Samuel Dodson, Ph.D.
My research is focused on human–information interaction, including the ways in which people make sense of information. My research aims to strengthen theory and sociotechnical supports for learning across many forms of information and systems. Taking an ecological, situated approach to studying information and systems use, my current and prior research investigates the experiences of different populations of adult learners in formal education, professional development, and other lifelong learning endeavors. I actively publish in the areas of human–computer interaction and information retrieval. My publication record is available from my Google Scholar profile or my ORCID record.
I previously studied at the University of British Columbia (PhD in Library, Archival and Information Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies) and Lewis & Clark College (Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Psychology).
My overarching research objective is to analyze and support a range of information interactions, including collaborative engagements with peers, colleagues, or instructors. Drawing upon the analytical foundations of Activity Theory, Document Theory, and personal information management, I have developed an approach to study information interactions through links between information genres and tasks. I draw attention to the document genres that professionals and students interact with and the tasks which they need to perform to accomplish their wider goals. Genres are recognizable types of information objects that are characterized by their content, form, and communicative function. Genres represent norms for how, why, and to what effects members of a community of practice communicate and collaborate among themselves. Certain genres are associated with the tasks that specific populations of students or professionals perform. Individuals’ ability to recognize genres and tasks is an important, but under-studied, aspect of making transitions from being a novice to a central participant in a community. My work demonstrates that developing knowledge of genres enables people to fully participate in their community of practice. A lack of genre awareness may be a significant barrier to fully participating in activities requiring critical competencies, including computational literacies. Findings of my recent work have implications for the conceptualization of genre-based information literacies, including how these develop and are interconnected with other skills and abilities.
Refereed Journal Articles
Chopra, A., Mo, M., Dodson, S., Beschastnikh, I., Fels, S., & Yoon, D. (2021). “@alex, this fixes #9”: Analysis of referencing patterns in pull request discussions. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 5(CSCW2), 385:1–25. https://doi.org/10.1145/3479529 Impact Recognition Award
Seo, K., Dodson, S., Harandi, N. M., Roberson, N., Fels, S., & Roll, I. (2021). Active learning with online video: The impact of learning context on engagement. Computers & Education, 165, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2021.104132
Dodson, S., Roll, I., Harandi, N. M., Fels, S., & Yoon, D. (2019). Weaving together media, technologies, and people: Students’ information practices in flipped classrooms. Information and Learning Sciences, 120(7/8), 519–540. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-01-2019-0011
Refereed Conference Papers
Dodson, S. (2023). Tracing information use over time: A comparative study of undergraduate engineers. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 60(1), 938–940. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.904
Dodson, S., Sinnamon, L., & Kopak, R. (2023). Spontaneous learning environments: Manipulating readability and cohesion in support of searching as learning. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 60(1), 570–575. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.817
Dodson, S. (2022), A survey of undergraduate engineering students’ personal information management practices. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 59(1), 669–671. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.685 Best Poster Award, 2nd Place
Srinivasa, R. J., Dodson, S., Seo, K., Yoon, D., & Fels, S. (2021). NoteLink: A point-and-shoot based linking interface between student notebooks and instructional videos. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, 140–149. https://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/JCDL52503.2021.00026
Sinnamon, L., Tamim, L., Dodson, S., & O’Brien, H. L. (2021). Rethinking interest in studies of interactive information retrieval. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 39–49. https://doi.org/10.1145/3406522.3446031
Seo, K., Fels, S., Yoon, D., Roll, I., Dodson, S., & Fong, M. (2020). Artificial intelligence for video-based learning at scale. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 215–217. https://doi.org/10.1145/3386527.3405937
Fong, M., Dodson, S., Harandi, N. M., Seo, K., Yoon, D., & Fels, S. (2019). Instructors desire student activity, literacy, and video quality analytics to improve video-based blended courses. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 7:1–7:10. https://doi.org/10.1145/3330430.3333618
Yarmand, M., Yoon, D., Dodson, S., Roll, I., & Fels, S. (2019). “Can you believe [1:21]?!”: Content and time-based reference patterns in video comments. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 489:1–489:12. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300719 Best Paper Honorable Mention Award
Dodson, S. (2019). Interacting with heterogeneous information ecologies: Challenges and opportunities for students in diverse and distributed learning environments. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 445–448. https://doi.org/10.1145/3295750.3298967
Bogers, T., Dodson, S., Freund, L., Gäde, M., Hall, M., Koolen, M., Petras, V., Pharo, N., & Skov, M. (2019). Overview of the Workshop on Barriers to Interactive IR Resources Re-Use. Proceedings of the Workshop on Barriers to Interactive IR Resources Reuse, 1–6. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2337/overview.pdf
Bogers, T., Dodson, S., Freund, L., Gäde, M., Hall, M., Koolen, M., Petras, V., Pharo, N., & Skov, M. (2019). Workshop on Barriers to Interactive IR Resources Re-use (BIIRRR 2019). Proceedings of the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 389–392. https://doi.org/10.1145/3295750.3298965
Dodson, S., Freund, L., Yoon, D., Fong, M., Kopak, R., & Fels, S. (2018). Video-based consensus annotations for learning: A feasibility study. Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 55(1), 792–793. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.2018.14505501119
