How Trainees Use the Information from Telepointers in Remote Instruction





Citation of Original Publication

Azin Semsar, Foad Hannah McGowan, Yuanyuan Feng, Hamid Zahiri, Adrian Park, Andrea Kleinsmith, Helena Mentis. 2019. How Trainees Use the Information from Telepointers in Remote Instruction. In Proceedings of the ACM on HumanComputer Interaction, Vol. 3, CSCW, Article 93 (November 2019), 20 pages,


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Researchers have shown both performance drawbacks and benefits of using telepointers or similar display overlay-technologies in remote instruction; however, there is not a clear understanding of why there are these performance effects. This poses a challenge in knowing how and when to successfully use or design telepointing technologies in remote instruction. A better understanding is needed with the rise of remote workers in a wide array of industries from oil rig repair to surgery, and the proliferation of heads-up displays or telecommunications devices to support these future work practices. In this study, we explore how the information conveyed through a telepointer is taken up and acted upon by surgical trainees in a laparoscopic surgical telementoring setting. We collected audio and video data of 12 surgical trainees who performed standard laparoscopic surgical tasks on a physical model under the guidance of a surgical trainer. We investigated both action and talk to determine how the telepointer-based information was used. Our findings reveal three main challenges in using the instructional information conveyed through the telepointer including the trainees' tendency of attending to the telepointer instruction as the primary source of information. We argue that the found challenges are socio-technical in nature and require a redesign of the mentoring context as well as the technological tools.