Preconference Workshops

All times indicated in Pacific and Eastern Time Zones

Monday, September 28, 2020

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM PDT

11:00 AM - 2:30 PM EDT

Measuring Situation Awareness in Individuals and Teams
Half Day Workshop

Mica R. Endsley, PhD

President, SA Technologies


Situation awareness (SA) is critical for human performance in a wide variety of arenas including aviation, healthcare, driving, military operations, power systems, and many others. Widespread efforts are underway in these domains to develop improved system capabilities, automation, improved operator displays, and new training programs geared towards improving the SA of individuals and teams. Assessing whether or not these efforts are successful, or whether they create new, unexpected problems, requires measuring the SA of people both with and without the intervention to determine their effectiveness. SA measurement has been shown to provide significant advantages in sensitivity and diagnosticity that augments typical performance measures. In addition, research on SA itself depends on having a validated measure of the construct.

This workshop will provide in depth training on how to measure situation awareness in experimental settings, focusing on the Situation Awareness Global Assessment Technique (SAGAT). Issues of measurement validity and sensitivity will be examined, as well as the development of SAGAT queries, existing SAGAT batteries, and methodological details for successful application. In addition, the use of SAGAT for measuring team SA and shared SA will covered, including detailed examples. A comparison with other measurement techniques, such as SPAM, SART, subjective scales, and SABARS will also be included. The workshop will focus on practical training, leveraging examples from many different domain areas, as well as addressing participants' questions on how to apply it in their area of interest. This workshop is your opportunity to find out more about SA, get your questions answered, and gain the skills needed to successfully include measures of SA in your research.

11:30 AM - 4:00 PM PDT 

2:30 PM - 7:00 PM EDT

Effectively Conducting Remote Risk Assessments

Half Day Workshop

Blake McGowan, CPE

VelocityEHS | Humantech

The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted business travel across many international borders. Despite the fact that the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has deemed occupational health and safety workers part of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce”, most businesses are still restricting travel for nonindustrial workers, such as those who conduct in-person or on-site risk assessments for ergonomic-related projects.

As a result, the traditional in-person risk assessment for ergonomics projects is now completely done online. During this four-hour workshop, participants will learn best practices to conduct these assessments in the following work environments:


  • Reactive risk assessment following a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) recordable incident

  • Preventative risk assessment of a job or task

  • Proactive risk assessment of a new facility, manufacturing line, or workstation



  • Reactive risk assessment following a “working from home” MSD recordable incident

  • Preventative risk assessment of a home office workstation

  • Proactive risk assessment of a new facility or the existing office workplace

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM PDT 

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM EDT

Ergonomics Certification:

Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How
Full Day Workshop

Sheree Gibson, PE, CPE


David Cochran, PhD, PE, CPE

Retired Professor

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Participants will review the requirements for certification. The BCPE Core Competencies, on which the exam is based, will be discussed as well as what knowledge and skill are considered critical for each competency. Participants will review all the major subject areas and get an understanding of which areas they will need to address before sitting for the exam. The topics that will be covered include:

  • Basic Principles of Ergonomic Systems

    • System Concepts Ergonomic

    • Design Approaches

    • General Design Principles

  • Core Background – Ergonomic Fundamentals

    • Human Attributes

    • Environmental Concepts

  • Core Methodology o Statistics and Design of Investigations

    • Process Analysis

    • Design Methods

    • Basic Usability

  • Application of Analysis, Design, Validations, and Implementation Methods

    • Human Machine Interaction

    • Human Environment Interaction

    • Human Software Interaction

    • Human Job Interaction

    • Human Organization Interaction

  • References and Sample Test Questions


8:00 AM - 11:30 AM PDT 

11:00 AM - 2:30 PM EDT

Unlocking the Potential of Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) for Human Movement Studies
Half Day Workshop

Rachel Vitali, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Michigan

​Inertial measurement units (IMUs) have become increasingly prevalent as a motion capture technology for human biomechanics studies, which is partially due to their portability, versatility, and relatively low-cost (particularly when compared to more traditional optical motion capture systems). While there are many advantages to using IMUs, this technology does not come without its own complexities that are not widely understood across all of the different disciplines that employ them. This workshop strives to elucidate many of these intricacies for a broad audience, both in terms of experience with the technology as well as discipline-specific expertise. Included in this workshop are the basics of IMUs, common signal processing techniques, and experimental protocol and study design. Participants will understand the advantages and disadvantages of IMUs as a motion capture technology, the basics of how to study joint kinematics with IMUs, and the many considerations to account for when conducting an IMU-based study.

