Last month, QIC welcomed Jessica James to the team! Jessica James is a Human Factors Intern at QIC. She earned a B.S. in Human Factors Psychology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Human Factors from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as well. During her academic career, she has assisted in various projects related to usability and user experience (UX) research.
Last month, QIC welcomed Michael Schwartz to the team as a full-time Human Factors Researcher! Michael was previously an intern at QIC. He has over 6 years of experience conducting usability research and developing products for users operating in extreme environments. Michael is a Ph.D. student in the School of Modeling, Simulation and Training at The University of Central Florida, where he researches behavioral cybersecurity, wearables and workload. Michael’s research interests include applying wearables to improve the safety and performance of first responders. Welcome Michael!
This month, QIC welcomed Dr. Leslie Drummond to the team as a Senior Scientist. She has over 8 years of experience with human performance under extreme conditions, including hypoxia, fatigue, and motion sickness. Leslie earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at The George Washington University, where she researched visual attention, with a focus on how to retrain cognitive abilities after traumatic brain injury. Leslie’s research interests include individual and team performance, communication, and training. Welcome Leslie!
Like almost everything else, Thanksgiving this year will be far from normal thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. No doubt most of us are still keen to carry on with the activities that characterize the season. My goal this Thanksgiving is modest: to have a safe, enjoyable, delicious, Thanksgiving where I get to catch up with family and friends, recounting fond memories, dodging embarrassing questions, enduring rude remarks and avoiding arguments. Yes, a good Thanksgiving.
COVID has definitely added concerns to my travel plans, as it has with others (Sarmiento & Wamsley, 2020). Should I fly or drive? What are the COVID risks from being at the airport? Is it enough that the airline mandates masks to be worn at all times? What should be my route if I’m driving and what are the COVID risks from that?
Leading a QIC project that is employing Goal Directed Task Analysis (GDTA; Endsley, Bolte, & Jones, 2003), I decided to apply it in the context of my travel conundrum. A GDTA documents a task in terms of the goals to be achieved, the key decisions that determine the extent which the goals are met, and the information requirements needed to make those decisions. The GDTA has been used to describe complex unstructured tasks that can involve ill-defined processes and outcomes such as maritime navigation (Sharma, 2019), critical monitoring tasks (Rummukainen, 2016), paramedics’ tasks (Abd Hamid & Waterson, 2010), supervisory control tasks (Kaber et al., 2006), and command and control decision making (Bolstad et al., 2000), so of course it is capable of helping to resolve my problem. Applying the GDTA methodology to my overall goal is to make travel arrangements for Thanksgiving this year, I defined the main and subgoals in the following Goal Hierarchy (Endsley, 1993) (see Figure 1).
According to Endsley and Garland (2000), the GDTA information required can be further categorized as that which enables the decision maker to:
After identifying the above goals and subgoals, I identified the decisions that are associated with these goals as well as the information I needed to make those decisions at various levels. The result is a Relational Hierarchy (Figure 2).
So, have I made my decision yet? Well, no… but thanks to the GDTA process I have systematically determined the information needed to make that decision. As new information becomes available, I can apply it to this framework. If another viable transportation mode is suddenly invented (e.g. teleportation), I can expand the analysis to include that mode of transportation. Has the COVID pandemic changed the way you are making your travel plans this Thanksgiving? Try doing your own GDTA to see if that helps.
Abd Hamid, H., and Waterson, P. (2010). Using Goal Directed Task Analysis to Identify Situation Awareness Requirements of Advanced Paramedics. Int. Conf. Adv. Hum. Factors Ergon. Healthcare, 672-680.
Bolstad, C. A., Riley, J. M., Jones, D. G., & Endsley, M. R. (2002). Using goal directed task analysis with Army brigade officer teams. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 472-476). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
Endsley, M. R. and Garland D. J (Eds.) (2000) Situation Awareness Analysis and Measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Endsley, M.R., Bolte, B., & Jones, D.G. (2003), Designing for Situation Awareness: An Approach to Human-Centred Design. Taylor & Francis: London.
Kaber, D. B., Segall, N., Green, R. S., Entzian, K., & Junginger, S. (2006). Using multiple cognitive task analysis methods for supervisory control interface design in high-throughput biological screening processes. Cognition, technology & work, 8(4), 237-252.
