Postgraduate

CSC8603 : Human-Computer Interaction for Digital Civics (Inactive)

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

Central to the Digital Civics agenda is a human-centred approach to designing digital services and technologies. This approach is exemplified by the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI has developed over the last 30 years into a large research community studying how digital systems are designed to be usable, acceptable and provide the user with a positive sense of engagement (for all citizens), which is central to the success of the Digital Civics endeavour. HCI is a fundamentally cross- and multi-disciplinary field, and over the course of its history various disciplinary influences have come and gone and approach and concepts of human interaction with technology have developed and transitions alongside the development of technology itself. This module is focused on providing Digital Civics students with an overview of the history of HCI as a field, focusing on the different models and concepts of people an technology that have influenced the field at different periods of time.

The aims of this module are:

1.       To introduce students to the field of Human-Computer Interaction and its basic concepts.
2.       To introduce students to the history of HCI and the key shifts in how the field has conceptualised and studied human interactions with technology.
3.       To provide students with an understanding of how different methods of studying human interactions of study relate to these changing conceptualisations over the history of the field.
4.       To enable students to differentiate between these different conceptualisations and locate these in relation to their research into Digital Civics.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Introduction to the field of HCI: the user-centred design of technology
2.       Origins of HCI: People (users) as cogs in the machine
3.       The turn from human factors to human actors
4.       HCI in the work-place: Cooperative work and distributed cognition
5.       HCI off the screen 1: Tangible computing and embodied interaction
6.       HCI off the screen 2: HIC and ubiquitous computing
7.       Third-Wave Approaches to HCI: Play, Leisure and Sociality
8.       Technology as experience and experiential approached to HCI
9.       Research through design and design as provocation
10.       Beyond the lab: Challenges for HCI in the wild

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Presentation preparation & delivery
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion128:0028:00Blog-posts on HCI and Digital Civics.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading104:0040:00Reading preparation for seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00Seminar groups around set reading material.
Total100:00
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 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.

Students will be directed to read specific papers prior to seminars and will be expected to take an active role in leading discussion in seminar sessions. Following the end of seminars, students will be expected to write short reflective commentaries on papers to support deep learning, which will be published in the form on publically viewable blog posts on the Digital Civics website. At the end of the module, students will be assessed on a final blog posts that brings this accumulated knowledge together, discussing the issues and concepts of the history of HCI in relation to their area of interest in Digital Civics.

Students are expected to spend time studying independently outside of the small 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.

Students aiming for Distinction will be expected to demonstrate their learning beyond the content of seminar sessions in relation to their areas of interest through their oral presentation and their final blog posts at the end of the module.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination301A25Presentation on HCI history and theory in relation to an area of Digital Civics.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M75A collection of up to 4 blog posts on the history and theory of HCI and its relationship to Digital Civics (circa 4000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment consists of a collection of individual blog posts (circa 4000 words in total) supplemented by an oral presentation. For the blog posts the student will be asked to introduce a key approach or conception of the ‘human’ within HCI and critically analyse it to identify potential pros and cons in the context of Digital Civics. Both the blog post and the presentation will be an opportunity for the students to, i) synthesise their learning around the key issues, concepts and approaches in HCI based on the introductory reading and, ii) demonstrate critical thinking surrounding the relationship the field of HCI has to Digital Civics, public service provision and citizen-choice and decision making. Blog posting is a contemporary form of academic discourse and will support the development of this skill set in the students.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.

Reading Lists

Timetable