The Moodmetric smart rings are applied to groundbreaking research at learning and teaching. Principal research scientist Liisa Postareff works at Häme University of Applied Sciences research center HAMK Edu. She is involved with three research projects where pedagogic processes are examined for instance by measuring electrodermal activity.
HAMK Edu is a unit for researching and developing professional, university and teachers´education, workplaces and organizations. Developing professional skills of the teacher is central in the unit´s work. There is a special interest in connection between pedagogic skills and well-being.
Measurement results matched with self-perceived stress levels
One of the research projects is HowUTeach coordinated by Helsinki University. It examined connections between university teachers´pedagogic skills and their own well-being. During the project a set of tools were used and developed. These helped to analyse own stress and energy levels and to recover efficiently after teaching sessions. Collection of data ended by the end of 2019 and the results are analysed during 2020. Both physiological measurements and questionnaires were used to collect data.
The Moodmetric data showed that the energy level (*) of the teacher was highest when teaching face-to-face. This matched with the self-perceived stress levels. – One teacher participating in the study told, that after a long teaching session she could just sit on the floor of her room and pant. She felt the face to face teaching extremely stressful. We need to dig into reasons of elevated stress levels. Then we can better develop tools and methods for teachers’ stress management, says Liisa Postareff.
(*) The Moodmetric ring measures electrodermal accuracy. It indicates activation of the sympathetic nervous system. ‘Arousal’ is the term often used in research, here we use ‘energy’ or ‘stress’.
Groundbreaking research applying physiological measurements
Traditionally learning and teaching have been studied with self-evaluation methods, such as questionnaires and interviews. The new trend in research is to also apply objective measurements.
Liisa Postareff regards that combining subjective and objective data is important when studying pedagogic processes. -From a colleague I heard about electrodermal activity measurement and how it fits well to study emotional and cognitive load. My first thought was that here was the objective data that we would need to study learning situations. We are interested in finding the optimal energy level for both students and teachers, from learning and from well-being point of view.
– Our research has gained a lot of interest by international research groups, says Liisa Postareff.
She had no prior experience in conducting physiological research. After getting to know the Moodmetric smart rings she encourages other researchers to get to know the method. She advices to pay attention to planning the research setting and data collection well, and to reserve adequate resources for it. Recruiting the research group was easy: People are quite keen to measure themselves with the Moodmetric smart ring.
Liisa Postareff is happy to be contacted by other researchers who would like to know more of how they applied the Moodmetric measurement: – Also it would be great to build a network of researchers already familiar with Moodmetric.
And what about the researcher’s own experiences of the Moodmetric-measurement?
Liisa Postareff has also measured herself with the Moodmetric smart ring. The most interesting finding was from free time. – I was really surprised on how high my stress levels stayed after work. I have nice leisure time activities that keep me active. Before the Moodmetric measurement I had not understood how they affected my recovery and sleep.
Now I have also payed more attention to my stress levels during work time. I try to take breaks when possible, to have some recovery during work day, too.
Other projects applying the Moodmetric measurement:
- APOA – Learning analytics in the universities of Applied Sciences , focuses on using analytics in development of pedagogy and learning. Moodmetric data was collected e.g. during Amazing Business Train.
- Bioeconomy 4.0 – Data driven knowledge creation and utilization in bio processes