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Research Methods for Interactive Technologies - COM00126M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jen Beeston
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aim of the module is to provide the students with a grounding in the principles and practice of the various research methods commonly used in human-computer interaction research both in the academic and commercial context. There are three strands: qualitative methods, quantitative methods and research governance. Qualitative methods include content analysis, thematic analysis, grounded theory and observational studies. Quantitative methods include experimental design, the basics of statistical analysis and the use of questionnaires as instruments. Research governance includes the ethical conduct of studies and the need for good data governance.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Select a suitable research method to answer a particular question in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI)
  • Prepare a short literature review to motivate a research topic
  • Critique the method of a study in HCI against the standards of rigour and validity of the chosen methodology
  • Contrast the different methodologies in the context of a particular research question
  • Recognise and address the problems of bias that arise with different methods
  • Analyse qualitative data appropriate to different methods
  • Analyse quantitative data arising from an experiment
  • Report and discuss the results of an analysis appropriate to the method used
  • Describe the important aspects of research governance including ethical conduct and data governance
  • Critically discuss research findings based on the methods used to produce those findings
  • Devise studies to address a range of research questions, not just academic research
  • Recognise weaknesses in arguments and the use of data to provide evidence for arguments



Task Length % of module mark
Open Exam
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Exam
N/A 100

Module feedback

We will use the standard Computer Science feedback rules of 4 term weeks or 6 calendar weeks whichever is shorter. Feedback will be provided through the department’s online feedback system that provides provisional marks and written feedback.

Indicative reading

Howell, D.

Fundamental statistics for the behavioural sciences, 8th edn



Harris, P.

Designing and Reporting Experiments in Psychology, 3rd edn



Cairns, P., Cox, A. (eds)

Research Methods in Human Computer Interaction

Cambridge University Press


Charmaz, K.

Constructing Grounded Theory, 2nd edn



Robson, C.

Real World Research, 3rd edn

John Wiley & Sons


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 the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.