The HCI Educator's Open House: A CHI 97 Special Interest Group on Exchanging Resources, Delivery Formats, Learning Strategies, and Future Concerns
Laurie P. Dringus, Maxine S. Cohen
Vol.29 No.4, October 1997
Where to Find Resources
Delivery Format Structures and Learning Strategies
Future Concerns: Making Resources more Visible to the HCI Education Community
At CHI 97 we organized a Special Interest Group (SIG) the "HCI Educator's Open House: Exchanging Resources, Delivery Formats, Learning Strategies, and Future Concerns." The goals of this SIG were for attendees to increase networking opportunities for HCI educators, and to promote the exchange of common and unique resources, delivery format structures and learning strategies, and future concerns.
In previous CHI pre-conference workshops, HCI educators and industrial professionals have met to address pertinent HCI education issues. Participants have benefited from sharing their experiences, pedagogical practices and issues, and have often exchanged course or class exercises, course structures, lab assignments, and other sample resources. As organizers and participants of many of these previous CHI pre-conference workshops, we perceived a need to expand the forum to the larger SIGCHI education community within the CHI conference proper to increase the opportunity for professional networking among HCI educators.
The SIG was held on Tuesday, March 25, 1997, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. The SIG organizers, Laurie Dringus and Maxine Cohen, approached the SIG in the spirit of an "open house" forum, by giving a brief introduction and overview of their background and interests in HCI education, sharing some important issues that they considered current to HCI educators, and opening up the forum for discussions among SIG participants. The discussions focused on three areas:
- Resources: what is being used and where can we find the resources?
- Delivery Format Structures and Learning Strategies: what are
innovative learning strategies, what are interesting course activities,
what obstacles are we facing at the moment?
- Future concerns: what can the CHI education community do to
make resources and experiences more visible to HCI educators at large?
Below is a summary of the information and/or resources that were shared during the discussion of each of the three issues.
The organizers began this discussion by sharing a starter suggested bibliography list. (This list can be obtained by contacting the SIG organizers.) This list was not meant to be all inclusive. It provided a starting point for the discussion. Some of the participants offered additions to the list:
- Tom Magliozzi, "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Break It." Technology
Review, 1992 Vol. 95, No. 7, pp. 72-73, MIT. This was reported to be
like a mini version of Don Norman's Design of Everyday Things.
- Tom Forrester, Editor. Computers in the Human Context. MIT Press. (This was reported as an older source, but useful.)
- Terry Winograd, Editor. Bringing Design to Software. Addison- Wesley, 1996.
- Ben Shneiderman's third edition, "Designing the User Interface," will be available July 1997. (This was reported to be a widely used text that provides the breadth of the HCI field.)
- Dix, A. Finley, J., Abowd, G., and Beale, R. Human-Computer Interaction, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, available August 1997.
- Linda MacCauley's book for software engineers.
- Brenda Laurel's, Computers as Theatre.
- Bonnie Nardi's, A Small Matter of Programming
- John Carroll's Minimal Manual
- For people in the industry, a quick-read bulletin is "Eye for Design" in User Interface Engineering, Jared Spool, author.
- Tom Landauer's, The Trouble With Computers.
- Fitts and Posner's Human Performance
- William Cleveland's, Elements of Graphing Data.
- The BBC's documentary, "Fatal Error", explains the role of human factors failings and major airplane crashes.
- Chris Phillips' paper on HCI integrated throughout the CS curriculum, OZCHI '97.
The organizers provided a list of major journals, professional organizations, and conference proceedings. Along with this list, some widely used WWW sites were noted, useful for both faculty and students to find HCI resources:
- ACM SIGCHI: http://www.acm.org/sigchi
- ACM SIGCHI Education: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/education/
Note: major documents are available from this web site, i.e., Gary
Perlman's Resources for HCI Education, Gary Strong et al. Report on New
Directions in HCI Education, Research, and Practice, ACM SIGCHI
Curriculum Development Group, the "Green Book" -ACM SIGCHI Curricula
for Human-Computer Interaction, and other documents.
- Hans de Graaff's HCI Index: http://is.twi.tudelft.nl/hci/
- Mikael Ericsson's Human-Computer Interaction Resources on the Net: http://www.ida.liu.se/labs/aslab/groups/um/hci/. Note: This web site offers interesting links to HCI jobs, Software/Tools, CSCW, etc.
