status: past project institution: university of florida
The goal of my work on virtual humans and message production was to investigate whether virtual human interviews can elicit changes in a communication skills learners’ message production. To evaluate message production and selection interfaces in virtual human interviews, I worked with instructors of healthcare courses to integrate virtual patient interviews into their classrooms. Students interviewed multiple virtual patients, and their message production was compared over time. One aim of this project was to improve patient adherence by training doctors’ communication skills. A patient’s adherence can be affected by a doctor’s communication skills if a doctor does not communicate in a way that is comprehensible to the patient (i.e. minimizing complex language and the use of medical terminology).
I worked on this project for my dissertation research in the Virtual Experiences Research Group at the University of Florida.
- Literature reviews to identify cognitive load theory
- Coordinating with stakeholders
- Survey design and qualitative analysis
- Quantitative analysis of user log data (including natural language processing techniques)
- How can a VP interview interface be designed to instruct students on the medical interviewing process while also constraining the user input to reduce frustration?
- Where do healthcare students think a selection interface would fit in their learning journey, if at all?
Stakeholders: instructors of healthcare courses that include communication skills learning
Roles and Responsibilities
Using these frameworks, I designed a new interface for VP interviewing in an existing application, VPF2. In this new interface, instead of allowing students to type whatever they would like to ask the VP a question, students were instead asked to select questions from a menu. This design incorporated the interviewing frameworks by only showing students a select number of questions at a time. The ordering of these questions aligned with the topic ordering proposed by the interviewing frameworks.
- Virtual human interviews seem to elicit changes in communication skills learners’ message production.
- Selection interfaces do not seem to affect advanced communication skills learners’ message production.
- Novice and advanced communication skills learners view selection interfaces as appropriate for novice learners.