Talk On Being a Leader in Academia and Five Key Things That I Focus on as a Leader

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.

Kicking off the Semester with Family Turbulence and No Blogging

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.

What do I think about Moving to Online Teaching on a Very Short Notice?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

 

Why Spend Time Blogging as an Academic? My Top Four Reasons to Blog

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4.  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!

Experiences from Finding Reviewers to Case Studies for NordiCHI 2020

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. The people I asked from the data base of reviewers in the conference system mostly declined my invitation.
  4. 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.
  5.  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

Welcome to our special session on Sustainability in Education @FIE2020

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

‘I do not share it with others. No, it’s for me, it’s my care’ – On sharing of patient accessible electronic health records

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.

Psychosocial work environment and nurses

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

  1. Introduction to psychosocial work environment, negative health effects, organizational justice and prosperous workplaces Magnus Svartengren, Uppsala
  2. Why do anesthesia and surgical nurses choose to stay or leave their workplace? Erebouni Arakelian, Uppsala
  3. Effort-reward imbalance, job-demand control and wellbeing among hospital workers in perioperative context. Robert Wålinder, Uppsala
  4. Nurses digital work environment: The situation today and what can be done to make it better. Diane Golay and Åsa Cajander, Uppsala
  5. Working hours and recovery – effects on health and patient safety
    Anna Dahlbert, Stockholm
  6. Daytime rhythms, light behavior, and sleep. We are affected by light at work
    Arne Lowden, Stockholm

Study on Automation of eServices in Primary Care

Automation where humans and computers cooperate on various levels is transforming society. Many jobs are anticipated to be partially or completely automated in the future. OECD, for example, calculate that 14% of current jobs could completely disappear in the next 15-20 years, and they estimate that around 32% are likely to change entirely as tasks are automated (OECD 2019). Another well cited calculation estimates that 47% of all jobs in the US will be threatened by technology development in the next 10 to 20 years (Frey and Osborne 2017). This transformation using automation is also seen in the healthcare sector and some areas of automation are clinical development, non-invasive surgeries, robots in the medical pill dispersion and administrative systems being automated 

Automation has also recently moved into the area of patient-centric services to address society’s challenges with an ageing population and healthcare provision. The goal of the transformation with automation here is to make healthcare more efficient, and to empower patients. Given the work environment problems in healthcare, with a large turnover of especially nurses (Hsu 2016) and recent evidence that suggest digitalisation is experienced as a part of the problem by many healthcare professionals (Kroth et al. 2019; Scandurra et al. 2014), it is vital to investigate the effects of automation and digitalisation on work engagement. 

As a part of the STRIA work we did a study on staff at 1177 that we published in a Swedish technical report found here

Abstract:

Denna rapport innehåller en kartläggning av 1177-personalens digitala arbetsmiljö vid arbete med den chattfunktion till patienter som användes under ett pilotprojekt hösten 2019. Rapporten är skriven med utgångspunkt från att läsaren har inblick i personalen på 1177s arbete, och har kunskap kring de IT-system som används. Kartläggningen genomfördes som ett samarbete mellan forskningsprojektet Systemutvecklingsmetoder för digital arbetsmiljö som leds av Uppsala Universitet och Region Uppsalas projekt Nära Vård Online under hösten och vintern 2019/2020.

Kontextuella intervjuer genomfördes på plats under cirka fem timmar. Dessutom genomfördes nio semistrukturerade intervjuer med sjuksköterskorna och åtta med läkare. Intervjufrågorna grupperades i fyra teman: intervjupersonens bakgrund; arbetsmiljö relaterat till pilotprojektet; arbetsmiljö relaterat till det äldre sättet att arbeta och några avslutande frågor. Alla intervjuer transkriberades och tematisk analys gjordes.

Inom temat upplevelse av krav visar intervjuerna att det som är mest stressande, och som nästan stressar alla, är köbildningen i chattsystemet. Det som stressar är otillräcklig information om vilka samtal som väntar, och att man inte kan veta när personen man chattar med svarar. Dessutom påpekar några att man inte heller kan se vilka patienter som behöver snabb hjälp och vilka som kan vänta.

Inom temat stöd kan man konstatera att alla upplever systemen som stabila, och har god inblick i vad man kan göra om systemen inte fungerar. Många tycker att systemen fungerar mycket bra. Några påpekar att samarbetet och stödet från kollegor som jobbar hemifrån inte fungerar lika bra som att arbeta på samma plats.

Inom området upplevelse av kontroll finns det förbättringsområden vad det gäller vilka frågor som patienten svarat på, och sjuksköterskor påpekade att systemet delvis är designat för läkare och inte för sjuksköterskors arbete. Många upplevde att de kunde vara med och påverka i förändringsarbetet, och att de i mycket stor utsträckning varit delaktig.

Rapporten innehåller också några rekommendationer kring design och implementering av liknande tjänster ur ett arbetsmiljöperspektiv. Slutligen finns lästips för den intresserade läsaren.

 

Workload and Working from Home in Corona Times

I’ve been working from home from the first week of March. By now that sums up to around six weeks. The first couple of weeks work was calmer, in my experience, with less meetings and things cancelled. Everything was a bit chaotic there the first weeks. Two conferences where I was going to talk as key note were cancelled which gave me several empty days on a short notice.  Also other things disappeared from the calendar and many things were cancelled. But the last weeks it has been more or less the same amount of “too much to do” as usual. But with a different flavour and content.

For me distance meetings takes much more energy than ordinary meetings where everyone is in the same room. Often I have had 5-7 hours of meetings in a day and it doesn’ really work well. Also, very often I am the meeting leader and meetings have a different character than usual. Perhaps that takes some energy from me too? One example is that people are muted and the meetings become a bit more organised. They also need to be more carefully planned. For the future I need to cut down on the number of meetings per day to be able to have energy enough for the other parts of my work: planning things, writing funding applications and papers and reading. The following weeks I will try to cut down to four meetings a day, and not book more than that.

The workload when it comes to teaching has also increased due to Corona. Instead of being prepared to discuss the content/material of my lectures, I also need to prepare the interactions with students to the very detail. In my classes very few students speak up in the zoom meeting classroom, so instead I use polls, and other interactive tools to keep them activated. These needs to be put in place before the lecture starts. Also, the lectures in themselves have been stressful with all kinds of technical issues, even though I am lucky enough to have had good help from Diane Golay who teaches the course with me.

Also the work load when it comes to the family has been different and heavier during these Corona times. The oldest son’s school is closed so he is always studying from home, and me and my husband work from home too. And at least one of the other three kids have stayed at home too every working day. So far there has been only two days with three people at home, and the rest we have had 4-6 people at home every day.  This truly affects the grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking. When I sit in my meetings the kids play with different things, and the house is a mess. Unfortunately cleaning and cooking are not my favourite hobbies. I have never been so happy about our robot vacuum cleaner as these days. It does hard work cleaning the house every day! Another example of increased work load is lunch: Instead of walking to the the local restaurant at work we plan and prepare lunch for on average five people every work day. And lunch needs to be one hour due to meetings being booked which often is too short and there is no time to fill the dishwasher etc.