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Ongoing research and prototypes

Learning Environments research group has a new space in the Väre building. In addition of another move — of which we are very happy about, as we are back in the core of the Aalto Media Lab — we have done some research, design experiments and prototypes.
SySTEM 2020 workshop
SySTEM 2020 workshop, photo by Roya Ranjbar.

The biggest latest news from the LeGroup is Eva Durall’s defence of her doctoral dissertation “Reflection and Self-Regulation Using Monitoring Tools in Learning”. In pubic defence Professor Anders Mørch, University of Oslo, acted as the opponent. The dissertation was pre-examined by Professor Corina Sas of the Lancaster University and supervised by Associate Professor Teemu Leinonen, and co-advised by Professor Begoña Gros from University of Barcelona.

Eva’s research uses design methods and prototype building to critically explore self-monitoring during independent study. The contributions include a functional prototype (Feeler), as well as the findings from several sub-studies related to the design process as well as testing of the prototype. The dissertation reports number of implications that monitoring tools have for learning. Based on these results, several design implications to guide future designs and uses of monitoring tools in learning are proposed.

From the beginning of 2019, we have been busy with the HUMEX project (see the previous post on HUMEX) analysing the results from the experiments performed with the design prototypes. We conducted several studies, such as integrating the Nodders wearable tool as part of the process of remote communication within an organisation. We monitored it’s contributions and affect within organisations as well as acknowledged how visualizing of affect in digital communications can improve collaborative work. We now know that the prototype is well suited for collaborative digitally mediated distance work. It allows users of audio conferences to notice with just a glance when the other is following and agreeing on whatever is under work. More information on this process can be found in the HUMEX progress documentation

The early results from the HUMEX research were presented at the Affect in Organizational Renewal workshop at Aalto University School of Business, Espoo, Finland (June 17-18, 2019).  In parallel, we conducted another study in collaboration with Helsinki University in relation to empathy and heart rate sharing in service chat. Our exciting design process, analysis and results will be submitted soon. Some results, related to embodiment and future design directions, will be also presented in the Trajectories 14th World Congress of Semiotics IASS/AIS, September 9-13, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Within the HUMEX framework Avner Peled and Joaquin Aldunate have been designing and building a soft telepresence robot called Hitodama, to study how embodied digital interaction might easy out emotionally loaded interactions. We had some interesting experiments with Hitodama in early July at the Aalto University. Avner’s project and the MA thesis will be completed in autumn.

SySTEM 2020 project meeting and co-design event were held last March at Aalto (Väre). More than 50 people from 19 countries and diverse backgrounds participated in the workshop, in which they jointly explored the opportunities and challenges connected to science education learning in non-formal and informal contexts. As a result, the working teams created 12 design concepts that provide insights about aspects to further explore in the project.

SySTEM 2020 map is online! The map visualizes information about organisations and activities focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in the project partners countries (Europe and Israel). The map is an important tool for research and for supporting science learning outside the classroom as it gives visibility to STEAM actors and can support collaboration. Maija Mikkola has joined LeGroup as research assistant to campaign the map. In case you are involved in non-formal STEAM education, join the SySTEM 2020 map!

What else? During the spring we have submitted close to ten research articles to journals. Fingers crossed. The next news will be all about these publications.

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Strong overall result: 27.5 million euros from the Research Council of Finland

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