OMS CS6750: Human-Computer Interaction — Fall 2021
This page provides information about the Georgia Tech OMS CS6750 class on Human-Computer Interaction relevant only to the Fall 2021 semester. Note that this page is subject to change at any time. The Fall 2021 semester of the OMS CS6750 class will begin on August 23, 2021. Below, find the course’s calendar, grading criteria, and other information. For more complete information about the course’s requirements and learning objectives, please see the general CS6750 page.
To help with navigation, here are some of the links you’ll be using frequently in this course:
- Tools: Canvas | Peer Feedback | PeerSurvey
- Class Pages: CS6750 Home | Fall 2021 Syllabus | Fall 2021 Full Calendar | Required Reading List | Course FAQ | Class Participation
- Principles Assignments: Assignment P1 | Assignment P2 | Assignment P3 | Assignment P4 | Assignment P5
- Methods Assignments: Assignment M1 | Assignment M2 | Assignment M3 | Assignment M4 | Assignment M5
- Project Assignments: CITI Training | Project
- Additional Resources: Course Scripts | Course Slides | Transcripts with Visuals
Course Calendar At-A-Glance
Below is the calendar for the Fall 2021 OMS CS6750 class. Note that assignment due dates are all Sundays at 11:59PM Anywhere on Earth time. For the complete course calendar, please see the Full Course Calendar.
|Week #||Week Of||Lessons||Deliverable||Assignment Due Date|
|1||08/23/2021||1.1, 1.2, 1.3||Introductions, Start-of-Course Survey||08/29/2021|
|2||08/30/2021||2.1, 2.2||Assignment P1||09/05/2021|
|3||09/06/2021||3.1, 3.2, 3.3||Assignment M1, CITI Training||09/12/2021|
|4||09/13/2021||2.3, 2.4||Assignment P2||09/19/2021|
|5||09/20/2021||3.4||Assignment M2, Quarter-Course Survey||09/26/2021|
|6||09/27/2021||2.5, 2.6||Assignment P3||10/03/2021|
|8||10/11/2021||2.7, 2.8||Assignment P4, Test 1||10/17/2021|
|9||10/18/2021||3.6||Assignment M4, Mid-Course Survey||10/24/2021|
|10||10/25/2021||2.9, 2.10||Assignment P5||10/31/2021|
|12||11/08/2021||3.8||Project Check-In 1||11/14/2021|
|13||11/15/2021||4.1||Project Check-In 2||11/21/2021|
|14||11/22/2021||4.2||Project Check-In 3||11/28/2021|
|17||12/13/2021||5.2, 5.3||End-of-Course Survey, CIOS Survey||12/19/2021|
Given above are the numeric labels for each lesson. For reference, here are those lessons’ titles:
Unit 1: Introduction
Unit 2: Principles
Unit 3: Methods
Unit 4: Applications
Unit 5: Conclusion
Your grade in this class is generally made of four components: ten assignments, two tests, one project, and participation.
Final grades will be calculated as an average of all individual grade components, weighted according to the percentages below. Students receiving a final average of 90 or above will receive an A; of 80 to 90 will receive a B; of 70 to 80 will receive a C; of 60 to 70 will receive a D; and of below 60 will receive an F. There is no curve. It is intentionally possible for every student in the class to receive an A.
Written Assignments (40%)
There are ten written assignments in the course: five P assignments and five M assignments. The P assignments (P1, P2, P3, P4, P5) are Principles assignments and cover the material covered in Unit 2. Each Principles assignment asks you to answer four provided questions, each of which is weighted equally. The M assignments (M1, M2, M3, M4, M5) are Methods assignments and cover the material in Unit 3. Each Methods assignment asks for a more thorough plan for performing user research and prototyping interfaces. These ten total assignments together comprise 40% of your grade; thus, each assignment is worth 4% of your grade. All assignments should be written using JDF.
There are two proctored tests in this course, each with 30 questions. Each question is multiple-choice, multiple-correct with five choices and between 1 and 4 correct answers. Partial credit is awarded. The interleaved schedule alternates between Unit 2 and Unit 3; as such, Test 1 covers the first half of each unit (Lessons 2.1 through 2.6 and 3.1 through 3.4), and Test 2 covers roughly the second half of each unit (Lessons 2.7 through 2.10 and 3.5 through 3.8). Note that while Test 2 does not ask any questions about Test 1’s material directly, there may be questions that rely on knowledge from older material as well. Each test is worth 15% of your overall grade. The tests are delivered via Canvas and proctored via Honorlock.
