Human-Computer Interaction - Syllabus
For computer users, the interface is the system hence users’ interaction with the system interface is essential to the use and adoption of computer artefacts. This course provides an in-depth experience of the field of human-computer interaction (HCI), which is an interdisciplinary field of computer science at the intersection of design, psychology and art. HCI, with its latest interaction design focus, is the study of how functional software can be developed so that it is interaction-focused and human-centered, and so that it enhances the quality of the user experience (UX).
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Describe and apply core methodologies from the field of HCI
- Define a user-centered design process that explicitly takes account of the fact that the user is not like the developer or their acquaintances
- Design, prototype, and evaluate usable and satisfying graphical interactive computer interfaces
Class time will be split between content-based lectures and in-class activities. The part of class time used for lectures will be devoted to covering course materials, sometimes highlighting or skimming through the slides. The in-class exercises will be an initial opportunity for experience with the interaction design (ID) development lifecycle activities. Outside of the classroom, you will acquire more in-depth hands-on experience in individual assignments and a team term project.
In summary, it is our goal for you to master the development activities of the ID lifecycle process. You are exposed to each activity in several ways. So you will need to first read the book before the lecture on the topic, according the schedule on the course website (you are responsible for the readings assignments, even if I do not assign them literally in class: i.e. if they are listed on the schedule, they are assigned by default). Then I will review the highlights in lectures, and you will get some initial practice via in-class exercises. Finally, you will apply them in a more realistic hands-on situation through individual homework assignments, and a semester-long team project assignments.
My personal goal for you in the course
In addition to content-specific objectives reflected by the topics in the course calendar, I have these personal goals for each student:
- to get you to think deeply and carefully about the subject,
- to help you to genuinely like the subject,
- to provide knowledge and skill useful to you in your career following life in college,
- to engender a deeper interest (perhaps in some of you) that can be pursued beyond this course, and
- to have a little fun in the process.
- Undergraduate students must have successfully completed COP-2210 Programming I, or COP 2250 Programming in Java, or equivalent
- Jenny Preece, Helen Sharp, Yvonne Rogers. Interaction Design: Beyond Human- Computer Interaction, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2015.
- Additional reading material will be provided on the course website.
- Optional References
- David Benyon, Phil Turner, and Susan Turner. Designing Interactive Systems: Designing Interactive Systems: A Comprehensive Guide to HCI, UX and Interaction Design, 3rd Ed., Addison Wesley, 2013.
Class lecture slides
For your reference, an Adobe (.pdf) version of the class lecture slides will be posted according to the schedule available on the website. You can print a copy for your personal use only. The content of the slides is copyrighted: you cannot share the slides, nor post them anywhere. If you bring the printout to class, it might be a convenient place to take notes.
- Quizzes 10%
- Class participation 10% (discussion of previous week assignments & in-class activities)
- Individual Homework 20% (divided equally among assignments)
- Term project 35% (comprised of 10% for each P1-P8, and 20% for P9)
- Final Exam 25%
[Note: Keep graded work until after you get your final course grade at the end of the semester. Your grades will be posted on Moodle during the semester. If you have any issue on a grade you received, you have one week after you received it to discuss your issue with me (no adjustments possible after that week). You should also check that your grades are correctly recorded on Moodle. In case of an issue, you must bring the graded original to me in order for the grade to be changed.
You are responsible for keeping up with readings in the book per the schedule given in the course calendar. You are responsible for setting your own reading pace to keep ahead enough to be prepared for class discussions and exercises. You are also responsible for knowing where we are in our class discussions, with respect to finding your place in the class lecture slides.
The pace of coverage of material in class: It will be sometimes necessary for me to skim over some less important material in order to highlight the most important things. You should be able to keep up with this kind of occasional skimming because:
- You are supposed to have just read assigned readings before we cover at any point in class. The lecture slides cannot be a substitute for reading the book. If you have questions about parts I don't cover in class, you are welcome to ask.
- Class time is for review, highlights, examples, explanations, and in-class exercises.
- Again, we suggest bringing a printout of the class lecture slides to class, if that fits your style of learning.
Quizzes will cover the material of the previous and current week. No make-up quizzes will be given.
Class Participation, In-class Activities and Attendance
You will not be graded directly on attendance; as adults you are expected to attend every class. You will be graded on your class participation, including participating in in-class activities, discussing assignments from the previous week. All in-class exercises are activities tailored to fit the space and time limitations of the classroom.
No make-up quizzes (nor make-up in-class activities) will be given.
The in-class exercise grading process: Getting full credit for the in-class exercises is easy. This is truly a case where showing up is half the battle. Just be there and be willing to participate in each in-class activity and do a good job of it. As a key part of active learning in the classroom, individuals or teams will be asked to perform part of an ongoing analysis or design exercise in class, to illustrate the application of concepts covered in the class notes and class discussions. In assessing the "do a good job" part of this activity for each individual, I will be looking for:
- Presence or absence of the individual
- Preparedness, knowledge of material
- Care and correctness in applying it
- Intangibles (getting into role, etc.)
Homework assignments will be individual assignments available on the course website, and due at the beginning of class according to the course schedule listed on the website. (Note that, even if I do not announce each homework in class, it is your job to know when you should be working on one and when it is due).
Team Term Project
The term project will involve designing, implementing, and evaluating a system in terms of the concepts and using the methodologies discussed in class.
Students will work on their term project in teams, formed early at the beginning of the semester.
Team member evaluation: Each member of the team is expected to contribute equally to each part of the project. Be aware of possible group problems and be ready to solve them. Don't make the mistake of taking this aspect for granted or waiting for it to fix itself; you have too much at stake.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, some team members end up not pulling their fair share of the weight. To identify such problems early on and to ensure that each team member is given a project grade reflecting individual contributions, an individual Team Member Evaluation (TME) is part of the deliverable for each project assignment. Each team must individually turn in a paper copy of the confidential Team Member Evaluation Form (will be made available online) as a required deliverable to report the relative effort/contribution of each person (including yourself) on your project team for each part of the project. These will be used to grade individual project grades. Although these team member evaluations are confidential, it is the right and duty of the instructor to bring teamwork problems to the attention of specific team members as appropriate.
The tight schedule of deliverables throughout the whole semester makes it nearly impossible to slip or extend due dates. Any assignment (individual and team) turned in after its deadline will be penalized. No assignments will be accepted more than a week late. Because assignments each week build on the prior weeks’ results, if you are not able to complete an assignment by the due date, it would be best for you to hand in as much of it as you have done.
If the university is closed (for any reason) on an assignment due date, the assignment will be due at the beginning of the next class.
There will one exam: a two-hour final exam pre-scheduled on PantherSoft during final week. It is currently scheduled on Thursday 04/27/2017 9:45 am - 11:45am (I do not schedule final exams, FIU does). You can already check the time and classroom on your PantherSoft account under this course. No make-up exams will be given, no exception.
Responding to e-mail
I will make every effort to answer your email in a timely fashion. However, you should not necessarily always expect to get an immediate reply. In particular, do not expect to get answers to questions about a homework or project assignment within the last few hours before that assignment is due. Please put “<CAP-5901/4104>” as part of the subject line of your email; that will help me identify your emails more quickly.
All individual homework assignments must be the work of the individual student. Any evidence of cheating on assignments or exams will result in a failing course grade. See the section below on Academic Honesty.
Academic Conduct (exercpt, read FIU Student Handbook for full details)
Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas, and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.
I wish to make any accommodations needed by any student because of a disability. Please contact me about any such needs during the first week of class.
I always welcome suggestions from you about how to improve the course.