anestesi och Intensivvård and will hopefully happen in Uppsala in September 2020. Diane Golay and I will be presenting our studies on digitalisation, work engagement and nursing, and we are presenting together with several other interesting talks!
The track called Psychosocial work environment will be on Friday the 19th of September and we hope that Corona is gone by then. You find the full schedule here: https://mkon.nu/sfai-veckan20
Psychosocial work environment
Moderator: Erebouni Arakelian, Uppsala
- Introduction to psychosocial work environment, negative health effects, organizational justice and prosperous workplaces Magnus Svartengren, Uppsala
- Why do anesthesia and surgical nurses choose to stay or leave their workplace? Erebouni Arakelian, Uppsala
- Effort-reward imbalance, job-demand control and wellbeing among hospital workers in perioperative context. Robert Wålinder, Uppsala
- Nurses digital work environment: The situation today and what can be done to make it better. Diane Golay and Åsa Cajander, Uppsala
- Working hours and recovery – effects on health and patient safety
Anna Dahlbert, Stockholm
- Daytime rhythms, light behavior, and sleep. We are affected by light at work
Arne Lowden, Stockholm