The website at
will be be used to post readings,
Any official course announcements will be posted there.
You may receive an e-mail informing you of emergency announcements,
but you are responsible for checking the main class site regularly.
The class meets: Tue/Thu 2-3:15pm.
The course prerequisite is HDCC106.
When preparing to undertake a computing and/or interaction-based
research (or other) project, there are a variety of issues to explore.
This course will introduce some fundamental techniques and approaches
to developing and undertaking such a project, utilizing a variety of
in-class activities and out-of-class assignments to better understand
them. The goal of these activities and assignments is to provide
practical, realistic, and hopefully interesting scenarios to which
the course material can be applied, and thus reinforced via exploration.
As a significant part of this course, we will undertake two authentic group
projects, where we will design and implement new techniques for prototyping
both 360° experiences and voice-interaction experiences.
Members of the team will
undertake a literature review,
document their process as they are designing and testing their ideas,
and work as a group to write a report or article
about their findings on prototyping each type of experience.
There are a variety of low-fidelity prototyping techniques that can be
used to rapidly explore ideas as well as involve a wide range of potential
users in the design process (participatory design).
As "virtual" 360° experiences (try to) move to being a more everyday
thing, we should have ways to prototype these using similar inclusive design
approaches, but existing techniques might need to be altered or new techniques
created to do so.
Similarly, prototyping voice-based interactions as those that interfaces such
as Alexa and Siri present should also be supported, and might require current
approaches to be rethought or supplemented.
We will explore both through activities in class and assignments outside
of class this semester.
The course topics and assignments will also help guide each student
through the initial stages of applying these same skills to designing
a capstone project of their own design.
Each student will apply what they learn in this class to a topic
within their own area of interest through the capstone proposal process.
This includes a literature review, a need-for-research statement, the
identification of a "stakeholder" who would care about your work, and a
target timeline for your work (concluding in April/May of 2018).
Students in the class will also help each other expand and explore their
capstone ideas as part of the in-class activities.
Before Thanksgiving Weekend, each student will have a full capstone
proposal developed, and by the end of the semester might have even started
the initial stages of their project.
The course will introduce terminology, concepts, techniques,
and ethical guides related to research in general, as well
as projects involving human participants in any way.
We will also some explore specific techniques that can be applied
to research in Human-Computer Interaction such as cooperative inquiry
and user testing.
Of course, you'll be expected to not only remember the information as
facts, but understand the concepts. To facilitate this, there will be
in-class activities and out-of-class assignments that provide a context
in which to apply them.
One of the things that we will discuss and experience in class is that
when doing original computing and interaction design research, you don't
tend to plan every last detail out and then undertake the entire plan at
once. Instead, you will tend to find yourself iterating through three
phases (analyze the problem, create a solution, evaluate its use) as you
advance in your work.
As you do this, you have the opportunity to make adjustments and corrections.
While you will need to
analyze the problem you are trying to solve or goal you are working
to achieve as a whole,
plan out and create your solution,
and evaluate whether it has succeeded,
we will explore how this can be (and typically is) done
incrementally and iteratively over the lifespan of a project, and
how each phase can change slightly (or not) as your project continues.
One way to think of your Sophomore DCC experience, starting
with this course, is via the following windmill; the semester
will start building from the bottom of the base and by the end
you'll be in the iterative cycle of the three "sails" where you
will continue to develop your project in the Spring semester.
Course Topics Include (not in strict order)
- The scientific method approach to research
- Research ethics in general as well as as applied to human-subjects projects
- Methods and techniques used for data collection and analysis
- Developing a research question and project proposal
- The variety of work that can be undertaken for a DCC capstone
- The history of topics and issues in Human-Computer Interaction research
- Different ways to report the results of a project
- Cooperative inquiry techniques
- Questions of generalizability and longevity of results
- Controlled studies
Some Student Learning Outcomes
Students completing this course will:
- obtain an understanding of different approaches to research
- experience designing a project roadmap and undertaking the
building of a user-informed prototype
- gain a perspective of how Human-Computer Interaction research
has grown and evolved as the technology as well as the users
and their tasks have changed
- be able to discuss ethical issues related to research
- have the background, vocabulary, and experience to express
to others some of the challenges faced by researchers
- have the skills needed to undertake an individual or small-team
project and report their results
- be able to propose and undertake an independent project
Major Course Deliverables
Individual and Team Assignments:
To further explore the course topics, there will be homework/project
assignments of varying length and depth.
