Sunday, September 30, 2012

HCI Course | Initial Thoughts

With the gamification almost over (this coming week is the final week), the Human Computer Interaction course on Coursera is just starting! Back in the day (2003-ish) I was finishing off my undergraduate degree in computer science and one of my final courses was a graduate course on User Interface Design, which I really enjoyed! I liked the subject matter, and the course was taught by a professor that I really liked (he was quite talented!).  In any case, I guess that about high time that I got back into it!

Right off the bat I noticed three things:

1. There are fewer videos each week as compared to gamification;
2. Scott Klemmer is quite different from Kevin Werback in presentation style;
3. There are three levels of certification in the course.


This course runs for 8 weeks as opposed to 5 in gamification, and each week the videos seem to run for about an hour in total (as opposed to 2 in gamification). I actually didn't mind the 2 hours of video each week in gamification, I actually liked it.  I don't know why people were complaining :-)  I just wish I had access to them on Sundays, instead of Mondays, so I can view things before my work-week started :-)

As far as speaking and presentation styles go, I will have to get back to you on what I think of Scott :-)  He seems like an interesting professor, but I really liked Kevin's videos in gamification. He spoke as if there were an audience there live with him, whereas Scott seems like he is having a soliloquy (or he is Captain Kirk :-)  ) It will be quite interesting to see if his style changes throughout the course.

Finally, in terms of certification:
Apprentice track
Weekly quizzes (100%). Students who achieve a reasonable fraction of this (~80%) will receive a statement of accomplishment from us, certifying that you successfully completed the apprentice track.
Studio Track
Weekly assignments (culminating in design project) (worth 67%) and quizzes (worth 33%). Students who achieve a reasonable fraction of this (~80%) will receive a statement of accomplishment from us, certifying that you successfully completed the studio track.
Studio Practicum ONLY available to students who have previously completed the Studio Track. Weekly assignments (culminating in design project) (worth 100%). This practicum is designed for students seeking to continue developing their design skills through an additional iteration of assignments. Students who achieve a reasonable fraction of this (~80%) will receive a statement of accomplishment from us, certifying that you successfully completed the studio practicum.

I think that personally I will aim for Apprentice, and if I happen to have time, I will shoot for the Studio Track as well. The apprentice track (watch videos, respond to quizzes) should be easy.  Depending on what the assignments are, and how much time is involved, the Studio track may be a good extension, or it may be an incredible time-sink :-)

I am excited about this course!
Now...I just need to carve out time for my two current research papers....
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