The Department - About Us

Lehrstuhl HCIS

 

Our Work
We investigate the work, learning and behavior of people in order to support them with IT tools. In this we focus on the practice of people, which includes multiple (individual) factors and constraints that shape the way people act and develops of time an constantly. IT is then one factor that influences work, and the understanding of all other factors enables us to support individuals and group appropriately. Our work includes individuals (human computer interaction) as well as support for groups (computer supported cooperative work and collaborative learning).

This work takes place in various areas of application. We have developed focal areas, in which we are currently active:

  • Support for learning at work: We examine methods and tools to support people to learn together while they work. Learning then takes place informally and needs to compete with other pressuring tasks such as temporal constraints. We work on these questions with the focus of supporting reflection at work in our project EmployID.
  • IT support in healthcare: In healthcare questions we explore possibilities of IT to support learning in a less tech-savvy, yet highly important sector. Challenges are to carefully adapt and integrate IT into processes of healthcare workers in order to create value, meaning to improve the work of care workers as well as the health status of patients. We work on these challenges in our project Pflegebrille.
  • Ubiquitous interaction: Living in a world in which the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Ubiquitous Computing let physical and digital worlds merge, we explore how these technologies, which are predominantly used and investigated for individual use, can be used to support cooperation of people. We look for changes these technologies can make for cooperation and try to prevent dangers resulting from what we may call ubiquitous interaction. To work on these questions we will build the HCIS Ubiquitous Interaction Lab.
  • Synchronous, face-to-face remote interaction: While there is a lot of work available on how to support face-to-face groups and remote collaboration, there are many questions on how to enable people working in different locations to work together as if they were in the same room. We build on existing work such as Roomware (Steitz) and moderation support (Herrmann) and work on possibilities to create remote interaction room support.

 

Our Background
Our reasearch and especially our focus on human behavoir in understanding technology are intertwined with social interactions in socio-technical systems. In such systems technology and social interaction shape and constitute each other: Changes of one will lead to changes of the others, and a loss of one means that the other will not sustain as well. This understanding shapes our application and work on methods for the development of IT support at work. We regard the development of both of these components equally and develop methods enabling the development of solutions under this paradigm.

 

Our Teaching
In teaching we aim students the oppertunity to learn how to create IT tools that people want to use (creating value) and can use (being easy to use). This includes methods to understand how people work (work practice) and to design tools that fit their practices. We focus on the application of the knowledge conveyed in lectures, and therefore projects in which the students apply the content from lectures are an indispensable part of our teaching.

 

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