Thursday Research Bulletin 23.7.2015

Let’s call it a Thursday, although it’s Friday.

About this week

A 3-day academic writing seminar took most of the time this week. Still, very good and interesting stuff there. I love writing, so it’s always great to have a chance to learn something new and kill some of those old bad habits in it.

There’s also two different research collaborations finding their existence in Europe. The other one is to do with embodied human-computer interaction and the other one, slightly related to that, is to do with gamification, HCI and learning. More about these quite interesting developments when something more to report.

Research

Although the writing workshop took most of the week, I was able to finish one paper to be presented at the annual colloquium here at Curtin University. It’s basically a phenomenological literature review on what virtual embodiment has been described to be like, and what gives birth to its experience, in previous research literature. I thought I’d just put the working paper out there (going to turn it to a journal article in the very near future), so here’s a link to ResearchGate if you want to have a read: Virtual Embodiment in Virtual Environments.

From the web

It’s annoying when you are looking at houses online and it says ‘virtual tour’, but then it’s almost always basically just static pictures. I thought this was finally more towards the right direction:

Interesting readings this week

Someone posted this book on Twitter on phenomenology and poststructuralism. Sounds quite interesting and I hope to have time to read it soon:

Here’s also a couple of interesting sources that deals with human-computer interaction and situated cognition in ways I was not aware of. Funnily enough, I’ve read these authors in other disciplines, but didn’t know they came together for this discussion already in 1994. I guess no matter how much you read and do literature searches, you will always miss something.

Moran, Thomas P. 1994. “Introduction to This Special Issue on Context in Design.” Human-Computer Interaction 9 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1207/s15327051hci0901_1.

Brown, John Seely, and Paul Duguid. 1994. “Borderline Issues: Social and Material Aspects of Design.” Human-Computer Interaction 9 (1): 3–36. doi:10.1207/s15327051hci0901_2.

Moran, Thomas P. 1994. “Commentary on Borderline Issues.” Human-Computer Interaction 9 (1): 37–135. doi:10.1207/s15327051hci0901_3.

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Thursday research bulletin 16.7.2015

So this week’s been pretty much packet mainly with different kinds of research articles. There’s especially the mentioned Curtin Business School Colloquium article in the area of HCI, virtual embodiment and human-technology coupling, which I pretty much re-wrote although I had some of it ready from before. I guess part of research “rigour” (the word we all love) is that you will re-do everything if you feel something is not right – even if you don’t feel like it. Anyway, it looks much better now and perhaps I can extend it to a “real” journal article somewhere along the way.

From the Web

In the VR section, I guess one of the interesting things this week was HTC announcement that finally something actually tangible might come out in October:

I’ve also followed Leap Motion’s virtual hands concept with an interest:

Naturally I would like to explore it with Talos Principle which I’ve recently played:  

I guess in the section of embodiment and “Oh well, it’s only a year or two when Tony Stark’s gadgets start to look old”, this post sort of made the day:

Weekly research project bulletin 9.7.2015

During the last two weeks I’ve been conducting interviews for the phenomenological study of 3D virtual training environments. I’ve had pretty interesting discussions with the users. So this week’s been mostly about transcribing interviews – which sort of gives you a back, neck, elbow and wrist pain. Some themes are already starting to emerge, but I want to keep them at bay until I have transcribed everything and not jump into conclusions. Well, if I did, that would sort of be against the chosen descriptive phenomenological approach to analysis with bracketing and everything.

I’m doing the transcription myself, by hand. So no Dragon Dictate for me. The reason I am doing it like this is that I learned it already during my Masters research and one other research project that such a process gets you well immersed in the data. You become more one with it when you go through it several times. And boy, when you transcribe it, you really go through it several times. So that’s a good thing instead of a “process to be optimised”. Naturally if I had 50 people to be transcribed (and I can count roughtly 1 to 6 ratio for a transcription time, i.e. 1 hour of audio takes about 6 hours to transcribe), I probably would have to think other options too.

Publications

Just received a confirmation that a paper, “The Lived Experience of an Authentic Context in Virtual Environments: First Steps of a Descriptive Phenomenological Analysis in a Safety Training Setting“, co-authored with Hanna Teras and Torsten Reiners got accepted in the AACE 2015 E-Learn–World Conference on E-Learning.

It’s also that time of the year when Curtin Business School is having the annual 2-day Colloquium. I attended last year with a poster, which even won the best poster award. Full paper and a poster this year as now the research project is a bit further. Based on a paper by Randolph (2009), I used a phenomenological approach also to a part of the literature review in how research in human-computer interaction and especially in 3D virtual environments has described ’embodiment’. Hope to have some interesting results to present about this, and of the actual process of conducting it, at the colloquium.

References

Randolph, J. J. (2009). A Guide to Writing the Dissertation Literature Review. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 14(13), 1–13. doi:10.1306/D426958A-2B26-11D7-8648000102C1865D