PhD Proposal: Design Considerations for Remote Expert Guidance Using Extended Reality in Skilled Hobby Settings

Hanuma Teja Maddali
11.18.2020 15:00 to 17:00


As compact, lightweight extended-reality (XR) devices become increasingly available, research is being reinvigorated in a number of areas. One such application involves remote collaboration, where a remote expert can assist, train, or share skills or ideas with a local user to solve a real-world task. For example, researchers have looked into real-time expert assistance [9] and professional training of novices [8] in skilled physical activities such as field servicing and surgical training. Even as our understanding of XR for remote collaboration in professional settings advances, an area that has not been examined is how XR can support such expert-novice collaboration in skilled hobby activities. In skilled hobby activities such as gardening, woodworking, knitting etc. metrics such as task accuracy or efficiency are often less important than in professional settings. Instead, other dimensions, such as social connectedness and affect (i.e. the emotional experience) may become central dimensions that should inform system design.In my dissertation, I will examine how the XR environment can be designed to support the sharing of skills in hobby activities. I have selected gardening as a non-professional skilled activity to examine remote skill-sharing in XR between experts and novices. Gardening is a useful case to study given that the lack of access to gardening knowledge, volunteers, and community support can challenge the implementation of instructional gardening programs [4]. Existing forms of learning gardening practices remotely - such as asynchronous, text or image based communication on Facebook groups - may be helpful for individual questions. But these do not capture the social, affective, and embodied dimensions of gaining expertise as a novice through situated learning in the garden, aspects that are also central to the experience of the activity. In my work, I seek to understand how to design an social XR environment that captures these dimensions in ways that are acceptable and useful to intergenerational expert-novice gardener groups.Examining Committee:

Chair: Dr. Amanda Lazar Dept rep: Dr. Leilani Battle Members: Dr. Matthias Zwicker