Teaching HCI to Undergraduate Computing Students:  the Quest for the Golden Rules  <ul><li>Roberto Polillo </li></ul><ul><...
The goal <ul><li>Discuss my experiences / opinions on teaching HCI courses </li></ul><ul><li>Based on my HCI and Web lab c...
Which students am I talking about? <ul><li>Undergraduate &quot;computing&quot; students </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Computing&...
HCI courses <ul><li>Well established contents and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Founding document:  ACM SIGCHI Curricula for HCI...
So where is the problem? <ul><li>1. Slow to very slow recognition of HCI relevance   from the mainstream computing communi...
<ul><li>Most of our undergraduate computing students are  </li></ul><ul><li>USABILITY ILLITERATE </li></ul>Consequences Th...
<ul><li>Slow to very slow recognition of HCI relevance from the mainstream computing community      HCI courses, when off...
How many CS profs would agree on this? ACM-IEEE  IT Curriculum, 2008
<ul><li>2. Available teaching space is very limited </li></ul>
<ul><li>3. HCI as a knowledge area is very broad and   interdisciplinary </li></ul>
Example: knowledge units of HCI knowledge area ACM-IEEE Curriculum for Computer Science, Revision 2008
<ul><li>4. Distance from the mind-set of typical computing   students </li></ul>
What we HCI teachers should do <ul><li>Fight to have one HCI  mandatory  course in every computing curriculum </li></ul><u...
Learning goals <ul><li>Twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural   Understand goals, concepts and methods of HCI as a disci...
Learning goals  minimized <ul><li>Twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural   Understand goals, concepts and methods of HCI...
Changing teaching methods Concepts (lectures) Practice (projects) TRADITIONAL (TOP-DOWN, DEDUCTIVE) apply Problem (project...
What kind of project? Iterative prototyping of a simple interactive system Design Prototype User testing Simple, &quot;rea...
10 Golden Rules for teaching HCI <ul><li>Practice first, concepts follow </li></ul><ul><li>Situated design, not simulation...
<ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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Teaching HCI to Undegraduate Computing Students: the Quest for the Golden Rules

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Presentation held at the HCI@Large workshop, at the CHItaly 2011 Conference, Alghero, 13 Sept 2011.
The paper can be found in the document section of slideshare

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Teaching HCI to Undegraduate Computing Students: the Quest for the Golden Rules

  1. 1. Teaching HCI to Undergraduate Computing Students: the Quest for the Golden Rules <ul><li>Roberto Polillo </li></ul><ul><li>DISCO – University of Milano Bicocca </li></ul><ul><li>CHItaly, Alghero, Sept 13, 2011 </li></ul>
  2. 2. The goal <ul><li>Discuss my experiences / opinions on teaching HCI courses </li></ul><ul><li>Based on my HCI and Web lab courses at University of Milano Bicocca (10 & 6 years respectively) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Which students am I talking about? <ul><li>Undergraduate &quot;computing&quot; students </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Computing&quot; according to ACM-IEEE curricula: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Engineering (CE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer Science (CS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Software Engineering (SE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Technology (IT) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Systems (IS) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In Italy, &quot;classe di laurea in Informatica&quot; </li></ul>
  4. 4. HCI courses <ul><li>Well established contents and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Founding document: ACM SIGCHI Curricula for HCI, 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>HCI considered a &quot;core&quot; knowledge area in most ACM-IEEE computing curricula (CE 2004, CS 2008, SE 2004, IT 2008, IS 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;HCI literacy&quot; recognized as essential for any computing professional </li></ul>
  5. 5. So where is the problem? <ul><li>1. Slow to very slow recognition of HCI relevance from the mainstream computing community  HCI courses, when offered, are often optional </li></ul><ul><li>2. Available teaching space is very limited </li></ul><ul><li>3. HCI as a knowledge area is very broad and interdisciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>4. Distance from the mind-set of typical computing students </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Most of our undergraduate computing students are </li></ul><ul><li>USABILITY ILLITERATE </li></ul>Consequences This is not acceptable in 2012
  7. 7. <ul><li>Slow to very slow recognition of HCI relevance from the mainstream computing community  HCI courses, when offered, are often optional </li></ul><ul><li>E.g.: In Italy, less then one third of curricula in Informatica have a mandatory HCI course </li></ul><ul><li>Source: GRIN data on 52 certified first level degrees, for 2009 </li></ul>
  8. 8. How many CS profs would agree on this? ACM-IEEE IT Curriculum, 2008
  9. 9. <ul><li>2. Available teaching space is very limited </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>3. HCI as a knowledge area is very broad and interdisciplinary </li></ul>
  11. 11. Example: knowledge units of HCI knowledge area ACM-IEEE Curriculum for Computer Science, Revision 2008
  12. 12. <ul><li>4. Distance from the mind-set of typical computing students </li></ul>
  13. 13. What we HCI teachers should do <ul><li>Fight to have one HCI mandatory course in every computing curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Identify th minimal learning goals of an HCI course </li></ul><ul><li>Strongly improve course effectivess within the existing time constraints (&quot;The Quest for the Golden Rules&quot;) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Learning goals <ul><li>Twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural  Understand goals, concepts and methods of HCI as a discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical  Being able to apply them in the design of usable systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE within the stated constraints </li></ul>
  15. 15. Learning goals minimized <ul><li>Twofold: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural  Understand goals, concepts and methods of HCI as a discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical  Being able to apply them in the design of usable systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This is a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE within the stated constraints </li></ul>
  16. 16. Changing teaching methods Concepts (lectures) Practice (projects) TRADITIONAL (TOP-DOWN, DEDUCTIVE) apply Problem (projects) Conceptualization (coaching) SUGGESTED (BOTTOM-UP – INDUCTIVE) discuss comment
  17. 17. What kind of project? Iterative prototyping of a simple interactive system Design Prototype User testing Simple, &quot;real&quot; system Zero learning-time tools Coaching and conceptualization by teacher Simple settings, real users & collegues
  18. 18. 10 Golden Rules for teaching HCI <ul><li>Practice first, concepts follow </li></ul><ul><li>Situated design, not simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction, not description </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly coaching, not teaching </li></ul><ul><li>User testing is mandatory </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate prototypes until &quot;Wow!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Make students learn design, not design tools </li></ul><ul><li>Ban any intrusive prototyping tools </li></ul><ul><li>Use the Web as a resource </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalize on student specific experience </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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