Dodson, S., Roll, I., Fong, M., Yoon, D., Harandi, N., & Fels S. (2018). An active viewing framework for video-based learning. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale, 24:1–24:4. https://doi.org/10.1145/3231644.3231682
Fong, M., Dodson, S., Zhang, X., Roll, I., & Fels S. (2018). ViDeX: A platform for personalizing educational videos. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, 331–332. https://doi.org/10.1145/3197026.3203865
Dodson, S., Freund, L., & Kopak, R. (2018). The role of pre-existing highlights in reader-text interactions and outcomes. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, 17–20. https://doi.org/10.1145/3197026.3197066
Harandi, N. M., Agharebparast, F., Linares, L., Dodson, S., Roll, I., Fong, M., Yoon, D., & Fels, S. (2018). Student video-usage in introductory engineering courses. Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference, 80:1–80:8. https://doi.org/10.24908/pceea.v0i0.13025
Dodson, S., Roll, I., Fong, M., Yoon, D., Harandi, N. M., & Fels, S. (2018). Active viewing: A study of video highlighting in the classroom. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 237–240. https://doi.org/10.1145/3176349.3176889
Dodson, S., Freund, L., & Kopak, R. (2017). Do highlights affect comprehension? Lessons from a user study. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, 381–384. https://doi.org/10.1145/3020165.3022158
Dodson, S. (2017). Supporting collaborative information seeking through shared annotations. Proceedings of the BCS-IRSG Symposium on Future Directions in Information Access, 12:1–12:4. https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/fdia2017.12
Freund, L., Dodson, S., & Kopak, R. (2016). On measuring learning in search: A position paper. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Search as Learning, 22:1–22:2. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1647/SAL2016_paper_22.pdf
Dodson, S. (2023). Building expertise with technical information in support of computational literacies: A research project with MLIS students and instructors. Proceedings of the Association for Library and Information Science Education Annual Conference. https://doi.org/10.21900/j.alise.2023.1375
Dodson, S. (2021). Becoming engineers: How students leverage relationships between documents and learning activities [Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia]. cIRcle. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0401273
Dodson, S., & Zimmerman, S. (2018). Autumn School for Information Retrieval and Information Foraging (ASIRF 2017). ACM SIGIR Forum, 52(2), 83–86. https://doi.org/10.1145/3308774.3308787
Dodson, S. (2016). Effects of Field Dependence-Independence and passive highlights on comprehension [Master’s thesis, University of British Columbia]. cIRcle. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0300056
Refereed Conference Presentations
Dodson, S. (2023, November 8–11). Roots of inequality in informal information sources: Growing more inclusive practices on Stack Exchange [Paper presentation]. Society for the Social Studies of Science, Honolulu, HI, United States.
Sinnamon, L., Dodson, S., Li, A., & Shahid, S. H. (2023, March 19–23). Search education: A critical information literacy approach [Workshop paper presentation]. Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, Austin, TX, United States.
Sinnamon, L., Dodson, S., & Kopak, R. (2021, March 14–19). Reading measures for searching as learning applications [Workshop paper presentation]. Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval, Canberra, Australia.
Dodson, S. (2019, June 2–6). Understanding students’ genre–task relationships [Workshop paper presentation]. Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Champaign, IL, United States.
My teaching philosophy is based on a constructivist worldview, informed by Activity Theory. Constructs from Activity Theory bring attention to learners’ motivations in their interactions with one another and with the artifacts that mediate their situated thinking and behaviors. In alignment with these constructs, I aim to support forms of agentic experiential learning. In doing so, I encourage students to share their prior knowledge, professional experience, and personal interests to foster spaces for collaborative engagements with peers and scholarly texts as co-thinkers. I consider how assignments can be connected to the interests that students bring to the classroom. For this approach to be meaningful, it is important to design practical and flexible assignments that can be adapted to students’ capacities and the careers they hope to pursue. My teaching values the contributions of students from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of lived experiences, whose perspectives may have been historically excluded from shaping information policies and systems. This philosophy motivates three primary goals in my teaching: i) supporting collaborative learning spaces; ii) providing practical learning opportunities; and iii) advancing equity, diversity, social justice, and inclusion initiatives.
LIS 500 Information Visualization (Special Topics in Information Technology)
LIS 501/LIS 612 Information Retrieval (Special Topics in Information Management)
LIS 575 Introduction to Research Methods
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Graduate Student Supervision
I am seeking master’s and doctoral students interested in carrying out research relating to human–information interaction. Students with demonstrated research abilities and interests that align with mine (see my Research and Publications) are encouraged to contact me.
I approach service as seriously as my research and teaching responsibilities, thinking of service as an opportunity to contribute to the communities from which I have benefitted and in which I participate. I enjoy engaging in teambuilding and sharing leadership experiences with my colleagues and peers. In terms of my rationale for selecting service duties, I am especially drawn to opportunities that connect to my research and teaching, or that provide the chance to help shape the future of my department or the field of library and information science. It is critical to sustain communities of practice and their members – newcomers and longstanding members alike – and this in turn strengthens relationships through the exchange of insights and resources. It is in large part through service engagements that scholarly communities of practice are grown and maintained, both within and beyond the university. The majority of my professional service involves reviewing for international conferences in the fields of human–computer interaction and information retrieval.