Game Jams and Hackathons have emerged as high-intensity meetups where small groups of individuals engage in some sort of rapid prototyping activity. This concept allows for the exploration of novel ideas without much prior investment in a formally relaxed, yet highly focused setting. The idea of the ScienceJam is to apply this principle to the rapid conceptualization, execution, and analysis of small-scale experiments, studies, or other pieces of research that can provide exploratory evidence or function as a pilots for larger follow-ups.
The results will be presented and discussed using posters at the main conference event!
You do not have prior experience with experiments or evaluations in HCI?
This is a great learning opportunity – group-matching, mentors, and an optional parallel crash-course on research methods in HCI will enable anyone to participate and produce meaningful outcomes.
You are already experienced with experiments or evaluations in HCI?
Great – please feel welcome to participate to rapidly explore a topic, research question, or new research methods that you may otherwise not have considered … and feel free to invite some newcomers to your group in order to allow them to have a rapid learning experience!
Please also consider signing up as a mentor. Mentors with a proven record of experience in conducting HCI research that involves human participants will be eligible to participate for free if they volunteer as a mentor for up to five other groups. Mentors are expected to provide guidance and support with the development of their projects to these groups upon request.
How to Participate?
Registration for ScienceJam will open in January 2018 and this page will be updated with the registration link. You have to be registered for at least one day of CHI to register for the ScienceJam.
Jan D. Smeddinck, University of Bremen, Germany
Elisa D. Mekler, University of Basel, Switzerland
Carl Gutwin, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
What will the ScienceJam look like in practice?
There will be a more explicit schedule at the event. Generally speaking: research ideas are generated in small teams in an initial brainstorming session. Study tools and materials are then developed on the spot and pilot-studies are executed immediately, drawing on the other jammers as participants. The small-sample data will also be analyzed. All steps are supported as much as possible by forms and toolsets that are already prepared for your convenience.
What will the schedule be?
We will provide an update with the exact schedule prior to the event.
What will the outcome be?
Hopefully a lot of fun and a good learning experience. Additionally in many cases first leads on the potential of a specific research question and study setup will be gained, hopefully leading to more thorough follow-up work. The outcomes can also be presented as a poster on the main conference event (without publication).
How does the concept of a jam go along with scientific methods?
The ScienceJam is a concept for encouraging the swift exploration of new research ideas and hands-on learning of research methods and procedures that participants are curious about. It acknowledges the limitations of research with humans-in-the-loop in embracing the questionable quality of most first instances of novel studies, yet encourages an open-minded approach and welcomes potential failure as a learning opportunity. We expect a broad selection of rather entertaining micro-research topics from CHI participants about CHI participants.
Although scientific work does certainly require a level of scrutiny that may appear at odds with a “jam” event at first glance, anyone who has ever run a study will certainly know that one always knows how to properly run a study on a certain topic after just having run one.
What to bring?
Please bring a laptop computer, tablet with keyboard, or comparable device. We will send you an update with further instructions prior to the event (e.g. regarding drinks / meals / snacks).
Where do I get research ideas and materials?
Feel free to bring in your own ideas, materials, or tools if you already have something in mind or are used to specific tools, methods, or procedures. If you do not have anything ready, don’t worry. We will prepare a toolkit with frequently used tools, materials, methods, and analysis scripts already in place that can be run on any regular MacOS, Windows, or Linux device.
How do I get up to speed on research methods in HCI if I am not yet experienced?
There will be an optional crash-course with three ~ 60 minute sessions that will provide the basics of research design, conducting experiments, and data analysis for anyone who is not yet experienced or for anyone who might appreciate a refresh on the basics.
This optional course will be structured as follows:
Right after the ScienceJam opening ceremony:
Lesson 1: Kickoff – Experiment Design – The Basics
~ 2 – 3 hours after first concept presentations (first day; early afternoon):
Lesson 2: Operationalization – Running Experiments
~ 6 – 8 hours before the end of the event:
Lesson 3: Analysis & Write-Up – Interpreting and Reporting Outcomes