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Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-56)

By Sourojit Ghosh (G), HCDE PhD Candidate

I attended the 56th annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-56) hosted at Maui, HI on the 5th and 6th of January, 2023. At the conference, I presented my first first-author paper titled Establishing TikTok as a Platform for Informal Learning: Evidence from Mixed Methods Analysis of Creators and Viewers, a paper I co-authored with fellow HCDE PhD student Andrea Figueroa. 

In this paper, we explored informal learning on the popular short-video platform TikTok, through analyses of TikTok videos that sought to teach something or share some information, combined with interviews of TikTok users who looked for opportunities to learn on TikTok. In our findings, we found evidence aligning with established theories of informal learning as we detailed patterns of how creators utilize TikTok affordances to teach and how such choices were being received by learners on TikTok.

The conference experience was enriching because this was the first time I had the opportunity to    present my research work to a larger audience beyond HCDE or UW. The presentation went really well, and I received helpful feedback and engaging questions from the audience. Particularly interesting was the fact that audience members asked questions generally about TikTok and my views on several aspects of it through the lens of a recommender systems researcher, which helped me think through nuances that will be helpful towards my future goals. I also found a potential collaboration opportunity with some researchers from Germany, and look forward to exploring that in weeks to come!

In sum, I found my HICSS experience to be incredibly enriching as a first-time presenter and look forward to attending future conferences to both learn from the outstanding work in the field and hopefully showcase some more of my own work to the community.