Assignment P4 (Spring 2017)

Due: Sunday, February 12th, 2017, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lessons 2.7 (Task Analysis) and 2.8 (Distributed Cognition).

Assignment Instructions

Select and answer three of the following four questions in a maximum of 400 words each (unless stated otherwise); if you supply more than 400 words, the grader will stop reading at the 400th word, and you will not receive credit for anything written after that. Clearly delineate where each answer starts and ends. You are encouraged but not required to complement your responses with diagrams, drawings, pictures, etc.; these do not count against the word limit, though any captions, text in tables, etc. does.

  1. Create a thorough GOMS model for contacting a professor to ask for explanation of a grade. In doing so, make sure to (a) identify the initial situation, (b) describe the selection rules, (c) outline several methods, (d) identify the operators that comprise those methods, and (e) describe the ultimate goal. The selection rules can be provided as text alongside or below the model, but otherwise, your model should stand on its own; there should be no text supporting the answer to this question.
  2. Create a hierarchical task analysis of the task of completing this assignment. This task analysis should cover everything from the initial reading of this assignment to receiving the grade. We would expect an adequately sufficient analysis to have at least five top-level tasks and at least three levels of hierarchy. Your model should stand on its own; there should be no paragraphs of text supporting the answer to this question. However, text can be placed within the model to annotate, explain, or enhance the model’s contents.
  3. Imagine a time before GPS navigation was as widespread as it is now, and think of the system for navigation comprised by two individuals (a married couple), a map, and any other artifacts the individuals generate. Analyze this system from the perspective of distributed cognition: what cognitive activities, including perception, memory, reasoning, and acting, does each part of the system perform (~200 words)? Then, examine this same situation from the perspective of social cognition. What does social cognition reveal about the situation that distributed cognition does not (~150 words)?
  4. Distributed cognition is a lens through which we can view HCI. Take any interface you’ve described in a previous assignment for this class and analyze it from the perspective of distributed cognition. First, identify and briefly describe the interface you’ve chosen (~75 words). Then, describe the pieces of the system (~75 words). Then, describe what cognitive tasks are performed by each member of the system, both human and artifact alike (~200 words). The best answers will choose interfaces that touch on multiple cognitive roles in the non-human portions of the system.

Submission Instructions

Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment on T-Square in accordance with the Assignment Submission Instructions. Most importantly, you should submit a single PDF for each assignment. This PDF will be ported over to Peer Feedback for peer review by your classmates. If your assignment involves things (like videos, working software prototypes, etc.) that cannot be provided in PDF, you should provide them separately (either through the class Resources folder or your own upload destination) and submit a PDF that describes how to access the assignment.

This is an individual assignment. Every student should submit an assignment individually.

Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.

Grading Information

You are to choose three of the four questions above to answer, and each question is graded out of 5 possible points; thus, the assignment as a whole is graded out of 15 possible points. If you answer more than three questions, the first three will be graded. Your grade and feedback will be returned to you via T-Square. An announcement will be made via Piazza when grades are returned.

Peer Review

After submission, your assignment will be ported to Peer Feedback for review by your classmates. Grading is not the primary function of this peer review process; the primary function is simply to give you the opportunity to read and comment on your classmates’ ideas, and receive additional feedback on your own. All grades will come from the graders alone.

You will typically be assigned three classmates to review. Peer reviews are due one week after the due date of the assignment, and count towards your peer review grade. Remember, peer reviews are graded not just based on completion, but also based on feedback quality. Each peer review should be substantive, whether in the way it critiques, praises, or elaborates on the assignment.