Rummukainen, L., Oksama, L., Timonen, J., & Vankka, J. (2015). Situation awareness requirements for a critical infrastructure monitoring operator. In 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
Sarmiento, I.G. & Wamsley, L. (2020). Coronavirus FAQs: Is It Safer To Fly Or Drive? Is Air Conditioning A Threat? Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/05/30/865340134/coronavirus-faqs-is-it-safer-to-fly-or-drive-is-air-conditioning-a-threat
Sharma, A., Nazir, S., & Ernstsen, J. (2019). Situation awareness information requirements for maritime navigation: A goal directed task analysis. Safety Science, 120, 745-752.
At its core, coaching is a form of individual and team development in which the coach helps to bring out the potential of the learner. The coach does this in a manner which supports, encourages, and most importantly, places responsibility for development with the learner (Dembkowski, 2006). There are four core qualities that make up every effective coach, no matter the style by which they lead.
1. Building Rapport and Relationships
Rapport is the presence of a close and trusting relationship in which the learner and the coach understand each other’s ideas and communicate well. Rapport building involves getting to know one another, understanding where each other come from and what their background is, and most importantly spending time with one another.
2. Asking Questions and Listening
Where are you now, and where do you want to go? Helping learners gain insight through self-evaluation is a key part to coaching. Good coaches listen carefully, are open to learners’ perspectives, and allow learners to vent thoughts and emotions without judgement.
3. Providing Effective Feedback
Coaches that provide effective feedback focus on facts and observed actions, rather than personal reflections of what they think about the learner or team (Dembkowski, 2006). Feedback should be honest, but not judgmental. Good coaches recognize that an important part of their role is to challenge the learner, and giving feedback is a good way to deliver this.
4. Setting Goals and Delivering Results
Effective coaching is about achieving goals. The coach helps the learner set meaningful targets and identify specific behaviors for meeting them. The coach helps to clarify milestones or measures of success and holds the learner accountable for them (Forbes, 2010). Goals are much more likely to be accomplished if they are specific, and clearly defined (Dembkowski, 2006).
A Tale of Two Coaches
Bobby Knight, nicknamed “The General”, was the head men’s basketball coach for the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971-2000, and for Texas Tech from 2001-2008. While at Indiana, Knight let his teams to three NCAA championships and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. He also coached the 1984 USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, and has the third most wins in NCAA coaching history. Though we was highly successful, innovative coach, Knight is probably best known for his short temper, angry outbursts, and for throwing a chair across the floor during one of his more famous tirades.
Phil Jackson, nicknamed the “The Zen Master”, was the head basketball coach for the Chicago Bulls from 1987-1998, and for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2004 (and again from 2005-2011). Phil Jackson coached his teams to eleven (11!) NBA championships, an NBA record. Jackson studied human psychology, native American philosophy, and Zen meditation to help him inform coaching strategies. He taught players mindfulness, selflessness, and would lead breathing exercises while burning sage in the locker room.
Technology and Coaching
The importance of coaching is evident, regardless of the style of coaching. However, finding a coach is not exactly an easy task. Until recently, the idea of going to the store and buying a coach for an activity that you are trying to improve on or become an expert in, would have seemed ridiculous. Technology has changed this. There is an endless number of apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store that boast unique automated coaching experiences. Some of these apps can provide this unique coaching experience through artificial intelligence (AI), which is allowing for a more individualized coaching experience without human intervention. But, how can technology accomplish the four core qualities discussed earlier? Is it possible for AI to achieve features such as rapport building, and asking questions and listening? Even more complex, how does it account for different styles of coaching, that get results in different situations? How does it account for the General vs. Zen Master problem. A big part of this challenge is analyzing behavior based on understanding the learner and the performance environment. In my next installment, I will talk about how technology, and specifically AI, is beginning to overcome this challenge. What are your thoughts?
Dembkowski, S. (2006). The seven steps of effective coaching. Thorogood Publishing.
Frankovelgia, C. (2013, June 19). The key to effective coaching. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/2010/04/28/coaching-talent-development-leadership-managing-ccl.html
These posts are written or shared by QIC team members. We find this stuff interesting, exciting, and totally awesome! We hope you do too!