Study Abroad and Exchanges



CSC3721 : Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To give a basic introduction to concepts of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
To introduce students to relevant HCI theory and history
To introduce students to the principles of user-centred design
To give students an understanding of the role of human factors in systems design
To provide students with an understanding of relevant interface evaluation techniques

Outline Of Syllabus

Key concepts and issues in HCI
Input and output technologies
Human factors and cognitive ergonomics
Issues in understanding users
Principles of design
Evaluation techniques for usability
Theories and history of HCI

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Lectures delivered predominantly through podcasts incl. key industry facing face-to-face lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading201:0020:00Reading of weekly research papers & web resources, engagement with short video pod-casted lectures
Guided Independent StudySkills practice101:0010:00Practical follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Small grp learning sessions, inc mini-lectures, SOLE sessions, prototyping, practice interviews, etc
Guided Independent StudyProject work391:0039:00Coursework preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery40:000:00Optional drop-in sessions in support of coursework
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example.

Podcasting of lectures will be used to give students greater flexibility over the pacing of their learning experience and to develop a reusable teaching resource over which teaching staff have greater control. (This also allows external industrial experts to provide reusable lecture content, remotely.)

Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning. Students will also be expected to follow a programme of directed reading in support of the lectures.

Students are expected to spend significant time on coursework.

Students are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through wider self-directed background reading.

Practical classes will develop skills through hands-on experience of user research techniques.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M20Requirements specification for system design (Max. words 1000)
Report1M40Interface design and rationale (Max. words 1500)
Report1M30Evaluation of an interface applying human factors knowledge. (Max words: 1000)
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Active participation during course in face-to-face learning activities (debates, games, SOLEs) in small group teaching 10 hours max.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The four pieces of coursework assess students' practical skills in conducting the human-centred design and human factors-based appraisals of interactive digital systems. The assessment consists of three individual reports documenting each of the main phases of a user-centred design process. The configuration assesses students’ practical skills in requirements elicitation and description, prototyping and design skills, and finally skills at evaluating and critiquing an interface. The hands-on practical nature of human computer interaction practice necessitates a coursework based evaluation, rather than a written exam. The assessment of participation in group work during practical classes supports the development of professional skills in human computer interaction, and transferable skills in group-work and communication.

Reading Lists