There is one final project in this class. In this final project, you’ll move through one iteration of the design life cycle on a new target domain. You’ll perform needfinding, brainstorm design alternatives, prototype at least one alternative, and evaluate it. Along the way, you’ll submit three check-ins: these should summarize the results of your needfinding (the first check-in), the prototypes you develop (the second check-in), and your evaluation plan (the third check-in). These check-ins may be considered drafts of the corresponding sections of your final project deliverable; as such, they are only graded for completion, and each missed check-in will result in a 10% deduction on your final project grade. The project is worth 20% of your final grade. The project should be written using JDF.
HCI is a deeply collaborative field, and there is no better way to learn than to interact with your peers, to participate in one another’s usability studies, and to see the variety of approaches taken by your classmates to the class’s assignments. Thus, participation credit may be earned in one of several ways, including by completing peer reviews, by participating in one another’s surveys and interviews, and by participating in discussions on the course forum. In order to support rapid feedback, additional incentives are built in to complete peer reviews quickly. Note that all types of participation are graded not only on their quantity, but also on their quality; peer reviews and the course forum contributions only receive credit if they are substantive, and participation in peers’ studies receives differing amounts of credit based on the effort involved. Participation grades are numeric, not letter grades.
The following policies are binding for this course.
Official Course Communication
You are responsible for knowing the following information:
- Anything posted to this syllabus (including the pages linked from here, such as the general course landing page).
- Anything emailed directly to you by the teaching team (including announcements via the course forum or Canvas), 24 hours after receiving such an email.
Generally speaking, we will post announcements via Canvas and cross-post their content to the course forum; you should thus ensure that your Canvas settings are such that you receive these announcements promptly, ideally via email (in addition to other mechanisms if you’d like). Georgia Tech generally recommends students to check their Georgia Tech email once every 24 hours. So, if an announcement or message is time sensitive, you will not be responsible for the contents of the announcement until 24 hours after it has been sent.
We generally prefer to handle communication via the course forum to help with collaboration among the teaching team, but we understand the course forum is not ideal for having information “pushed” to you. We may contact you via a private the course forum post instead of an email, but if we do so, we will choose to send email notifications immediately, bypassing your individual settings, in order to ensure you’re alerted. As such, this type of communication will also spring under #2 above.
Note that this means you won’t be responsible for knowing information communicated in several other methods we’ll be using. You aren’t responsible for knowing anything posted to the course forum that isn’t linked from an official announcement. You aren’t responsible for anything said in Slack or other third-party sites we may sometimes use to communicate with students. You don’t need to worry about missing critical information so long as you keep up with your email and understand the documents on this web site. This also applies in reverse: we do not monitor our Canvas message boxes and we may not respond to direct emails. We are committed to reading all top-level posts that are visible to all instructors, and to reading any follow-up in which we are tagged; while we will try to keep up with ongoing conversations, we cannot commit to reading posts beyond these two types. If you need to get in touch with the course staff, please post privately to the course forum (either to all Instructors or to an instructor individually) or tag the instructor in the relevant post.
Communicating with Instructors and TAs
Communication with the course teaching team should be handled via the discussion forum. If your question is relevant to the entire class, you should ask it publicly; if your question is specific to you, such as a question about your specific grade or submission, you should ask it privately.
Our workflow is to regularly filter the forum for Unresolved posts, which includes top-level threads with no answer accepted by the original poster, as well as mega-threads with unresolved follow-ups. If your question requires an official answer or follow-up from an instructor or teaching assistant, make sure that it is posted as either a Question or as a follow-up to a mega-thread, and that it is marked Unresolved. Once an instructor or TA has answered your question, it will automatically be marked as Resolved; if you require further assistance, you are welcome to add a follow-up, but make sure to unmark the question as Resolved in order to make sure that it is seen by a member of the teaching team.
Similarly, in order to keep the forum organized, please post as a Post or Note instead of a Question if your question does not require an official response from the teaching team. For example, if you are interested in getting multiple perspective from classmates, getting feedback on your ideas, or having a discussion that does not have a single answer, please use Post or Note instead of Question. Please reserve Question threads for questions that will likely have a single official response. TAs and instructors will regularly convert Questions to Posts or Notes that do not need a single official answer, but it will save time and allow them to focus their attention on other students if you correctly categorize your post in the first place.
Running such a large class involves a detailed workflow for assigning assignments to graders, grading those assignments, and returning those grades. As such, work that does not enter into that workflow presents a major delay. We have taken steps to limit as much as possible the need to ever submit work late: we have made the descriptions of all assignments available on the first day of class so that if there are expected interruptions (such as like weddings, business trips, and conferences), you can complete the work ahead of time. If you have technical difficulties submitting the assignment to Canvas by the deadline, post privately to the course forum immediately and attach your submission. Then, submit it to Canvas as soon as you can thereafter.
