Introduction to fundamental principles and methods of human-centered
interaction design: Human capabilities and limitations, usability and
accessibility guidelines, iterative design, contextual inquiry, task
analysis, ideation, prototyping, evaluation. Includes hands-on project
and/or laboratory work. Prerequisite: Computer Science 167.
In this course, you will learn through reading, journaling, and
in-class discussions. You will practice what you learn through in-class
exercises and a series of investigations, which comprise four
independent exercises, presentation and critique of a current research
paper, and a semester-long team project serving a client in the Whitman
or Walla Walla community. You will record and reflect on your process
by keeping a design notebook. You will demonstrate what you have
learned through the products of these investigations, and through one
examination falling before the Thanksgiving break.
This is a three-credit course. You can expect to spend your time each week roughly as follows, with weekly variations depending on the nature of our activities:
To read effectively, skim the text (or review the table of contents)
before reading in depth. While you read, take
notes with pen and paper! Note what is important, familiar,
exciting, or puzzling. Use your notes to start your reading journal,
To help focus your efforts and give us a basis for discussion, I
will provide a short list of questions to answer for each day's
reading. Reflecting upon your responses to the questions will help
to give you a deeper understanding of the most important concepts
surrounding each topic.
For more detailed guidelines, read the
introduction to the reading journal.
Your responses are due by noon the
day of class.
You will submit your responses electronically to a private blog via our CLEo course page, where I will be able to give you feedback on your writing. While your journal is informal writing, where the primary goal is to learn, your entries should reflect a certain level of engagement and evidence of thinking seriously about the material. Responses will be graded using the following scale:
||Exhibits exceptional clarity, insight and/or
||Exhibits evidence of processing and studying concepts.|
||Skims the surface. Does not show engagement.
||Not posted before class time.
This is low-stakes writing. Consistently earning checks will garner
a score of 100% on the reading journal; PLUSes will provide extra
credit. I may not comment on entries that receive a check, but I
will comment to explain a plus, a minus, or a zero for incomplete work.
You should expect to discuss the issues raised in your reading journal entries during class.
Class meetings will involve a mix of discussions, collaborative activities, hands-on exercises, and the occasional lecture. In short: You are expected to attend and actively participate in class. I am expected to make class worth attending.Participating in class involves:
Students who consistently meet these criteria can expect to earn 100% for their class participation grade. Students who fail to participate regularly or who participate in counterproductive ways (e.g., by interrupting or belittling other students) can expect to earn a lower score. If your participation or non-participation is problematic, I will invite you to visit office hours to discuss the issue.
I encourage you to take notes with pen and paper during class.
You will have the opportunity to practice new skills and ideas through a series of eleven investigations. Most investigations will include an in-class component as well as an artifact (e.g., a poster, prototype, or report) to be completed out of class.
Each assignment will include collaboration guidelines and evaluation
You will have an additional opportunity
to demonstrate what you have learned through an in-class exam on Monday, November 16.
Details about this exam will be announced later in the semester.
In addition to the investigations, you will be required to present
the final results of your project, create a user manual for the
application you design, and reflect in writing on your experiences. These final deliverables will be in lieu of a
final exam in this course.
Your final presentations will be scheduled in accordance with the College schedule for final exams. Do not make travel arrangements that will prevent your participation.
Any form of falsification, misrepresentation of another’s work as one’s own (such as cheating on examinations, reports, or quizzes), or plagiarism from the work of others is academic dishonesty and is a serious offense.
Plagiarism occurs when a student, intentionally or unintentionally, uses someone else’s words, ideas, or data, without proper acknowledgement. College policy regarding plagiarism is more fully explained in the Whitman College Student Handbook. Each student is required to sign the Statement on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism. Cases of academic dishonesty are heard by the Council on Student Affairs.
Each investigation assignment will clearly state whether groups
prepare a joint submission, or whether each individual student should
submit their own work.
I expect that your written work is your own. You must not copy written
solutions. You must
write up your own reports, and you must
acknowledge the contributions of others. For example, you might write,
"Alice helped me to understand topic
X" or "Bob suggested a strategy for solving problem Y."
If you consult external sources not assigned as readings, I expect you to provide an informal citation that credits your source and lets me find it (e.g., a URL for a Web resource).
Because I intend the exams to assess
own individual understanding
of the material, collaboration on exams is not permitted. If you have
questions about the exam, bring your questions directly to me. Of
course, I encourage you to collaborate while studying for exams.
Because I intend exams to test your mastery of the material
rather than your ability to memorize, exams will be open book, open
notes, and open computer. However, the time you spend on the exam will
You must have command of your reference materials. Therefore, I
encourage you to create a handwritten, single-page "cheat
Preparing a "cheat sheet" serves at least three functions:
First, it may
save you time during the exam. Second, writing important information
may help you to remember it, so that you don't even need to look at
your cheat sheet. Third,
and most importantly, preparing a "cheat sheet"
requires you to reflect on what kinds of questions or problems are
appear on the exam and what information will help you answer them
I will offer a small amount of extra credit for turning in
a one-page "cheat sheet", handwritten by you, along with your exam.
If you are a student with a disability who will need accommodations
in this course, please meet with either Julia Dunn, Associate Dean of
Students (Memorial 325, 509-527-5213, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Rebecca Frost, Director of Student Success and Disability Support Services (Memorial 325, 509-527-5213, email@example.com)
for assistance in developing a plan to address your academic needs. All
information about disabilities is considered private; if I receive
notification from Ms. Dunn or Ms. Frost that you are eligible to
receive an accommodation, I will provide it in as discreet a manner as
Class is time for learning and practice
which you cannot obtain by reading someone else's notes. Thus, 1.5%
be deducted from your
overall grade for each unexcused absence.
I will excuse your absence if you have a legitimate reason to miss
and you manage your absence responsibly:
If your absence is planned, as for travel to a conference, email me to make arrangements about a week in advance. Although we can talk in person, I will also need a written reminder of your plans, preferably via email.
If your absence is unplanned, as for illness or in relation to a documented disability, email me as soon as you are able to do so. If you are ill, don't come to class—stay in your room and rest, and seek medical care as needed. If you are absent unexpectedly, I may call or email to check that you are okay.
I understand that sometimes "things happen." Therefore, you will be granted one unexcused absence from class without penalty. However, this rebate is cancelled upon a second unexcused absence.
Investigations will typically be due on Mondays at 5 p.m.; occasionally
class on Monday. The assignment and the course
schedule will clearly specify.
Journal assignments are brief and will be due by noon the day of class, so that I may review your reflections as part of my preparations for class.
Deadlines may be extended for individuals and groups in
accordance with the attendance
described above or, rarely,
by negotiation between the instructor and the entire class.
I encourage you to come see me as soon as possible if you are
finding the reading, investigations, or in-class activities either
confusing or too time-consuming. I also welcome discussions about
course content and assignments, related current events, and your
interests or career plans.
You are welcome to drop in during my official office hours, posted on my home page, and you may knock any time my door is open. If your need is known at least 24 hours in advance, you are very welcome to schedule an appointment with me for a chat in my office, a walk, or lunch.
I will use the following scheme as an initial basis for assigning
|Type of work
|Final project deliverables||15%
I do not believe in grading on a curve; I would be thrilled to give you all As. However, I reserve the right to make adjustments if this weighting scheme produces grades which are lower than I believe are deserved. Any such adjustments will only raise your grade, never lower it.
Janet Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)Created August 30, 2015