The descriptions are for modules currently being taught. They should be viewed as an example of the modules we provide. All modules are subject to change for later academic years.

Advanced Topics in Interactive Technologies (ADVT) 2015/6

Workload - Private Study - Assessment - Description - Aims - Learning Outcomes - Content - Teaching Materials - Recommended Books

Module Code COM00021M
Lecturers Alistair Edwards, Christopher Power, Paul Cairns
Number of Credits 20
Teaching Autumn 2-9, Spring 2-9
Open Assessment Open Assessment [100%]
15th Feb → 6th Apr
Feedback: 27th Apr
Reassessment [100%] MSc Resit Coursework, Summer 6-9

Module Prerequisites

Prerequisite knowledge

There are no formal prerequisites for this module. It is assumed that student bring to it an open mind about human-computer interaction. Any students who have not attended UNUS, UCDE or ARMH may have to do additional reading.


  • Lectures: 2 x 1hr
  • Problem Classes: 18 x 2hrs
  • Assessment: 60hrs
  • Tutorials: 9 x 1hr

Private Study

Each lecturer will provide references which students should read in advance of the class. Part of the evaluation of the assessment is evidence that the student has read around the topic.

Students are also required to submit a summary of each class.


Open Assessment

The assessment requires the writing of a paper, based on material covered in the module and read from the literature. Firstly, the student must agree on a title for the paper with the lecturer. Then they will write a paper with that title.

There is a re-assessment. It takes the same form, except that students much choose a title from a prescribed list.

Formative Feedback

The tutorial programme includes a group writing exercise, which is peer-assessed.

Students are expected to submit short summaries of each class.


The module aims to expose students to the work of leading UK interaction specialists through a series of masterclasses presented by those individuals. This gives them both a historical context for the discipline of human-computer interaction as well as exposure to a number of current research topics.

The module is assessed through the writing of an academic paper. Guidance is given on this style of writing and students are expected to demonstrate the influence of the classes and speakers they have attended.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will have a good understanding of the current state of the art of human-computer interaction research and practice. They will have demonstrated this appreciation in the writing of an academic paper.


The module spans the Autumn and Spring terms. During Autumn there are weekly tutorials with the students' supervisors. Students will engage each week with readings of scientific literature from across the breadth of the HCI field. These readings will be explored and discussed in small group practicals where students compare and contrast different aspects of the literature, in particular the methodologies that were used and the implications the results in the paper have on HCI research and practice. The tutorials are supported by lectures in Weeks 2 and 5.

In Autumn Term there are also weekly 2-hour classes given by members of the HCI Group in Weeks 2 to 5. These will be based on the research interests of the lecturers.

During Spring term there are two 2-hour classes per week from Week 2 to 6. These will be delivered by a combination of leading international experts in research and high profile professionals from the field of user experience. Topics are subject to the availability of lecturers, but they will be similar to those presented in 2014-15, which included:

1. Cross-Cultural HCI, Lidia Oshlyansky, Schibsted Products and Technology, Sweden
2. The Web as a Personal Archive, Sian Lindley, Microsoft Research
3. Human Error, Sarah Wiseman, University of Central London
4. Affective musical interaction, Anna Bramwell-Dicks, TFTV University of York
5. The pleasure of constraints - designing a cellphone banking application, Richard Halford, IBM
6. Multimodality, Steve Brewster, University of Glasgow
7. Are we human or are we children?, Janet Read, University of Central Lancashire
8. Ethnography, Darren Read, Sociology, University of York
9. Participatory Design with Older People, John Vines, Newcastle University
10. Research in Practice, Chandra Harrison, Christchurch City Council, New Zealand
12. Legal, Social and Ethical Aspects of Interactive Technologies, Alistair Edwards

Teaching Materials

Visiting lecturers provide readings in advance which the students are expected to use in preparation. Following on, the masterclass style of teaching inevitably implies interaction and is a unique opportunity for them to get first-hand experience.

The module is supported by a VLE-style website, including an on-line Forum, feedback forms and a Twitter feed.

Recommended Books

Rating Author Title Publisher Year
* Norman, D Design of Everyday Things MIT Press 1998
* Preece, J., Sharp, H. & Rogers, Y. Interaction Design, Fourth Edition Wiley 2015
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Last updated: 19th September 2016