Infrastructure, Methods and Tools

Infrastructure, methods and tools for Digital Citizen Science are being developed in the project.

How do we reach citizens who want to contribute their creativity, knowledge and ideas and do research together? How can we motivate them to stay involved in the long term?

The goal of the "Public Touchpoints" subproject is to develop concepts for initially addressing citizens and getting them excited about digital citizen science in the long term. One of our central approaches for the recruitment of citizens in public spaces is the "kiosk concept" - a network of stationary and mobile terminal systems, through which the project can be experienced in busy public places. Contact points are also created via a project website, physical and virtual spaces and events. The target-oriented design of these contact points, the development and evaluation of design principles, and the investigation of incentive mechanisms are the central task and research object of the subproject.

In this subproject, the focus is on making mobile measurement and interaction technologies accessible and usable for different interest groups. The various mobile technologies include wearable sensors that can measure such things as heart rate, breathing and movement behavior, but also interaction technologies such as VR headsets or cameras with 3D scanning that can recognize gestures. For such technologies to be easily and effectively deployed, several entry barriers need to be lowered. Therefore, a particular focus of this subproject is to:

(1) Provide an overview of existing technologies and their potential uses, including catalyzing entry methods (such as how-to guides, testimonials, and expert contacts),

(2) provide a framework that can be used as a basis for decision-making to make technology deployment as easy as possible; and

(3) implement exemplary study projects and software artifacts that can be adapted for similar future studies.

At the beginning of every research project there is a question to be answered or a problem to be solved. Often, problems are identified by scientists, who then formulate research questions, collect data, evaluate them, formulate answers and propose solutions. Citizens are usually only involved in the data collection process, for example as participants in surveys or experiments. The sub-project "Hypothesis Generator" aims to develop digital tools that enable citizens to become actively involved at an earlier stage and to contribute their own questions and formulate hypotheses in a structured and scientifically sound manner. In this way, socially important topics are to be identified and the scientific process democratized.

This subproject is about the conception and evaluation of a Digital Citizen Science App with Design Science approaches. The goal is to develop an app that enables citizens to participate as co-researchers in research on Wellbeing@Home. They should be able to participate in the individual steps of a research project, develop, discuss and prioritize their own research questions and hypotheses. At the same time, the platform should provide a clear and focused platform for researchers to interact with citizens. In a first step, a requirements analysis will be conducted, which will also include our research experiences with eParticipation.


Wellbeing@Home Pilot Studies

Infrastructure, methods, and tools are being tested in five pilot studies on wellbeing during both work and education at home.

Artificial Intelligence continues to advance. Its use in diverse application fields and for a variety of tasks means that decisions delegated to artificial intelligence impact humans on a personal and societal level, and increasingly do so as technology continues to develop. In the course of this, it is inevitable that decisions made by machines will enter areas of moral decision-making. Either consequences will be indirect – as discussions on implicit biases of algorithms and its effects show – or direct as in the case of questions around implemented rules for autonomous vehicles.
We explore decision making in this context, as well as norms. Citizens will provide feedback on these topics that will guide the analyses.

Throughout history a key question that economists, psychologists, organisations, and workers have sought to answer is: How do we further optimize our performance, both in the moment and in the foreseeable future? The question of how we can stay motivated, achieve our goals, and balance our needs for recovery when working remotely without the face-to-face interaction with co-workers and managers has gained even more importance recently. A possible approach to achieve such a balance could be to foster the achievement of the hyperactive awareness called flow – an experience that is both linked to superior performance, well-being and growth of abilities and social relationships. The present research seeks to answer the question how performance feedback – an often-used instrument to motivate workers in remote settings - impacts not only task performance itself, but also the experiences of flow, mental workload, and stress. This research will integrate the investigation of both the individual, and the team level, to comprehensively study how performance feedback impacts our experiences in remote working scenarios.

Mensch vor Computer

The introduction of measures to contain the Covid-19-Pandemic in spring 2020 entailed substantial changes in the everyday lives of many people—with no return to the previous state in sight. The goal of this project is to study the relation between flexible work schedules when working from home and physical (in-) activity. This proposition is related to previous studies which demonstrated the relation between exercise activities and affect at the end of a working day. Validated activity sensors (activPAL4™ micro) are used to measure sedentary behavior and physical activity while working from home. A precise classification of activity patterns allows to study physical (in-) activity regarding both quantity and quality. Additionally, it is to be analyzed whether participatory approaches can be utilized to study physical (in-) activity when working from home or to design interventions to promote physical activity in the context of real-world laboratories. Another aspect covers the use of these approaches in transforming occupational health management to contribute to a digital and sustainable working world.

As part of the project "Security Awareness in the Home Office", two studies are being conducted. The first deals with the satisfaction and self-efficacy of users with regard to the use of an anti-phishing tool, while the second deals with the usability of password managers. Both are tools that enable users to increase their own level of IT security.

In a state of flow, people become completely immersed in their activity, so that nothing else seems to matter and daily worries are fading into the background. In times of social distancing, flow experiences are especially important since flow could influence our daily well-being. However, flow in our daily lives is scarce, particularly at home, where many factors are distracting task execution and demand attention (e.g., household tasks).
Students are supposed to be especially affected by this issue, as their work and education routines are even less structured. In this pilot study we will provide students with an app and heart-rate sensors to allow them to detect their individual flow states in daily life scenarios. The objective of the study is to develop a flow dashboard based on the feedback of the participants and to identify design principles for the ideal user interaction. These design principles will be further developed into concrete design features in two design science cycles and finally evaluated with the study participants.