• Class Number 7918
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Tamas Gedeon
    • Dr Duncan Stevenson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course will provide an introduction to the field of Human Computer Interaction and will introduce students to behavioural research methods and techniques used in usability testing. The course will give students the essential theoretical background to approaches, methods and techniques followed by practical experience in conducting usability studies for interactive systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Appreciate the importance of the user interface in software development.
  • Classify the key aspects of human psychology which can determine user actions at and satisfaction of the interface.
  • Describe the key design principles for user interfaces.
  • Develop and implement a process to gather requirements for, engage in iterative design of, and evaluate the usability of a user interface.
  • Describe how user interface development can be integrated into an overall software development process.
  • Demonstrate sufficient theory of human computer interaction, experimental methodology and inferential statistics to engage with the contemporary research literature in interface technology and design.
  • Identify key design errors in simple interfaces and suggest alternative designs.
  • Discuss ethical issues involved in testing user interfaces.

Research-Led Teaching

The tools and techniques that we use in our Human-Computer Interaction work are the same tools and techniques that HCI researchers use. Therefore, we use published papers from HCI conferences and journals to illustrate and explain the material in this course. Because ANU has subscriptions to these conferences and journals the students are entitled to online access to the published papers that we study. For your convenience, PDF copies of the published papers will be provided on the course's Wattle page.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on the assignment submissions
  • Verbal comments in class discussions and individual consultations with the lecturer and tutors
  • Feedback to the whole class, presented orally during lectures and in writing as forum posts

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Requirements for HCI; Ethical issues related to HCI Start Assignment 1. Form assignment groups for assignments 2 and 3
2 User-Centred Design; Design Principles in HCI
3 Using scenarios and prototypes in HCI
4 User evaluation and user studies in HCI Submit Assignment 1. Start Assignment 2
5 Special topic: HCI for people with disabilities. Guest speaker
6 Special topic: Workshop on cultural diversity in HCI Submit Assignment 2
7 Qualitative techniques and approaches in HCI Start Assignment 3
8 Quantitative evaluation in HCI
9 Special topic: comparing HCI and Software Engineering
10 Special topic: HCI in the developing world Submit Assignment3 Start Assignment 4
11 Review of basic concepts and principles in HCI
12 No formal classes this week Submit Assignment 4

Tutorial Registration

Students register for tutorials in the first week of the semester using the signup point on the course's Wattle page

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 15 % 13/08/2019 01/09/2019 1, 4,
Assignment 2 15 % 01/09/2019 15/09/2019 3, 7
Assignment 3 20 % 12/10/2019 01/11/2019 5, 6, 7
Assignment 4 10 % 26/10/2019 09/11/2019 2, 8
Final examination 40 % 31/10/2019 23/11/2019 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.



The lectures will contain a combination of material presented by the lecturer and small group discussion about that material. Students are expected to pay attention to the presented material and actively take part in the small-group discussions. If students cannot attend a lecture then they are expected to work through the lecture slides and create their own small-group discussions with fellow students, based on the material and instructions in the lecture slides.


Students are expected to attend the tutorial session that they have signed up for and they are expected to attend all eight tutorials during the semester. Many tutorials involve participation to discuss concepts and practise specific HCI techniques and students are expected to be actively involved.

Individual assignments (Assignments 1 and 4)

Students are expected to begin work on these assignments early in the allocated time. It is not possible to adequately complete these assignments at the last minute.

Group assignments

Students are expected to commit to working effectively and promptly with their assignment group team members.

Participation in research projects managed by the SONA system

Each student will participate in three credit units of research projects managed by the Research School of Psychology "SONA" system, typically three one-hour participations. These projects are conducted by academic researchers and by research students and focus on research involving people. Conducting user studies is a central activity in HCI practice and research. Participating in theses research projects will give the students of this course a deeper understanding of the roles and needs of participants when they come to run their own user studies. Assignment 4 contains a report of your experience as participants in other researchers' experimental studies. Because participation in any particular research project needs to be scheduled it is important for students to start on this activity early in the semester. Note that these studies must involve personal participation and interaction with the researchers who are running the studies and they will not include on-line survey studies.


The final examination will cover the basic topics of Human-Computer Interaction that are presented in this course. The final question in the examination will give students a choice of one of the special topics from this course. An outline of the examination will be presented in the first week of lectures.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 13/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4,

Assignment 1

This is an individual student assignment. Each student will choose an exhibit currently displayed in one of the cultural institutions (museums, galleries, science exhibits ...) in Canberra and will develop a design concept for representing that exhibit on-line. The student will practise several techniques for gathering the requirements for their design concept. Their report will describe the direct links between the requirements that they have gathered and the features of their design concept.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 01/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 7

Assignment 2

This is a group assignment. Students will form their assignment groups in Week 1 (4-5 students per group) and will use the first few weeks of semester to plan how they will work together. For this assignment the group will choose one of the design concepts that they developed in Assignment 1. They will write a descriptive scenario that shows their chosen design concept and will then create an early-stage prototype to match the scenario. The report will explain the match between the scenario and the prototype and will explain the design decisions that the group made.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 12/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5, 6, 7

Assignment 3

This is also a group assignment. Students remain in the same group as for assignment 2. The task for this assignment is to design and run a user evaluation of the prototype that the group developed for assignment 2.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 09/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 8

Assignment 4

This is an individual student assignment. Each student will write a report on their experiences as intelligent participants in the three credits of user studies that they signed up for on the SONA system run by the ANU Research School of Psychology. See the description under the heading "Participation" below.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 23/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Final examination

The final examination at the end of the semester is worth 40% of the course grade. It will be held during the examination period. Remember that all the material that is covered in this course - lectures, tutorials and assignments - is examinable.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

All assignments in this course are submitted via the upload points on the course's Wattle page. Assignment marks and response files will be returned to the students via the course's Wattle page.

Hardcopy Submission

Hardcopy submission of assignments is not available in this course.

Late Submission

Students are expected to submit their assignments by the due date. If a student is having trouble meeting the due date for an assignment then he/she needs to contact the lecturer by email (duncan.stevenson@anu.edu.au) to discuss the possibility of an extension of time for that assignment.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be marked by the lecturer and tutors who will write the marks and comments for each section in a "response file". The response file is a simple Word document which will be uploaded alongside your assignment submission on the course's Wattle page.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not available for this course.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Tamas Gedeon

Research Interests

Prof Tamas Gedeon

Dr Duncan Stevenson

Research Interests

Dr Duncan Stevenson

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions