OMS CS6750: Human-Computer Interaction – Spring 2018

This page provides information about the Georgia Tech OMS CS6750 class on Human-Computer Interaction relevant only to the Spring 2018 semester. Note that this page is subject to change at any time. The Spring 2018 semester of the OMS CS6750 class will begin on January 8, 2018. 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.

Quick Links

To help with navigation, here are some of the links you’ll be using frequently in this course:

Course Calendar At-A-Glance

Below is the calendar for the Spring 2018 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 OfLessonsDeliverableAssignment Due Date
101/08/20181.1, 1.2, 1.3Introductions, Start-of-Course Survey01/14/2018
201/15/20182.1, 2.2Assignment P101/21/2018
301/22/20183.1, 3.2, 3.3Assignment M1, CITI Training, Peer Feedback01/28/2018
401/29/20182.3, 2.4Assignment P2, Peer Feedback02/04/2018
502/05/20183.4Assignment M2, Quarter-Course Survey, Peer Feedback02/11/2018
602/12/20182.5, 2.6Assignment P3, Peer Feedback02/18/2018
702/19/20183.5Assignment M3, Test 1, Peer Feedback02/25/2018
802/26/20182.7, 2.8Assignment P4, Peer Feedback03/04/2018
903/05/20183.6Assignment M4, Mid-Course Survey, Peer Feedback03/11/2018
1003/12/20182.9, 2.10Assignment P5, Peer Feedback03/18/2018
1103/19/20183.7Assignment M5, Peer Feedback03/25/2018
1203/26/20183.8Project P, Project M Check-In, Peer Feedback04/01/2018
1304/02/20184.1Project M Check-In, Peer Feedback04/08/2018
1404/09/20184.2Test 2, Project M Check-In, Peer Feedback04/15/2018
1504/16/20184.3Project M Check-In, Peer Feedback04/22/2018
1604/23/20185.1Project M, Peer Feedback04/29/2018
1704/30/20185.2, 5.3Peer Feedback, End-of-Course Survey, CIOS Survey05/06/2018

Given above are the numeric labels for each lesson. For reference, here are those lessons’ titles:

Unit 1: Introduction

  • 1.1 Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction
  • 1.2 Introduction to CS6750
  • 1.3 Exploring HCI

Unit 2: Principles

  • 2.1 Introduction to Principles
  • 2.2 Feedback Cycles
  • 2.3 Direct Manipulation and Invisible Interfaces
  • 2.4 Human Abilities
  • 2.5 Design Principles and Heuristics
  • 2.6 Mental Models and Representations
  • 2.7 Task Analysis
  • 2.8 Distributed Cognition
  • 2.9 Interfaces and Politics
  • 2.10 Conclusion to Principles
Unit 3: Methods

  • 3.1 Introduction to Methods
  • 3.2 Ethics and Human Research
  • 3.3 Needfinding and Requirements Gathering
  • 3.4 Design Alternatives
  • 3.5 Prototyping
  • 3.6 Evaluation
  • 3.7 HCI and Agile Development
  • 3.8 Conclusion to Methods

Unit 4: Applications

Unit 5: Conclusion

  • 5.1 Course Recap
  • 5.2 Related Fields
  • 5.3 Next Steps

Course Assessments

Your grade in this class is generally made of four components: ten assignments, two tests, two projects, and participation. All assignments and projects are graded on a letter grade scale: A, B, C, D, or F. Tests and participation are graded on a raw numeric scale. For full details on final grade calculations, please see the course grading policy.

Written Assignments (30%)

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 30% of your grade; thus, each assignment is worth 3% of your grade.

Tests (30%)

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, and grades are given on a numeric (non-letter grade) scale. 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 the second half of each unit (Lessons 2.7 through 2.10 and 3.5 through 3.8). Each test is worth 15% of your overall grade. The tests are proctored via Proctortrack.

