What is mPath?
mPath is a service developed specifically for counselling students providing opportunity for a structured analysis of their training sessions and to elicit and receive specific feedback from their client. The service offers multiple tools to reflect on various facets of peoples' experiences, all tightly linked with the video-recording of the session, and designed to facilitate a time-efficient process.
Who is mPath for?
mPath is currently in pilot deployment and its use is limited to selected students at the University of Nottingham. We however envision that this service would be available to students of other cooperating institutions in the near future.
What does it offer me?
mPath offers the opportunity of a structured reflection and in depth analysis of your video recorded counselling sessions with your peers in various ways. By using it you can be more focused on your analysis and draw your attention into important details that may have previously been lost in the vast amount of information to comment on; but then also combine and synthesise such details across the whole session.
mPath also provides the space for you as a counsellor to collaborate with your clients and share your thoughts, feelings and internal processes in a way that best facilitates your reflection and growth. This makes the process of analysing the sessions less isolative and highlights the importance of giving and receiving constructive feedback within a learning environment.
What special tools does mPath provide?
mPath offers each user a range of tools to help structure reflection and support in-depth analysis of their video recorded counselling sessions:
Combined Video + Annotation
Using mPath allows you to keep the video recordings of your counselling sessions with your annotation data (comments and AffectDial data, see below). The tool further provides functionality compare different annotations and to export your reflective, analytical account of each session as a text file (.doc document) for printing or further annotation.
mPath enables you to structure your analysis by focusing on one of three different perspectives of the counselling session: the performance of the counsellor, the response of the client, and the interactions between them.
Tailored Client Feedback
As a special feature of mPath counsellors can request feedback on specific parts of their session by their client. Their feedback can be textual comments or annotations via the AffectDial functionality described below.
By using the AffectDial you can focus your attention on a single concept that you want to explore in more detail. This will help you acquire an in depth insight of your internal processes during a particular period of time, as well as observe the way you communicated them to your client. You can also ask your client to produce an AffectDial on the same part of the session and compare them for an enhanced analysis of your work.
Watching your video tape without sound is a thoroughly focused way to observe and reflect upon your body language and its impact on your therapeutic being with your client. Change the choice of perspective to observe your client's bodily reactions in order to gain a better understanding of the inner and outer interactions between you.
How is it ensured that my data is safe?
We are aware of the extreme privacy concerns connected to practice counselling session data and take the necessary precaution to minimise any risks. Any videos uploaded to the server will be accessible only to you, your client, and the researchers running the project (who are bound by UK Data Protection Act and the agreement)
To access the data, you will need to log into the system with your credentials. Your data will be deleted from the system at the end of the semester (unless you explicitly tell us not to); and you can delete all your data from the system at any time should you wish to do so.
We are a multi-disciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds in Computing Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Counselling and Education.
Together we explore how inter-personal skills such as empathy can be taught to counselling students within a highly collaborative training environment.
For more information or to get in touch, please contact Petr Slovak.
Petr Slovak Technical University of Vienna petr [@] igw.tuwien.ac.at funded by DOC Fellowship from Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Elena Kousta University of Nottingam 7elena7 [@] windowslive.com
Anja Thieme Microsoft Research Cambridge t-anthie [@] microsoft.com
Daniel Jackson Open Lab, Newcastle University dan.jackson [@] ncl.ac.uk Participation in this project was funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).
David Murphy University of Nottingam david.murphy [@] nottingham.ac.uk