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CM20216: Human-computer interaction

[Page last updated: 27 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Computer Science
Further information on credits Credits: 12      [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 240
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 50%)
  • Exam (EX 50%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
CM20216 - Individual Report (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CM10251 AND take CM10227 AND take CM10228
Description: Aims:
To provide students with a foundation in human-computer interaction as an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the design and use of interactive systems.
To introduce theories, principles and practices that underpin effective interaction design.
To equip students with approaches to data gathering and analysis that are appropriate for assessing the value of an interactive system.

Learning Outcomes:
On completion of this unit students will be able to:
1. explain principles of interaction design with the use of relevant examples drawn from their own design and evaluation work;
2. account for historical developments in Human-Computer Interaction with reference to human activity, needs and desires; to changes in technologies that support interaction, and to opportunities for future advancements in HCI;
3. describe and discuss the relative merits and problems with alternative forms of evidence-gathering and analysis in HCI;
4. construct representations of human activity and interaction using established techniques;
5. design a context-appropriate interactive system that provides effective, efficient and satisfactory support for the goals of a defined user group;
6. demonstrate understanding of principles of analytical and empirical evaluation through their application to the systematic evaluation of an interaction design.

Use of IT (T/F, A), Problem Solving (T/F, A), Working with Others (T/F, A), Communication (A).

Human-computer interaction - general foundations of field, including:
* fundamental drivers of historical developments in interactive systems, user interfaces and interactions.
* theoretical approaches to human perception, reasoning and problem solving as they relate to the design and use of interactive systems.
* models of interaction, inc. gulfs of execution and evaluation.
Contexts of interaction - introducing students to differences in level of demand placed on various aspects of human cognition and performance as a function of the type of interactive system they encounter.
Interaction design - approaches, processes and prototyping techniques.
Usability - introduction to the concept and principles.
Evidence in design and evaluation - data gathering and analysis inc. quantitative and qualitative models of empirical work.
Collaborative systems - special considerations for designing interactive systems to be used by groups of collaborators.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CM20216 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science
  • USCM-AFB06 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science (Year 2)
  • USCM-AAB07 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCM-AKB07 : BSc(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • USCM-AFM01 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science (Year 2)
  • USCM-AAM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCM-AKM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 2)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.