- Keith Instone's Human-Computer Interaction Virtual Library: http://web.cs.bgsu.edu/hcivl/. Note: This web site offers special HCI indexes on CSCW and VR.
- Blaise Liffick's book site (featuring Ben Shneiderman's third edition, Designing the User Interface): http://natasha.millersv.edu/AW-Prototype/WWW-Booksite.html
Note: Along with Shneiderman's book supplements, this web site offers
course aids, such as assignments, projects, exams, lecture notes, etc.
This site is currently under construction, but already has plenty of
- Peter Gorny's invitation to the workshop, "Teaching Design of Interactive Systems (TeaDIS), sponsored by IFIP: http://www-cg-hci.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de/~ifip/teadis/
- Marilyn Mantei's suggested sites: http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/
csc428/428.html, site of 4th year Human-Computer Interaction course
taught in the Department of Computer Science at the University of
Toronto. http://www.acm.org/sigcse/ site of computer science education SIG.
- Marilyn Mantei and Marla Weston are organizing an informal HCI
Education Resource meeting on May 24, 1997 in Victoria. The meeting is
being held to invite people in the area to discuss resource needs.
Marla has established a Web site with the goal of the meeting. The URL
- Nova Southeastern University's, School of Computer and
Information Sciences, Human-Computer Interaction, Online Study Area,
- Design, Specification, and Verification of Interactive Systems, http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~jvd/dsvis
- Computer-Aided Design of User Interfaces, http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/ ~jvd/dsvis/cadui96.html: Powerpoint Animation Plug-in required to view online presentations.
- Jean Vanderdonckt's Institut d'Informatique, web site, http://www.info.fundp.ac.be/~jvd/
- Technical University of Sofia, http://www.umei.acad.bg/hsd/HCI/HCI.htm
- email@example.com listserv
- utest listserv (at Clemson University), to join send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org: subscribe utest <Your Name>
What are innovative learning strategies, what are interesting course activities, what obstacles are we facing at the moment?
This portion of the SIG was a brainstorming session and some of the following ideas were shared and suggested:
- students keep a HCI journal and make weekly notations to record
observations on HCI aspects of their research and working with systems,
- guest speakers that are experts in HCI and computing in
general provide professional and personal insight to HCI in the real
- students enjoy being subjects in HCI experiments.
- students evaluate HCI aspects of software design from their
own perspective (with support from HCI literature). Then, students
conduct formal usability evaluations with a minimum of three
participants, that the students can observe and collect data from. The
usability evaluation is presented in a comprehensive report detailing
conceptualization of the usability evaluation through results, with
discussions throughout the report supported by the HCI literature.
Students generally discover that good design and effective usability
are not "common sense" concepts.
- examples of HCI exercises: http://www.spsu.edu/cs/classes/cs635
- example student design projects and example usability evaluation reports: http://scis.nova.edu/nova/hci/connect.html
- in class exercise: show an industry usability test tape. Have
students work in small groups to evaluate the test process and report
their observations in the large class discussion.
- most people are using the Web as a source of information. It presents examples of good and poor interfaces.
- HCI educators (or those who teach HCI in some capacity) may
lack knowledge and time to adequately teach HCI. This could be because
of other items that need to get squeezed into the curriculum and
because they may not have adequate background or preparation time.
- HCI educators (or those who teach HCI in some capacity) may
only have the resource of their textbook and not sufficient additional
knowledge of the field.
- HCI educators need a comprehensive list of tools for class project development.
- HCI educators need resources on HCI as it is practiced
- Resources for HCI educators and resources for students are two different goals.
- There was a concern noted about increased difficulty of those
teaching HCI to remain knowledgeable about the HCI field, both in terms
of depth and breadth.
- HCI needs more promotion as an important area of study for students planning careers in software engineering.
- HCI is still an afterthought or an elective in many computer science departments at universities and colleges.
- HCI educators need more input from industry for examples of
effective application (e.g. aerospace, military, telephone, machine
tools (ergonomics and safety).
The group discussed that resources are not readily visible and organized for HCI educators and students to find and utilize. Strategies for making HCI resources visible should be planned and implemented in the near future. The group noted that not everyone who teaches HCI (or is planning a first course in HCI) is aware of the SIGCHI community and the categories of resources discussed in this SIG. Where does one start to find resources for a first course in HCI?