Some of these will be individual assignments while some will be done
in small teams.
Different teams might be assembled for different assignments.
With team assignments, while different students might undertake different
responsibilities, all team members are expected to contribute to the whole.
Capstone Pre-Proposal, Proposal, and Stakeholder Identification:
You will be working on your capstone proposal during the semester and
there will be several in-class and at-home activities related to this
While your capstone may or may not focus on the types of projects
specifically addressed by class assignments and topics,
it is highly encouraged that you take the course material and
exercises into account when designing your project proposal.
The pre-proposal will be due around the time of the midterm.
The full proposal will be due mid-November.
You are also expected to identify and talk with a potential
stakeholder for your project.
More details regarding how to submit your proposal and report on your
project progress will be provided later in the semester.
As you read things for the course, you will need to make additions
to the journal in the form of a brief summary of each as well as your
thoughts on the way it relates either to course topics or to your
I would also like you to make special note of anything that surprised
you as you are reading things or working on things. The journal will
take the form of a Google Doc which you will share with me via
egolubUMD@gmail.com and which will be reviewed regularly.
The document name should include your name and HDCC208N, such as
• Active engagement and class participation: 15%
• Individual and team assignments: 35%
• Midterm and Final Exam: 20%
• Individual journal: 5%
• Attend two DCC workshops related to capstone: 5%
• Capstone pre-proposal, proposal, ancillaries: 20%
Anticipated Order of Topics
• Overview and Project Examples
• History of Human-Computer Interaction
• Research Fundamentals
• Introduction to Human-Centered Design
• Needs Assessment and Design Ideation
• Research-based Foundations of Human-Centered Design
• Low-Fidelity Prototyping
• Medium-Fidelity Prototyping
• Respecting Participants
• Human-Subjects Research: Psychology Effects
• Human-Subjects Research: Ethics and the IRB
• Writing a Research Proposal
• Qualitative Research Techniques and Applications
• Research to Industry: Heuristic Evaluation
• Designing Controlled Studies
Anticipated Key Dates
• Low-Fi Project 1 Due: October 12th
• Low-Fi Project 1 Presentation and Discussion of future: October 17th
• Midterm Exam: October 19th
• Low-Fi Project 2 Due and Future Discussion: November 16th
• Third Project Due: December 7th
• Final Exam: Saturday, December 16th from 10:30am-12:30pm
Attendance and Absences
Students are expected to attend classes regularly.
Consistent attendance offers students the most effective opportunity
to gain command of course concepts and materials.
Events that justify an excused absence include:
religious observances; mandatory military obligation;
illness of the student or illness of an immediate family member;
participation in university activities at the request of university
authorities; and compelling circumstances beyond the student's control
(e.g., death in the family, required court appearance).
Absences stemming from work duties other than military obligation
(e.g., unexpected changes in shift assignments) and
traffic/transit problems do not typically qualify for excused absence.
Students claiming an excused absence must notify the course instructor
in a timely manner and provide appropriate documentation.
The notification should be provided either prior to the absence or as
soon afterwards as possible.
In the case of religious observances, athletic events, and planned
absences known at the beginning of the semester, the student must
inform the instructor during the schedule adjustment period.
All other absences must be reported as soon as is practical.
The student must provide appropriate documentation of the absence.
The documentation must be provided in writing to the instructor
The full university attendance/absence policy can be found here:
DCC is a program that actively utilizes emerging technologies
to explore new methods of learning and scholarship.
