torsdag 19 december 2013

Me, Björn and all our projects

Me and Björn Hedin have so many different projects and gigs together that I find it useful to write a blog post about them just in order to help me (and him) to keep track of them all!

The common denominator in all of these projects is - in one form or another - teaching, learning and pedagogical development/research. The strange thing is that this is strategically not really the direction I want my work and my research to move in. What I really want to work with is ICT/Media Technology and sustainability. The "problem" is that everything me and Björn touch turns to gold - most of our applications are granted, our papers are accepted to conferences (and hopefully soon to journals) and the results that come out of these projects are observed and appreciated by others.

My take on this is that Björn should be the lead researchers in preferably all, but at least 75% of everything we do together. That would leave me with enough time to pay attention also to other things (other areas of research). We'll see how that works out. As King Canute learned the hard way, it's tough to swim against the tide. Anyway, here is a list of all of our current projects:

Granted research applications:
- The Swedish Energy Council. This is the big one that we have just landed. We will, together with our colleagues Henrik and Jorge, sink 2.5 person-years into the project "Improved energy habits through quantified self" between 2014 - 2017. The work effort will be minor during the spring 2014 and pick up the pace after next summer.
- ECE school. We were granted a relatively small amount of money to work with "social annotation systems and formative peer feedback for bachelors' thesis" during the spring of 2014. We will more specifically work with our bachelor's thesis course in order to improve the course and our (successful) work with group supervision and social annotation systems.

Research grant applications in the pipe: // Comment (Jan 2014): both these applications were granted - we're on a roll! //
- CSC school/CPU application 1. We handed in our application "Do it now! Support for better education about procrastination" in the end of November. It follows up on our earlier application about procrastination (granted almost two years ago) and we will get to know if we receive this sliver of funding during the second half of January at the latest.
- CSC school/CPU money 2. We handed in another application, "Improved thesis quality through increased goal focus and peer- and self-assessment", that tags on and extend the ECE school application above. This new application aims to extend the already-planned work regarding our bachelor's thesis course also to our master's thesis course - as well as to modularise the results so as to be able to easier disseminate them also to other programmes.

Not yet written research application:
The Swedish Research Council (VR). Me and Björn have discussed the possibility of writing an application about procastination and studying habits. The deadline ought to be sometime in March or April next year. I don't think it's at the top of our agenda and we might (for several different reasons) push it forward one more year.

Teaching projects:
- We are currently looking for bachelor's and master's students to do their theses within the Swedish Energy Council project above. I might have a minor, supporting role in these theses (since I'm away all spring).
- ITM school. We have been contracted to adapt and run our procrastination module on all (600) first-year students at all the five engineering programs at the School for Industrial Engineering and Management during the autumn of 2014.
- CSC school/MT students. At the end of 2014 it is time to again run our procrastination module on 250 students at the Media Technology Engineering Programme.

Writing projects:
- We should upgrade the paper that was presented at the 4th developmental conference for Swedish engineering educations into a short "best practices" paper and send it to the online open-access journal Högre Utbildning [Higher Education]. We have previously written such a "best practices" paper concerning our experiences with group supervision and social annotation systems.
- It might be the case that my wife will roll up her sleeves and work with a corpus of materials that we have collected and (hopefully) write a paper about social annotation systems and practices.
- There are several (many) papers "in the pipe" based on already collected data about our media technology and computer science students' procrastination and studying habits. We have data from 700 students and we will acquire more/new data from at least as many students next autumn. I am however adamant that Björn has to take the lead on writing these papers and his priority right now is to finish his ph.d. thesis, so I assume nothing much will happen until after the summer at the earliest. At that time we will however be poised for collecting more material, so we might further postpone these writing projects until 2015. At that point we will have collected (comparable) data from 1500 students in eight different engineering programmes and ranging over a period of six age cohorts in the case of the Media Technology program.

That's it. Most of the projects above need some or quite some attention during the spring. Some projects are run by me but most projects are run by Björn and that's how I like it. These are side interests of mine - spin-off projects due to the fact that I as a teacher am engaged in the courses I teach in and in my/our students. The same goes for Björn, but the projects above are also in line with the research he has done and wants to do in the future. I wish him (us) all the best of luck with all our projects during 2014.

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