Some catching up to do

Woah! It seems there’s some catching up to do, as I haven’t written here in almost 4 years. I guess that’s how much doing the PhD research took out of me.

Currently I’m spending most of my working hours with a learning analytics research and development project in higher ed. I’ve also  started experimenting with commercial or free-to-use apps that rely on some way of analytics and gamification.

I’ve actually been trying out Yousician for learning to play the piano and Daylio as a daily moods tracker. This mainly to understand the experience they provide, and will their analytics make me behave somehow different or do I get insights and how I respond to them. Perhaps I’ll write something about them here soon. And who knows, I might try some of these out in higher ed with students, as some of the systems just need a bit more development for student engagement.

Research Bulletin 3.9.2015: From Carpal Tunnelish problems to the Curtin university annual research colloquium

“The most precious thing during the era of computers isn’t your brains, but your wrist and elbow.” – Me

I’ve kept this blog under hibernation during the last couple of weeks. The reason: bad wrist + elbow. An advice for those doing a PhD or other academic work for that matter: ensure good ergonomics when you use the computer and use it just a short period at a time. Hell will follow if you don’t, and will cut your time on the computer anyway. That’s what happened to me, but I am slowly getting better. It is also preventing me from doing sports I usually loved to do 3 times a week – fortunately my legs are doing just fine, so I can do running now.

So, call for all you tangible and embodied computer scientists and developers out there: can’t we for my wrist’s sake get rid of this rigid and slow mouse-operating system already?!

From the web

I haven’t been too active on Twitter either, so not too many posts from there. Anyone interested in attending another interesting conference in human-computer interaction, check out CHI 2016. I hope to be there next year as I missed South Korea last year.

Research

This week I attended the annual Curtin Business School Higher Degree by Research Colloquium. It was nice to win the best paper award in the Information Systems category. Still, the biggest achievements that I feel the colloquium pushed me to do was creating the initial literature review paper in virtual embodiment that I hope to continue to a journal article and a research poster about doing a literature review by using phenomenology.

The “little thing” doing that poster made me achieve was to better realise how phenomenological research process (as advocated by Moustakas, 1994) might actually take place. It helped me to sketch an out-of-this-world mandala (see the poster below), a process which made me to get the analysis process better – naturally actually doing and experiencing the phenomenological literature review process helped in that too.

Thus the mandala and the poster is not just a pretty picture, but an articulated structure of my recent understanding – which makes a nice memory item at the same time. So I recommend anyone to play around with drafting and sketching with one’s research ideas/processes beyond the ordinary linear and grey flowcharts we are too much used to see. Understanding is multidimensional, coloured, spatial, temporal, and can be presented on a 2 dimensional surface with various creative ways that are more accurate than using “commonly approved ways of representation”.

CBS HDR Collquium 2015 poster teras v2

Thursday Research Bulletin 14.8.2015: From Halo 5 disappointment through place to Husserlian embodiment

“Congratulations! You’ve defeated Diablo III.”

“Congratulation! More powerful Xbox One will remove split-screen from the new Halo! (as is naturally logical)” Have your say on Change.org!

About this week

This week ran past like a wild boar. It began (last weekend) with a huge disappointment with no split-screen in Halo 5, and ended up seeing a couple of my research papers being accepted to conferences. There’s also interesting discussions on ResearchGate for example about the relationship between phenomenology and embodied cognition.

All the interviews of my current phenomenological study about virtual environments are now transcribed. Now it is flipping them into NVivo and starting the elaborate coding process. Luckily, I already practiced this quite a bit with the recent literature review of virtual embodiment.

From the web

Sometimes I feel that old UX designers, HCI professionals, gamers and whatnots who have seen quite a lot in the field of various digital technologies have perhaps a bit more healthy relationship with VR that penetrates the current hype (or perhaps that is only my dream). Here’s some interesting pondering about the role of VR:

Interesting reading this week

Cilesiz, Sebnem. 2008. “Educational Computer Use in Leisure Contexts: A Phenomenological Study of Adolescents’ Experiences at Internet Cafes.” American Educational Research Journal 46 (1): 232–74. doi:10.3102/0002831208323938.

Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology, fall 2015.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280839737_Environmental__Architectural_Phenomenology_fall_2015

Mensch, James R. 2001. Postfoundational Phenomenology: Husserlian Reflections on Presence and Embodiment. University Park: Penn State University Press.