Syllabus PDF Version

Course Description & Objectives

Human-Computer Interaction teaches the fundamental issues that underlie the creation and evaluation of usable and useful computational artifacts. Through lectures, in-class activities, assigned readings and a project performed throughout the term in groups of 3-4 students, you will learn to: The course consists of three components: participation, project and presentation. Each of the component is described in more details below.

1. Participation

Students are expected to attend every class. Special consideration can be made for a few exceptions (e.g., academic travel, ilnesses and family emergencies). However, you must discuss your anticipated absence with the instructor, and provide the necessary justification and documentation. During class, students are strongly discouraged to use their laptops and mobile devices.

Students are to work in groups of 3-4 people throughout the term. Groups must be formed at the beginning of the term and are expected to stay the same throughout the term. Assignments, presentations and final reports are submitted per group and marked accordingly.

During class, each group will be assigned a clicker, which will be used to answer questions in class. The clicker answers are not graded. Each group should assign a student to pick up the clicker at the beginning of class and return the clicker at the end of class.

2. Project

Choosing your project topic: Each project group is required to choose a unique project topic from the list of suggested projects. Topics are assigned to project groups on first come, first served basis, thus it is recommended to choose several topics of interest at the beginning. If your group wants to work on a different project, not listed among the suggested projects, it necessarily requires an instructor's approval. Project topics must be finalized Wed, May 9.

Project details and expectations: Throughout the course each project group is working on the project chosen at the beginning of the term. At the end of the course each project is expected to result in a high fidelity interactive prototype of an application. Original project topics are outlining the general area and goal of the application. During the term students are required to identify specific functionalities required for the successful adoption of a specific application (based on exploratory user studies), create and prototype an initial design of the application (low fidelity prototyping), further iterate on the design based on the results of the user studies (high fidelity prototyping) and asses the final design through the user studies.

Project deliverables: Students are expected to submit 3 assignments (+ assignment 0) throughout the course. These assignments help the instructor to monitor the intermediate progress of the projects and to provide forehanded feedback on the next steps to ensure correct and effective work flow. Assignments all together are building up to a final report. There are also two group presentations during the term: to present an intermidiate progress and to present final design. In addition to the final presentation and final report each project group is required to submit a 3 minute video to demonstrate the final high fidelity interactive prototype of their application. Please note that all videos will be posted on the course website and publicly available for watching.

3. Presentation

There are 2 poster sessions happening during the course. Main goals of the presentations are to practice verbal presentations of the product design, obtain feedback from classmates and additional feedback from the course staff, explore other projects presented by classmates. Students are required to prepare a 4 min talk to describe their project, pitch and justify their design idea and describe the design process. The talk should be supported by visual materials presented on a poster format. All students are required to give a public presentation of their projects at the end-of-term demo day. This requirement is independent of any choice students may make regarding any intellectual property connected to their course projects.

CS 649 Additional Requirements

CS 649 has a separate marking scheme with weights distribution that differs from CS 449. Students taking CS649 are expected to perform an academic literature review related to each assignment topic and to the final report content. For more details, see the assignments description.

Marking Scheme

Deliverable Due Date Weight
CS 449 CS 649
In-class participation May 2 - July 25 5% 5%
Assignment 0 May 9
Assignment 1 May 16 5% 6%
Assignment 2 June 13 8% 10%
Presentation 1 June 18, June 20 5% 5%
Assignment 3 July 11 10% 12%
Presentation 2 (+ video of demo) July 25 12% (6+6) 12% (6+6)
Final Report July 27 25% 30%
Final Exam Time and Location TBA 30% 20%

Course Policies

Deliverables and Late Penalties

For assignments and the final report:

Late penalties for all deliverables: -5% for each additional day (9:00 pm to 8:59 pm).

IMPORTANT: If an assignment was not submitted before the next assignment due date, you will get 0% for this assignment. Furthermore, you are not allowed to submit the next assignment if the previous assignment was not submitted. Failing to submit all the assignments and final report by the end of the term may result in failing the course.

Academic Integrity
In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the University of Waterloo community are expected to promote honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. [Check for more information.]

A student who believes that a decision affecting some aspect of his/her university life has been unfair or unreasonable may have grounds for initiating a grievance. Read Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances, Section 4, When in doubt please be certain to contact the department's administrative assistant who will provide further assistance.

A student is expected to know what constitutes academic integrity [check] to avoid committing an academic offence, and to take responsibility for his/her actions. A student who is unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who needs help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about 'rules' for group work/collaboration should seek guidance from the course instructor, academic advisor, TA, or the undergraduate Associate Dean.

For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71, Student Discipline, For typical penalties check Guidelines for the Assessment of Penalties,

A decision made or penalty imposed under Policy 70 (Student Petitions and Grievances) (other than a petition) or Policy 71 (Student Discipline) may be appealed if there is a ground. A student who believes he/she has a ground for an appeal should refer to Policy 72 (Student Appeals)

Note for Students with Disabilities
The Office for persons with Disabilities (OPD), located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum. If you require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of your disability, please register with the OPD at the beginning of each academic term.