If due to a personal emergency, health emergency, family emergency, or other unforeseeable life event you find you are unable to complete an assignment on time, please post privately to the course forum with information regarding the emergency. Depending on your unique situation, we will share guidance on how to proceed; if the emergency is projected to delay a significant quantity of the work required for the class, we may recommend withdrawing and reattempting the class at a later date. If the emergency will likely only impact a small amount of the course, we may be able to accept the work late as a one-time exception. If the emergency takes place once you have already completed a significant fraction of the coursework, we may offer an Incomplete grade to allow you to finish the class after the semester is over.
Note that depending on the nature and significance of the request, we may require documentation from the Dean of Students office that the emergency is sufficient to justify offering an incomplete grade or accepting late work. Note also that regardless of the reason, we also cannot promise any particular turnaround time for grading work that was approved to be submitted late; it may be that grades and feedback will not be returned before the end of the term, and it may be that a temporary grade of Incomplete must be entered to leave time to grade work that was accepted late.
If you are not comfortable sharing with us the nature of an emergency, or if you need more comprehensive advocacy, we ask you to go through the Dean of Students’ office regarding class absences. The Dean of Students is equipped to address emergencies that we lack the resources to address. Additionally, the Dean of Students office can coordinate with you and alert all your classes together instead of requiring you to contact each professor individually. The Dean of Students is there to be an advocate and partner for you when you’re in a crisis; we wholeheartedly recommend taking advantage of this resource if you are in need. You may find information on contacting the Dean of Students with regard to personal emergencies here: https://gatech-advocate.symplicity.com/care_report/
All students in the class are expected to know and abide by the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code. Specifically for us, the following academic honesty policies are binding for this class:
- In written essays, all sources are expected to be cited according to APA style, both in-line with quotation marks and at the end of the document. You should consult the Purdue OWL Research and Citation Resources for proper citation practices, especially the following pages: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing, Paraphrasing, Avoiding Plagiarism Overview, Is It Plagiarism?, and Safe Practices. You should also consult our dedicated pages (from another course) on how to use citations and how to avoid plagiarism.
- Any non-original figures must similarly be cited. If you borrow an existing figure and modify it, you must still cite the original figure. It must be obvious what portion of your submission is your own creation.
- In written essays, you may not copy any content from any current or previous student in this class, regardless of whether you cite it or not.
- During exams, you are prohibited from interacting directly with any other person on the topic of the exam material. This includes posting on forums, sending emails or text messages, talking in person or on the phone, or any other mechanism that would allow you to receive live input from another person.
- You may not post the work that you submit for this class publicly either during or after the semester is concluded. We understand that the work you submit for this class may be valuable for job opportunities, personal web sites, etc.; you are welcome to write about what you did for this class, and to provide the actual work privately when requested, but we ask that you do not make your actual submissions or code publicly available; this is to reduce the likelihood of future students plagiarizing your work. Similarly, unless you notify us otherwise, by participating in this class you authorize us to pursue the removal of your content if it is discovered on any public assignment repositories, especially if it is clearly contributed there by someone else.
There is one exception to these policies: unless you are quoting the course videos directly, you are not required to cite content borrowed from the course itself (such as figures in videos, topics in the video, etc.). The assumption is that the reader knows what you write is based on your participation in this class, thus references to course material are not inferred to be claiming credit for the course content itself.
These policies, including the rules on all pages linked in this section, are binding for the class. Any violations of this policy will be subject to the institute’s Academic Integrity procedures, which may include a 0 grade on assignments found to contain violations; additional grade penalties; and academic probation or dismissal.
Note that if you are accused of academic misconduct, you are not permitted to withdraw from the class until the accusation is resolved; if you are found to have participated in misconduct, you will not be allowed to withdraw for the duration of the semester. If you do so anyway, you will be forcibly re-enrolled without any opportunity to make up work you may have missed while illegally withdrawn.
Every semester, we make changes and tweaks to the course formula. As a result, every semester we try some new things, and some of these things may not work. We ask your patience and support as we figure things out, and in return, we promise that we, too, will be fair and understanding, especially with anything that might impact your grade or performance in the class. Second, we want to consistently get feedback on how we can improve and expand the course for future iterations. You can take advantage of the feedback box on the course forum (especially if you want to gather input from others in the class), give us feedback on the surveys, or contact us directly via private the course forum messages.