Human Aspects of Computer Science - COM00003C

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Alistair Edwards
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2016-17

Module occurrences

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2016-17

Module 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.

Module 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

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical
Human Aspects of Computer Science - Group UCD Project
N/A 50
Practical
Human Aspects of Computer Science -Group HCI Experiment
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Practical
Human Aspects of Computer Science - Group UCD Project
N/A 50
Practical
Human Aspects of Computer Science -Group HCI Experiment
N/A 50

Module 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.

Key texts

**** 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



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.