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Communicate!

16 november 2016

On 16 november 2016 we organise a day around Communicate! This day consists of three parts:

  • In the morning (9:30 – 12:00) we organise a workshop on developing scenario’s in and for Communicate! This workshop takes place in the rooms V.32 and V.33 on the 6th floor of the “Stadskantoor gemeente Utrecht”, which can be reached without special access requirements. It is arranged by Majanne Wolters, Henk van Zeijts, and Michiel Hulsbergen.
  • In the afternoon (12:30 – 15:30) we organise an international symposium on Software for practicing communication skills. This symposium takes place in the rooms V.32 and V.33 on the 6th floor of the “Stadskantoor gemeente Utrecht”, which can be reached without special access requirements. The program is given below.
  • At the end of the afternoon (16:00 – 18:00) there is a special occasion at which Marjan Oudeman, the chairman of the board of Utrecht University, and Victor Everhardt, alderman from the city of Utrecht, will sign several agreements on exploiting and using  Communicate! This happening takes place at the 21st floor of the “Stadskantoor gemeente Utrecht”.

All activities take place at the Stadskantoor Utrecht. You are welcome to attend, please register here.

Here is the program for the symposium:

  • 12:30 – 12:35 Johan Jeuring (Utrecht University): Opening
  • 12:35 – 13:10 Tibor Bosse (VU Amsterdam):
    Opportunities and Challenges in Computer-Based Communication TrainingComputer-based systems to train professional skills have been around for decades, with the Flight Simulator for aviation pilots as one of the most well-known examples. Traditionally, such applications mainly focused on training of psychomotor or cognitive skills. However, as a result of the rapid developments in human-computer interaction, there has been an increasing interest in the use of computers for training of social and communicative skills. The main paradigm underlying such applications is that of a simulated conversation between a human trainee and an artificial interlocutor (or ‘virtual agent’) represented in a virtual environment. By developing the system in such a way that the (verbal and/or non-verbal) communicative behaviour of the human has a direct impact on the behaviour of the virtual agent, an interactive learning experience is created. In this talk, I will discuss the current state-of-the-art in computer-based communication training. I will provide an overview of the popular application domains, discuss the various interaction modalities that can be used, present some techniques for implementing training systems, and discuss the challenges related to designing useful scenarios as well as evaluating training systems. Most of these issues will be illustrated based on our group’s own work on virtual aggression de-escalation training.
  • 13:10 – 13:45 Raja Lala (Utrecht University):
    Scenarios in virtual learning environments for one-to-one communication skills trainingA scenario is a description of a series of interactions between a player and a virtual character for one-to-one communication skills training, where at each step the player is faced with a choice between statements. In this talk, we analyse the characteristics of scenarios and provide a classification to represent such scenarios. The analysis is performed through a literature review and by comparing virtual learning environments for scenario based training. Using this analysis we specify requirements for describing communication scenarios related to their: structure (linear, branching, interleaving), properties (static information stored per scenario like situation, background, which virtual character to show), and parameters (characteristics of a scenario that can be modified per statement like a score on a learning goal and an emotional effect in a virtual character). We define a schema for representing such communication scenarios and present an authoring tool to create a scenario.
  • 13:45 – 14:00 Break
  • 14:00 – 14:35 Jeroen Linssen (Twente University):
    Virtual Agents for Social Skills Training: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Socially Intelligent Agents for Serious GamesAttaining and maintaining good social skills is of importance to many professions, including that of police officers. In the Interaction for Universal Access project, the department of Human Media Interaction of the University of Twente has collaborated with T-Xchange, RE-liON and the Dutch national Police to create several serious gaming prototypes. These range from cartoony, tablet-based games to multi-modal virtual reality experiences, all related to the domain of law enforcement. In this talk, I will address how we created cognitive models that inform response selection of virtual suspects, which techniques we developed to stimulate learning from our games, and how we incorporated our insights in the various games we made.
  • 14:35 – 15:10 Stephen Chapman (Keele University):
    Avatars (virtual patients) for educating health care professionals and patients
    The need for increased clinical content in undergraduate courses for healthcare professionals presents two key challenges –standardisation and access. The use of virtual patient avatars (VPs) helps resolve these issues and prepares students better for working with real patients. Virtual patients can be deployed for small group work in an immersive environment such as the KAVE (Keele Active Virtual Environment) using both synchronous and asynchronous cases. For larger groups VPs can be deployed in a health cinema or online for individual practice. Augmented reality can be used to display immersive cases using an iPad or smartphone. Online VPs have been trialled for virtual OSCEs with pre-registration pharmacists and for training qualified pharmacists on pharmaceutical care plans. The same technology can be deployed to give patients advice about their medicines and contextualizing risk and benefit. We will demonstrate how native apps containing VPs have been used locally to support patients with long term conditions.
  • 15:10 – 15:30 (slightly flexible): Discussion on challenges for software for practicing communication skills. Contributions by Zerrin Yumak, Ronald Poppe, and Johan Jeuring