11:30 AM - 4:00 PM PDT 

2:30 PM - 7:00 PM EDT

Questionnaire Design: How to Ask the Right Questions of the Right People at the Right Time to Get the Information You Need

Half Day Workshop

William Moroney, PhD, CPE

Professor Emeritus

University of Dayton

Questionnaires are perhaps the tool most commonly used by human factors professionals and ergonomists, yet their design and use is rarely taught. According to the HFES 2003 Training and Education Survey, slightly over 85% of the respondents reported that questionnaire construction is “extremely important” or “slightly important” in their work, and about 55% of the respondents reported that education and training in questionnaire construction skills is “a need” or “an important need.” This workshop addresses at least the following BCPE competencies: Qualitative Research Methods, Tools of the trade; Usability and user-centered design methods.


This workshop provides a systems approach for designing questionnaires. It is built around the HFES 2019 book: Questionnaire Design: How to Ask the Right Questions of the Right People at the Right Time to Get the Information You Need. This book is listed as one of the 10 best new ergonomics books to read in 2020 Each attendee will receive a copy of the book and we will refer to selected portions of the book throughout the presentation.


The primary focus will be on introducing participants to communication failures and critical issues in questionnaire design, development, and use; learning the steps in the questionnaire development process as we walk through an ergonomics based case study (not included in the book) utilizing our Questionnaire Design Form (QDF); responding to a simulated Statement of Work and applying the QDF to a customer satisfaction questionnaire. A flow chart of the questionnaire design process will be discussed in detail.


The workshop is designed for practitioners and researchers with little or no education or formal training in questionnaire design. It is also appropriate for marketeers, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, and other professionals. Attendees should bring laptops or tablets to the workshop so they can annotate the PowerPoint presentations.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM PDT 

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM EDT

Behavioral Data Analytics of R
Full Day Workshop

John Lee, PhD


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Anthony McDonald

Assistance Professor

Texas A&M University

Data analytics, machine learning, and the increasing demand for experts in quantitative user experience present challenges and opportunities for behavioral scientists and human factors engineers. Data analytics and machine learning draw on techniques that are unfamiliar to many behavioral scientists, but data scientists may be unfamiliar with many important features of behavioral data. This workshop provides practical skills in behavioral data analytics and also addresses important issues specific to behavioral data. Participants will learn data manipulation and visualization techniques. They will apply these techniques to exploratory data analysis, machine learning, and model understanding. The workshop includes exercises and examples using the statistical package “R” that include: complex data reduction, creation of machine learning models, selection of cross-validation techniques suited to behavioral data, and visualization of predictions, and techniques to make models understandable. The workshop also includes a survey of machine learning techniques, such as text analysis, and resources in R.


11:30 AM - 4:00 PM PDT

2:30 PM - 7:00 PM EDT

Root Cause Analysis of Use Errors and Assessment of Residual Risk
Half Day Workshop

Michael Wiklund

General Manager

Erin Davis (tentative)

Associate Research Director

Andrea Dwyer (tentative)

Associate Research Director

Human Factors Research & Design, EMERGO by UL

The workshop faculty will draw on their deep experience in the medical product development space to deliver this workshop, which will focus on the root cause analysis of use errors and, subsequently, assessing residual risk. These closely-linked activities are cornerstones in the process of ensuring safe interactions between people and technologies that can take various forms, including tools, products, equipment, and systems. In their presentation, the faculty will reference technologies that are predominantly hardware, such as surgical tools, defibrillators, dialysis machines, heart pumps, and intravenous infusion pumps. But, they will also reference software products, such as electronic health records and mobile apps that help patients manage a disease and medication regimen. They will make passing reference to documents as well, such as instructions for use and quick reference guides. They will accent the discussion with references outside of the medical domain, drawing on their experience in consumer products, aviation, and nuclear power.

Lessons pertaining to root cause analysis will include how to (1) develop an initial hypothesis about the root cause of a use error, (2) analyze anecdotal feedback about the use error, (3) inspect the associated user interface for design shortcomings, (4) consider the effects of the use environment and other ancillary factors, (5) perform supporting research and experiments, and (6) develop a final theory or factual conclusion about the root cause. These lessons will echo the content of Medical Device Use Error: Root Cause Analysis; a book that the faculty co-authored in 2016.

Lessons pertaining to residual risk analysis will include how to (1) review the results of the root cause analysis as a foundation for considering residual risk, (2) ensure that estimations of use error likelihood and the potential severity of harm are accurate, (3) review the history of user interface development to determine if all practical risk mitigations have been properly implemented, (4) reach consensus on the potential for any further risk mitigation, and (5) prepare a report that indicates the need for further design refinement or claims that the residual risk of the current design is acceptable.

The faculty will comment on the appropriateness of the work being performed by an individual or a multidisciplinary group, depending on multiple factors. They will talk about the politics of these two, cornerstone activities and how to ensure the analysis can be performed with maximum objectivity. The workshop will include several exercises that call upon attendees to engage in root cause analysis and residual risk analysis, all based on a single case example for continuity sake. There will be sufficient time for group discussion about analysis techniques and consideration of the attendees’ own experience and challenges.

 HFES 2020 Annual Conference and ErgoX 

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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