Improving video encounters

Better video encounters through multimodal interaction analysis is a current PhD project at CIRCD carried out by Simon Bierring Lange.

Background for the project
In recent years, video mediation technology has been introduced in numerous settings in Denmark and internationally, public health care and business meetings. Through pilot projects at different organisations in the health care and business sectors conducted by researchers at the Centre for Interaction Research and Communication Design (CIRCD) from 2014 - 2016, it was found that the use of video mediation was often followed by different concerns by staff, resulting in reluctance to adopt the new technology in their practices. Often, the concerns were of an interactional nature (e.g. health care staff reported problems with where to focus gaze or how to perform their professional tasks in a “caring” way during consultations).

Research methods The PhD project focuses on how different qualitative approaches such as videoethnography, conversation analysis, multimodal interaction analysis and ethnomethodology can be used as a basis for skills development for professional staff in different organisations. The project consists of three stages.

Stage 1
First the stage will investigate the effects of video-mediated interaction on the trajectory of institutional talk and outcomes in business meetings and telemedicine settings. To be more precise, the project will apply multimodal conversation analysis on video recordings of video encounters between professionals or between professionals and laymen in different settings to shed light whether the mediation affects the institutional outcomes and processes in terms of the sequentiality in the encounters, the use of agendas or otherwise.

Stage 2
Using the findings and data from the first analyses, the project seeks to shed light on how participants to the video meetings accomplish to align and affiliate with co-participants. Hopefully this analysis will shed light why video meetings are perceived to be more difficult than FTF meetings in several organisations according to pilot studies at CIRCD.

Stage 3
Third, the first two parts of the project will be used to locate interactional trainables in the video data. These trainables will be presented to the staff in workshops informed by existing methods of feeding back results to practitioners within the field of applied conversation analysis. These workshops will be video recorded and analysed with the aim of describing the workshop practices.

Project period and dissemination
The project runs until spring 2020, and is part of the larger project "Video mediated interaction in professional settings" funded by the Velux Foundation. The findings from the PhD project will be published both in academic articles and disseminated through workshops and written materials for practitioners using video mediated conversations as part of their professional practice.