Human Computer Interaction

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June 4, 1993 17:34

exercises

Sheet number 1 Page number 1

Human–Computer Interaction
Teacher’ Notes s

Alan J. Dix, Janet E. Finlay
University of York, UK

Gregory D. Abowd
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Russell Beale
University of Birmingham, UK

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Introduction
This set of teacher’s notes accompanies the book “Human–Computer Interaction” and is intended to support teachers using the book as a core course text. It includes solutions to and suggestions for the use of the exercsies in the book, together with additional project material. In addition, a set of master slides are available which can be used to produce overhead projector foils. These cover the key points for each chapter, making them ideal for a lecture-based course. Please contact the publisher for further details. We have tried to design the book and additional material to be flexible and to support effective teaching of HCI. Obviously in any such venture there is room for improvement. We therefore welcome comments on both the book and this set of notes which will allow us to improve future editions. We are particularly keen to hear suggestions for material that you would find useful that we have not included and, conversely, to know if we have included anything which you do not find useful. Please send your comments to us care of the publishers.

Course structure
Human–Computer Interaction is a subject which is by definition practical and whch lends itself well to novel teaching methods. It is our intention that the book and these notes be able to support both traditional lecture-style courses and those based mainly on project work. In either case we strongly recommend that students be given the opportunity to do some practical work, both in experimenting with and evaluating existing available systems and in designing their own interfaces. HCI cannot be taught exclusively through lectures and books and requires some “hands-on” experience. These notes offer examples of the types of project that can be used to provide such experience. As far as possible we have not assumed the availability of any particular resource so that teachers can adapt them to what is available. However, if possible, we suggest that all students be given the chance to experiment with both graphical and command based applications and to use a prototyping system such as Hypercard or Visual Basic. These allow the student to develop their own mock up interfaces. 1

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Introduction If such tools are unavailable, drawing packages can be used to design individual screens but have the disadvantage of being static. For a traditional lecture-based course we suggest the use of the overhead projector slides (selectively if necessary) backed up by related reading and exercises from the book and at least one practical design project (see Additional Projects). If possible other practicals can be included as well. The design project should encourage the student to use the modelling approaches and to evaluate their design. A project-based course can be designed primarily around the exercises, with suggested recommended related reading. Such a course demands a certain amount of commitment from students and may therefore be best suited for option courses and other advanced courses where the students are motivated towards HCI. Obviously, the choice of exercises and projects will depend largely on the resources and time available but the following is a suggested programme which assumes 10 2-hour practicals and an individual or group project. In selecting exercises we have tried to include some that involve research, some that involve observation and some that require practical application. Clearly some of these can be done in the student’s own time. If this is the case the extra...
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