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.

Human Aspects of Computer Science (HACS) 2015/6

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

Module Code COM00003C
Lecturers David Zendle, Mark Bartlett, Paul Cairns
Taken By CS 1, CSESE 1, CSYS 1, MEng CS 1, MEng CSAI 1, MEng CSESE 1, MEng CSYS 1
Number of Credits 20
Teaching Autumn 2-10
Open Assessments Human Aspects of Computer Science - Group UCD Project [50%]
5th Oct → 2nd Dec
Feedback: 13th Jan
Human Aspects of Computer Science -Group HCI Experiment [50%]
4th Nov → 3rd Feb
Feedback: 2nd Mar
Reassessment [100%] Closed Exam - August Resit Week, 3.00 hours

Module Prerequisites

Prerequisite knowledge

Being first year, first term, there are no pre-requisites other than the degree entry criteria.

Workload

  • Lectures: 18 x 1hr
  • Practicals: 9 x 2hrs
  • Private Study: 50hrs
  • Assessment: 114hrs

The assessment workload is high to indicate to students the degree of private study that will be explicitly required to support the assessment.

Private Study

Private study is necessary but it can be successfully oriented around the assessment. Thus, there is only a modest amount per week.

Assessment

Open Assessments

  • Human Aspects of Computer Science - Group UCD Project: 5th Oct → 2nd Dec , uses electronic submission.
    Feedback: 13th Jan
  • Human Aspects of Computer Science -Group HCI Experiment: 4th Nov → 3rd Feb , uses electronic submission.
    Feedback: 2nd Mar

Two group assessments both worth 50%. The first is to undertake a user-centred design process to develop an interactive application or system. The second is to run an experiment with 20 participants (fellow students) to demonstrate the effect of some aspect of an interactive system on the interaction with the system.

Formative Feedback

Assessment 1: Practicals will serve to provide an opportunity to for formative feedback throughout the course of the UCD process.

Assessment 2: feedback will ideally be given before the end of term but more realistically at the beginning of Spr 1. Practicals will serve to provide an opportunity to for formative feedback throughout the course of the UCD process.

Description

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce computer science students to the difference between science, engineering and design and how all are relevant to computer science
  • To develop basic skills in experimental methods as they apply to computing
  • To introduce the notion of software engineering, specifically through considering user-centred design processes.
The module will therefore be one of two halves with the first half considering the user-centred design process and how it leads to effective, usable interactive systems. The second half will develop the role of experimental methods in support of computer science, specifically the evaluation of interactive systems with users. The unifying idea is that to do computer science you need to move between science, engineering and design processes.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • To introduce computer science students to the difference between science, engineering and design and how all are relevant to computer science
  • To develop basic skills in experimental methods as they apply to computing
  • To rationalise the use of user-centred design on ethical, social and legal grounds
  • To introduce the notion of software engineering, specifically through considering user-centred design processes.
The module will therefore be one of two halves with the first half considering the role of experimental methods in support of computer science, specifically the evaluation of interactive systems with users. The second half will engage in a user-centred design process starting from the issues that arose in the experimental half. The unifying idea is that to do computer science you need to move between science, engineering and design processes.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Distinguish between the types of knowledge produced in science, engineering and design
  • Critique experimental methods used in computer science and human-computer interaction in particular
  • Devise and conduct a small experiment with users using best practice, including concern for the ethical conduct of experiments
  • Select, perform and interpret basic statistical tests
  • Justify the use of user-centred design on ethical, social and legal grounds
  • Apply user-centred design methods to the design of a system
  • Develop a prototype using suitable prototyping tools
  • Work in a group to conduct project-based work
  • Work independently outside of contact hours with staff
  • Prepare and do a presentation on their work

Content

The week by week syllabus is therefore something like:
2. Introduction to user-centred design from evaluation of systems
3. Developing requirements
4. Designing new systems
5. Prototyping
6. Evaluation
7. Introduction to experiments
8. Basics of experimental design
9. Basics of statistical methods
10. Reporting experiments


The module requires group work so there will be an associated group work session in SKIL.

Teaching Materials

Teaching materials will be made available online. These will include lecture slides and any accompanying class materials such as handouts and exercise sheets. Practical sheets and special papers will be posted online as well. Students will be expected to read around using suggested readings in the lectures. All of these readings should be available through the University Library but where not, these will also be made available online.

Recommended Books

Rating Author Title Publisher Year
**** Preece, J., Rogers, Y., Sharp, H. Interaction Design, 3rd edn Wiley 2011
*** Harris, P. Designing and Reporting Experiments in Psychology, 3rd edn OUP 2008
** Cairns, P., Cox, A. (eds) Research Methods for Human Computer Interaction Cambridge University Press 2008
** Schell, J. The Art of Game Design CRC Press 2008
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Last updated: 19th September 2016