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CSC8604 : Technologies for Human-Computer Interaction

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Vasilis Vlachokyriakos
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to provide an overview of digital technologies and core data analysis methods, as they are
required for the field of HCI. Thereby focusing on ubiquitous, physical and social computing. In particular the module aims:
1. To introduce students to relevant digital technologies that build the technical foundation of HCI research,
thereby focusing on physical and social computing;
2. To introduce students to key aspects of practical deployments of digital technologies in HCI research, incl.
privacy related considerations;
3. To explore methods of sensor data analysis for real-world deployments of HCI and Ubiquitous Computing
4. To support students in critically evaluating and selecting appropriate technological means for HCI research;
5. To provide students with hands-on experience of using digital technologies in HCI research.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Introduction to HCI research from a technical perspective
a.       HCI: Research based on Digital Technologies
b.       Overview of Ubicomp, physical, and social computing.
c.       Systems for real-world deployments
d.       Core components of ubicomp systems.
e.       How to build ubicomp systems in real-world applications?
f.       How to evaluate the effectiveness of ubicomp systems?
2.       Sensors and sensor data analysis
a.       Wearable sensing
b.       Environmental / Smart sensing
c.       Sequential sensing and sequential data analysis
3.       Context aware computing
a.       Location aware and proxemics
b.       Context aware applications
c.       Designing and implementing context aware applications
4.       Physical Computing
a.       Sensing the real world: toolkits and frameworks
b.       Building IoT and embedded technologies.
c.       DIY technology and grassroots technology platforms
5.       Social Computing: privacy & security
a.       Understanding privacy & security
b.       Technical solutions for privacy in technical systems
6.       Emerging Technologies & Innovation: trends and critical discussions
a.       Exploring new trends in technology
b.       Digital Inclusion and democratised access to technology

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00PiP lecture- Introductory lectures, one hour per thematic area of technologies for HCI
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion105:0050:00Project work and report preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical92:0018:00Practical sessions - setting up technologies for discussion, feedback and Q&A online- asynchronous
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities180:309:00Non-synchronous online delivery of video tutorials to support the practical aspect of the module.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading126:0072:00Seminar/Workshop Preparation - preparatory reading and practice for taught sessions
Guided Independent StudySkills practice122:0024:00Post-practical practice - reading and software development practice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00PiP flipped-classroom - discussion and small group activities on lecture materials and papers.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Topic-specific lecture/seminars will require student to undertake substantial prior reading will also the teaching to focus of collective exploration of the students understanding of the technical issues that are likely to be new to students without a background in computer science. The seminars will also provide and opportunity for peer learning that will be extended through the conduct of group-based practical sessions in which students will collaboratively engage in exercises that emphasise practical skills appraising and critically evaluating HCI technologies.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M70Artefact and Report: Group project: artefact + report + individual reflections.
Portfolio2M30Presentation and Demonstration: Group project: presentation + demonstration
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MUse interactive tools (e.g. Dropbox Paper, Adobe XD etc.) to create a low-fidelity representation of the prototype you will develop.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Given that the emphasis of the module is on the development of abilities to select and critically appraise HCI technologies, the group project assessment requires students to put these knowledge and skills into practice by collaborating in the design, development and evaluation of a system that incorporates elements of ubicomp, physical and social computing. By working in small groups (4-5) students will have the opportunity to engage in a project of an appropriate scale and complexity, but this also affords the opportunity for further peer-learning (thereby leveraging the likely multiple disciplinary backgrounds of the students them-selves). The formative assessment will allow students to experiment with interactive media technologies, while also giving them feedback for their group projects.

Reading Lists