SIE 515 - Overview
Human Computer Interaction
SIE 515 Human-Computer Interaction
Tues-Thurs: 2:00-3:15, RM 326
Dr. Nicholas Giudice
Spatial Information Science and Engineering
Office: 331 Boardman Hall
Office hours for this course will be Tues-Thurs from 1:00-2:00 (before class). Alternatively, students are welcome to contact me by email to arrange a time to meet in person or by phone/Skype.
In this course, students are introduced to the fundamental theories and concepts of human-computer interaction (HCI). HCI is an interdisciplinary field that integrates theories and methodologies across many domains including cognitive psychology, neurocognitive engineering, computer science, human factors, and engineering design. Students will gain theoretical knowledge of and practical experience in the fundamental aspects of human perception, cognition, and learning as relates to the design, implementation, and evaluation of interfaces. Topics covered include: interface design, usability evaluation, universal design, multimodal interfaces (touch, vision, natural language and 3-D audio), virtual reality, and spatial displays. In addition to lectures, students will work on individual and team assignments to design, implement, and evaluate various interactive systems and user interfaces based on knowledge culled from class material and additional research.
The primary readings will consist of selected materials based on seminal works, general overviews, emerging topics, and class interests. Readings will be sent via email, accessible from the course website, or via hardcopy on reserve. Other course material and assignments will also be emailed or accessed via the website.
Course Goals and Objectives:
- Students will learn the basic physiological, perceptual, and cognitive components of human learning and memory.
- Students will gain theoretical knowledge of and practical experience in the fundamental aspects of designing and implementing user interfaces.
- Students will learn to analyze interaction problems from a technical, cognitive, and functional perspective.
- Students will develop an awareness of the range of general human-computer interaction issues that must be considered when designing information systems.
- Students will learn about multimodal displays for conveying and presenting information.
- Students will know and have practiced a variety of simple methods for designing and evaluating the quality of user interfaces and spatial displays.
Supplemental Course texts:
The following three books are not mandatory but provide an excellent overview surveys of HCI and related fields. Students are encouraged to supplement course topics and reading materials by making use of these resources. These books, and many other more specialized volumes are available for check out from Prof. Giudice.
Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th Edition)
Authors: Shneiderman, Plaisant, Cohen, and Jacobs
Publisher: Addison Wesley; 5th edition (2009)
Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition)
Authors: Dix, Finlay, Abowd and Beale.
Publisher: Pearson, 2003
Introduction to Human Factors Engineering (2nd Edition)
Authors: Wickens, Lee, Liu, and Gordon-Becker
Publisher: Pearson, 2004
PLEASE NOTE: slides are not a substitute for taking notes. I use slides to provide key points, show graphics, or give examples only. In order to truly learn the material, you will need to attend the class and/ or watch the online recording. I strongly advise taking thorough notes and asking questions as exams and projects build on material from lectures, interactive student discussions, and readings.
On-campus Students: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00 – 3:15, Room 326 Boardman Hall
There will not be a live class stream, distance students should acces the recorded class archive, which should be available soon after the class session on the Lectures and Assignments page for this course at:
The password for this webpage is uro15 This page also provides a list of assignments, slides, and other relevant information.
Grading, Class Policies, and Course Expectations:
Grades in this course will be based on class attendance / participation, as well as the quality and completion of all class assignments, exams, and papers / projects listed on the syllabus.
NOTE: As we are incorporating a component of interviewing / experimentation for the class project, all students need to complete the online module for protection of human subjects from the UMaine Institutional Review Board (IRB). If students have not previously taken this course, they must complete the module in the first 2 weeks of the semester. The web-based tutorial can be found at: http://www.umaine.edu/research/research-compliance/institutional-review-board-for-the-protection-of-human-subjects-irb/required-training/
You are expected to exhibit high quality work that demonstrates sound understanding of the concepts and their complexity. Earning an “A” represents oral and written work that is of exceptionally high quality and demonstrates superb understanding of the course material. A “B” grade represents oral and written work that is of good quality and demonstrates a sound understanding of course material. A “C” grade represents a minimally adequate completion of assignments and participation demonstrating a limited understanding of course material. A “D” grade represents less than adequate completion of assignments and participation demonstrating nominal understanding of course material. An “F” failing grade represents an unacceptable level of completion of assignments and participation demonstrating a lack of understanding of course material.
Assignments – 25%
Midterm Exam – 20%
Design Project – 25%
Final write-up of Design Project – 15%
Class Participation – 15%
Note: distance students taking the course asynchronously (e.g., not streaming the class in real-time) will still be graded on your participation. As you will not be able to interact directly with other students during the class period, a major component of your participation assessment includes writing a paragraph after each class that either poses some questions, makes a comment on the lecture or class discussion, or otherwise demonstrates that you have thought about the material discussed. Although asynchronous students watch the lecture at an alternative time from the scheduled Tues-Thurs in-class session, it is expected that you will watch each archived class and submit your comments before the next scheduled class session, e.g. Tuesday’s comments should be submitted before Thursday’s class and Thursday’s comments before the following Tuesday’s class). This procedure ensures that you stay current with course material and more importantly, are an active participant in the daily class discussion. Your comments should be posted in the Class news section linked from the website. Goto the news link and then post a comment. Other students are also strongly encouraged to comment and continue discussion threads.
Finally, there will be a scheduled weekly “live” meeting with distance students. This is not mandatory but highly encouraged as a forum to ask questions, discuss ideas, and the like. This will be done via a skype conference, so all distance will need to have a Skype account and headset. They should send their Skype ID to the instructor within the first week. The time of this meeting will be determined in the first week. I am also happy to have individual Skype meetings whenever necessary–these can be set up as needed through email.
If you are absent due to illness or a similar valid excuse, please notify me of your situation at email@example.com prior to (or immediately after) your absence.
Course and Exam Schedule:
See the attached schedule of class session topics, reading assignment due dates, and dates for exams / projects.
Regular attendance and class participation is expected. I place a high value on questions and interactivity, and twenty percent of the course grade is based on your constructive in-class input or subsequent comments.
Late assignments and make-up:
Assignments submitted after the due date are docked 10 percent per day and will not be accepted for credit after a week. If you miss an assignment or are unable to take an exam due to an illness or emergency, you must send notification to me by email prior to (or soon thereafter the due date if there are mitigating circumstances). Special arrangements will be made on a case by case basis.
Academic honesty is expected. Plagiarism is unacceptable in this course and will result in a failing grade.
Students with disabilities:
If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please contact either me or Ann Smith, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities (121 East Annex Building, 581- 2319), as early as possible in the term.
Etiquette and other class policies:
Ringing cell phones and occupation with texting, emailing, web searching, and the like is distracting to both the instructor and your fellow students. There is plenty of time for these activities when outside of class, please have the courtesy to turn off your phones and curtail computer use, except for note taking or in-class exercises, during class sessions.
Please submit all class assignments with the following information in the header: your name, assignment title, date, and class number/name. Since I often comment on the assignment in-text or cut and paste them into a single document for distribution to the class for discussion, it is easier to have them in a readily editable format rather than a PDF. Thus, please submit all assignments as a MS word (or PC compatible) document, or in rich text format, or as a text file.
Finally, in the event of an extended disruption of normal classroom activities, the format for this course may be modified to enable its completion within its programmed time frame. In that event, you will be provided an addendum to the syllabus that will supersede this version.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.