The research group target development of a new dynamic, avatar that will advance knowledge beyond the current state of art. The overall aim for the group is to develop a training platform with dynamic avatars to train CPS workers, police, and healthcare professionals’ conversational skills as well as judges’ conversational skills. Our goal is also that this digital tool is to be used in the education of child welfare, psychology, and healthcare students’ conversational skills. Furthermore, we aim to use the avatar in research related to child sexual exploitation which today is facilitated through live stream technology enabling children/adolescents to be victimised.
This is a highly interdisciplinary research group, and the group is based on a close connection between SimulaMet and Department of Social Work, Child Welfare & Social Policy.
Head of research group
In cases of suspected child abuse, children’s interviews about their experiences are often critical both as evidence to aid investigation and prosecution, and to ensure that children and young people living under conditions that may harm their health and development will receive the necessary assistance when they need (Newlin et al., 2015; Walsh et al., 2010; Ministry of Children and Families, 2021). To ensure that the quality in these interviews is both accurate and admissible investigative interviewers require special training (Lamb, 2016; Powell & Brubacher, 2020).
However, there is a knowledge transfer problem: “scientists understand best-practice techniques well, many interviewers believe that they both understand and employ those practices, but widespread training has had a limited impact on the actual quality of interviews conducted in the field” (Lamb, 2016). This problem is well-documented in large field studies all over the world (Norway included), and there is an urgent need to close this gap by adopting a robust evidence-based quality assurance regime to their training (Powell, Wright et al., 2010). Because technology development, artificial intelligence (AI) in particular, becomes increasingly integrated into our society, this gives completely new potentials to explore the use of simulation-based education and interview training.
Drawing on expertise in psychology, pedagogy, and technology, we believe that development of an interactive avatar combined with feedback and an empirically based training platform may have enormous potential to advance education and future interview training. See:
The research activities in the group are approached from perspectives of:
- Children’s development (emphasising cognitive development; memory, language, attention, metacognition, and suggestibility; socio and emotional development, as well as individual differences and motivational capacities)
- Child abuse and maltreatment
- Forensic-interview strategies and methods
- Learning and practice (emphasising contextual differences, cognitive load theory (CLT), skill acquisition, simulation-based education training)
- Digital conditions and AI- technology (emphasising development and assessment of an avatar for interview training).
Research topics consists of, but are not restricted to interviewer behaviour, practises, interaction between user and Avtar, learning design, feedback in learning, implementation-design, user-oriented design, scholarly communication, documentation practices, universal design, data practices, data in child welfare, knowledge construction.
The studies conducted in the group is based on field methodology, participatory research, and practice-oriented approach, as well as experimental methodology. These studies contribute to fields such as: Forensic psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, education, and pedagogy. In addition, the research connects to interviewer training and learning, interactive information retrieval, human-avatar interaction, CLT as an information-processing model of human cognitive architecture, system development and implementation.