In addition, there is a growing community of HCI educators. What can we do to increase networking opportunities, promote the exchange of common and unique resources, delivery format structures and learning strategies, and share concerns about HCI education?
Our goals were intended to spark discussion and to promote a sense of community for HCI educators. The issues were diverse and somewhat ambitious to cover for a one and a half hour session. Yet, participants expressed appreciation for the SIG and an interest to keep the "conversations" going in-between and during CHI conferences. We feel that the SIG was a success and a new beginning to provide an opportunity for HCI educators to meet new people and share their experiences and concerns. It would be valuable to continue to offer HCI educators networking opportunities during the CHI conference.
Laurie P. Dringus Nova Southeastern University School of Computer and Information Sciences 3100 SW 9th Avenue Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315 954-262-2073, USA; fax: +1-954-262-3915 email: email@example.com http://scis.nova.edu/nova/hci/top.html
Laurie Dringus is an Associate Professor in the SCIS at NSU. She teaches graduate courses in human-computer interaction. Several of her courses are accessible via the URL provided above. She has participated in the CHI 94 workshop on teaching HCI education and co-organized the CHI '95 and CHI 96 workshops on HCI education.
Maxine S. Cohen Nova Southeastern University School of Computer and Information Sciences 3100 SW 9th Avenue Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315 954-262-2072; fax:954-262-3915 email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.scis.nova.edu/~cohenm
Maxine Cohen is an Assistant Professor in the SCIS at NSU. Prior to joining NSU, she worked for IBM Corporation in Boca Raton, FL and Endicott, NY doing usability and human factors work. She also taught for 11 years at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Computer Science Department. She was a participant in the SIGCHI education workshop in 1994 and a workshop organizer in 1995.
Alan Apt, Prentice Hall Colorado Division, Academic and Professional Publishing, 2629 Redwing Road, Suite 260 Ft. Collins, CO 80526 USA, email: email@example.com
Barbara Bernal, Thomas Southern Polytechnic State University Computer Science 1100 South Marietta Parkway Marietta, GA 30060, USA email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Berry, IBM Corp 6300 Diagonal Highway, F5-3/02 Boulder, CO 80301, USA email: email@example.com
Jennifer Borhegyi, Cambridge Technology Partners 304 Vassar Street Cambridge, MA 02139 USA email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington Dept. of Computer Science P.O. Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand email: Judy.Brown@comp.vuw.ac.nz
Daryle Gardner-Bonneau, Office of Research Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies 1000 Oakland Drive Kalamazoo, MI 49008-1282 USA email: email@example.com
Frank Durso, Department of Psychology University of Oklahoma Norman, OK 73019 USA email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Gorny, University of Oldenburg D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany email: Gorny@Informatik.Uni-Oldenburg.DE
Richard Halstead-Nussloch, Southern Polytechnic State University Computer Science 1100 South Marietta Parkway Marietta, GA 30060-2896 USA email: email@example.com
Julie Jacko, Florida International University Dept of Industrial and Systems Engineering Miami, Florida USA email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Keenan, Columbus State University, USA email: email@example.com
Sarah Kuhn, University of Massachusetts at Lowell College of Management One University Avenue Lowell, MA 01854-2881 USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Leventhal, Bowling Green State University Computer Science Bowling Green, OH 43403 USA email: email@example.com
Blaise Liffick, Millersville University Department of Computer Science Millersville, PA 17551-0302 USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotta Medin, Cambridge Technology Partners Arstaangusvagen 17 Stockholm, 100 74 Sweden email: email@example.com
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Fredy Schwyter, Advanced Telematic Research Grossmannstr. 45, CH-8049 Zurich, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Sears, DePaul University School of Computer Science 243 S. Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60604 USA, email: email@example.com
Ron Sedlak, AT&T C101, 19 Schoolhouse Road Somerset, NJ 08875 USA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Soulier, Department of Instructional Technology Utah State University Cogan, UT 84322-2800 USA, email:email@example.com
Linda Tetzlaff, IBM, Watson Research Center P.O. Box 704 Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 USA firstname.lastname@example.org
Elmi van der Dussen, University of Pretoria Department of Information Science Pretoria South Africa 0002 email: email@example.com
Marla Weston, Camosun College Computer Science Department Interurban Campus 4461 Interurban Rd, RR. #3 Victoria, B.C. Canada V8X3X1 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vol.29 No.4, October 1997