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CSC8022 : Human Computer Interaction

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rachel Clarke
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aims of this module are:

1.       To introduce students to the field of Human-Computer Interaction, its key concepts, technologies and professional practices.
2.       To provide a survey of the history of HCI and the shifts in how the field has conceptualised and studied Human-Computer Interaction over time.
3.       To provide students with knowledge of different HCI methods for understanding users, stakeholders, contexts and requirements
4.       To give students practical experience of basic methods for usability evaluation

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Introduction to the field of HCI: the human-centred design of technology
2.       The user-centred design lifecycle
3.       Usability evaluation techniques
4.       Contexts and challenge areas for interactive technologies
4.1       HCI in the work-place: Cooperative work and distributed cognition
4.2       HCI off the screen 1: Tangible computing and embodied interaction and ubiquitous computing
4.3       Technology as experience and experiential approached to HCI
4.4       Beyond the lab: Challenges for HCI in the wild

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials32:006:00Synchronous delivery of lecture materials in support of course content.(1 per week for 3 weeks)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:00Asynchronous online video lectures to supplement course content
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion62:0012:00Critical commentary blog post on contemporary issues in HCI
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion128:0028:00Report from practical class activities specifically focussing on the task
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00PIP Skills in developing evaluation methods and techniques (pip)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading62:0012:00Directed research and reading preparation for classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00Weekly seminar and discussion of reading material (1 per week for 3 weeks)
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity62:0012:00Directed reflective blog post preparation on HCI readings and skills practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery42:008:00Drop-in tutorials and feedback discussion (1 per week for 4 weeks)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

As the students will originate from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds, the teaching of this module is intended to combine opportunities for introductory reading and learning around the history of human-computer interaction and critical analysis and reflection on how approaches and concepts of human interaction with technology have changed over time.

Using a blended approach to cater for online provision students will receive a series of video lectures on relevant topics covering the history and development of the field of HCI. They will also be directed to read specific text book chapters and research papers prior to weekly group teaching sessions (held online and face-to-face as preferred) and will be expected to take an active role in discussing this work. Online materials will also be made available to introduce practical skills for interface testing/usability evaluation. Students will try out these different methods, collecting user data.

Following the end of sessions, students will be expected to write short reflective commentaries on papers they have read and discussed in class to support deep learning, and will be expected to produce notes about the practical skills they have been developing.

At the end of the module, students will be assessed on a final report that brings this accumulated knowledge together, discussing the issues and concepts of the history of HCI in relation to the practical skills they have been developing.

Students are expected to spend time studying independently outside of the group teaching sessions. Independent study will be focused around the students identifying further background literature in HCI of relevance to their specific areas of interest and critical reflection on how methods of studying human behaviour relate to technological contexts and issues of import at specific times in HCI history.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M100Description of HCI, description of practical skills, reporting from usability evaluation (2000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log2MSeries of short comments responding to reading and practical sessions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment has one formative component, and one summative component. The formative component includes developing a reflective log regarding the reading material and discussion of practical sessions. The summative assessment includes two parts: 1) a summary of the history of HCI and its relevance to contemporary computing. 2) description and findings from a usability evaluation. This written report gives practical experience of industry standard reporting formats for these kinds of activities and demonstrates competence in the skills evaluated alongside transferable communication skills.

Reading Lists