We welcome and encourage the use of laptops, tablets, and
similar electronic devices in class for note-taking or class-related
However, all phones must be turned off or set to vibrate prior to
entering the classroom.
Students who consult non-course related content on electronic devices
during class (such as checking e-mail, texting, or shopping) may be
asked to leave.
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized
Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council.
This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all
undergraduate and graduate students.
As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course.
It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating,
fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism.
The University of Maryland Honor Pledge reads:
I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any
unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination.
Unless you are specifically advised to the contrary, the Pledge statement
should be handwritten and signed on the front cover of all papers,
projects, or other academic assignments submitted for evaluation in this
Cheating includes: reusing portions of coursework for credit, allowing
others to prepare work, and utilizing external aids including commercial
term paper and Internet companies.
If you have a question regarding any of the above or the code in general,
consult immediately with the instructor.
For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student
Honor Council, please visit:
Plagiarism and Citations
The definition of plagiarism is broader than commonly assumed.
Plagiarism includes: direct quotation, paraphrasing, summarization,
and fabrication of materials.
If you use any source in your work without correctly citing the work,
this constitutes plagiarism.
All quotations taken from other authors, including paraphrasing and
all sources from the Internet (including Wikipedia, blogs, and forums)
and other digital media, must be indicated by quotation marks and
When referencing a blog or blog comment, cite at least the author's name
and enough information for a reader to find the work on their own
(e.g. a hyperlink if available.)
If you are ever uncertain about your need to cite something or how to do
so, please contact the instructor before turning in your work.
Note on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism
Any source that you draw ideas and quotes from must be cited accurately.
If you use any source in your work without correctly citing the work,
this constitutes plagiarism.
Any intentional plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the
assignment and may result in a failing grade for the course.
If it is determined that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred,
a grade of XF is considered the normal sanction for undergraduate students.
The grade of XF is noted on the academic transcript as failure due
to academic dishonesty.
Lesser or more severe sanctions may be imposed when there are
circumstances to warrant such consideration.
Suspension or expulsion from the University may be imposed even for
a first offense.
Allegations of academic dishonesty will be reported directly to the Student Honor Council:
Types of Plagiarism
- Buying papers, borrowing papers, or recycling former papers
unrevised and claiming these types of papers as your own for
your assignment in this course.
- Cutting and pasting parts of a webpage or borrowing passages
from a book for your paper without properly citing these parts
and claiming the material as your own for the expressed intent
- Using another's creative work such as photos, data visualizations
or artwork without proper credit or alteration.
Absence will not be penalized, however, it is the student's responsibility
to inform the instructor by email of any religious observances that will
conflict with your attendance, assignment deadlines, or final exam.
The student should provide emailed notification to the professor by the
end of the second week of the term; the notification must identify the
religious holiday(s) and the date(s).
If this notification is not given to the instructor by this date, all
missed assignments, quizzes, and exams are subject to grade penalties.
Learning Assistance Service
If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic
demands of this course, contact the Learning Assistance Service,
2202 Shoemaker Building, 301-314-7693.
Their educational counselors can help with time management, reading,
math learning skills, note-taking and exam preparation skills.
All their services are free to UMD students (www.counseling.umd.edu/LAS)
Students with Disabilities
The University of Maryland is committed to providing appropriate
accommodations for students with disabilities.
Students with a documented disability should inform the instructors
within the add-drop period if academic accommodations are needed.
To obtain an Accommodation Letter prepared by Disability Support
Service (DSS), a division of the University Counseling Center,
please call 301-314-7682, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the
Shoemaker Building for more information.
There are general
course related policies
at the University with which you might want to become familiar
Class lectures and other materials are copyrighted and they may not
be reproduced for anything other than personal use without written
permission from the instructor.
Syllabus Subject to Change
This syllabus is subject to change at any time according to the
professor's discretion. Any changes will be announced.