Projects (30%)

There are two projects in this class: an individual Project P and a team Project M, each worth 15% of your overall grade. Project P is due in week 12, and Project M is due in week 16. In Project P, you will individually take an interface with which you are familiar, perform a usability evaluation of the interface, redesign the interface based on that evaluation, and justify the redesign based on the principles covered in Unit 2. Project P ties together everything you learned in Unit 2 and the P Assignments. In Project M, as a team you will conduct user research, produce prototypes, and evaluate those prototypes with potential users. All work this semester is to be completed individually except Project M. At the conclusion, you will deliver a final project as a team that contains your results from needfinding, prototyping, and evaluating, and your recommended steps forward. Project M ties together everything you learned in Unit 3 and the M Assignments.

Participation (10%)

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 three ways: by completing peer reviews, by participating in one another’s surveys and interviews, and by participating in discussions on Piazza. In order to support rapid feedback, additional incentives are built in to complete peer reviews quickly. Note that all three types of participation are graded not only on their quantity, but also on their quality; peer reviews and Piazza 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.

Course Policies

The following policies are binding for this course.

Official Course Communication

You are responsible for knowing the following information:

  1. Anything posted to this syllabus (including the pages linked from here, such as the general course landing page).
  2. Anything emailed directly to you by the teaching team (including announcements via Piazza), 24 hours after receiving such an email.

Because Piazza announcements are emailed to you as well, you need only to check your Georgia Tech email once every 24 hours to remain up-to-date on new information during the semester. 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 Piazza to help with collaboration among the teaching team, but we understand Piazza is not ideal for having information “pushed” to you. We may contact you via a private Piazza 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 Piazza 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.

Office Hours

This class uses the chat tool Slack for its office hours. Slack is a popular team communication chat tool that allows conversations in public rooms, private rooms, and private messages. You can sign up for the student Slack community at Slack office hours are not scheduled at specific times; instead, the instructor is usually available on Slack throughout the day and responds quickly. In general, you may ask questions in the public #office-hours room, or message him directly. When necessary, Hangouts, Skype calls, or other forms of conversation can be launched from within Slack. If you are not comfortable signing up for Slack to participate in Slack office hours, you may also feel free to email or post privately on Piazza to set up a chat via an alternate technology.

Late Work

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. Thus, we cannot accept any late work in this class. All assignments must be submitted by the posted deadlines. We have made the descriptions of all assignments available on the first day of class so that if there are expected interruptions (business trips, family vacations, etc.), you can complete the work ahead of time. If you have technical difficulties submitting the assignment to Canvas, post privately to Piazza immediately and attach your submission. If you have an emergency and absolutely cannot submit an assignment by the posted deadlines, 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. You may find information on contacting the Dean of Students with regard to personal emergencies here: 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. Justifiable excuses here would involve any major unforeseen disruption to your classwork, such as illnesses, injuries, deaths, and births, all for either you or your family. Note that for foreseen but unavoidable conflicts, like weddings, business trips, and conferences, you should complete your work in advance; this is why we have made sure to provide all assignment and project resources in advance. If you have such a conflict specifically with the tests, let us know and we’ll try to work with you.

Academic Honesty

In general, we strongly encourage collaboration in this class. You are encouraged to discuss the course material, the exercises, the written assignments, and project with your classmates, both before and after assignments and projects are due. Similarly, we will be posting the best assignments for public viewing so you may learn from the success of others’ designs. However, we draw a firm line regarding what copying is permissible in your assignments. Specifically, you must adhere to the following rules:

  • Any content that is copied or barely paraphrased from existing literature in HCI must be cited, both in the references at the conclusion of your assignment and in-line where the borrowed material appears. Failing to provide in-line citations for borrowed material will be regarded as plagiarism even if the source is provided in the references. This applies to figures as well as text, including those figures that are part of this course’s material.
  • Do not copy any content from other students in current or previous semesters of HCI, even if cited.

In all written work, sources should be cited in APA style, both in-line and at the end of the document. Please consult the Purdue OWL for information on when and how to cite sources in research. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask!


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 Piazza (especially if you want to gather input from others in the class), give us feedback on the surveys, or contact us directly via private Piazza messages.