187.A68 User Research Methods
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2018W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form

Properties

  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise

Aim of course

To gain a basic understanding of qualitative and quantitative methods, and related theories where relevant, and how to critically apply these for the purposes of design and evaluation of technology.

By the end of this course students will

  • Understand the relative strengths of qualitative and quantitative research methods for the purposes of design
  • understand the advantages, disadvantages and basic techniques of a range of qualitative research methods and associated theories as relevant
  • be able to critically choose, apply and reflect on the use of methods in practice
  • understand the basic principles of quantitative methods
  • be able to critically choose, apply and reflect on basic quantitative methods in practice
  • be able to conduct collaborative user research
  • be able to analyse user data and derive insights for design

Subject of course

[NOTE: it is essential that ALL students attend ALL of the intensive blocked sessions, which are front loaded to October]

Understanding and applying user research methods that contribute to a better understanding of people and their use contexts in order to better develop, design and evaluate interactive products and systems.

1. Core qualitative user research skills

Data collection/user study

- Observation, Interview; Data analysis of qualitative data using an affinity mapping / thematic analysis approach

2. Additional qualitative and participatory methods, and theories:

Data collection: - using video; experience sampling method (and other logging methods); bio/physiological sensing, eye tracking; online ethnography 

Moving to design insights

Theories:- drawn from: embodiment / tangible interaction framework; distributed cognition; critical theory; activity theory; conversation analysis / ethnomethodology; grounded theory

3. Basics of quantitative methods

- survey/questionnaire design; descriptive statistics; lab-based user studies; experimental studies

 

Additional information

Teaching method:

A mixed methods approach will be used involving a significant amount of small group work and learning by doing and reflecting:

- reviewing literature and identifying key themes/approaches

- in-class presentations, discussions and reflections

- in-class exercises using a running 'small' group project throughout the semester

[Companion PR course] final large group project where students apply methods to a topic of their own choosing, with an emphasis on user research, and taking it through to some design recommendations and/or prototypes.

ECTS Breakdown: 3ECTS = 75 hour

  • 28 hrs - In-class blocked sessions
  • 6 hrs - Reading
  • 13 hrs  - Group exercises (including production of wiki documentation as an integral part of the work)
  • 4 hrs - Quiz (including preparation)
  • 1.5 hrs - Quiz
  • 9 hrs - Report 1
  • 3 hrs - Report 2
  • 12 hrs - Final report

[Note: core content of the course will be delivered via blocked sessions heavily weighted in Oct. Many of the sessions in Nov-Jan will be for your own work with no formal class, where you can still use the seminar room space for group work. Dates of actual meetings will be confirmed in opening lecture]

Note: the room will be booked for 4 hours but the duration of the blocked sessions within this time will be variable depending on topic (eg some days 2hrs, others 4 hrs, most will be 3 hrs)

Lecturers

Institute

Course dates

DayTimeDateLocationDescription
Wed09:00 - 10:0003.10.2018 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. floor)Introduction of PR work
Mon09:00 - 13:0008.10.2018 - 07.01.2019 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Wed09:00 - 13:0010.10.2018 - 31.10.2018 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Stock)Blocked Session
User Research Methods - Single appointments
DayDateTimeLocationDescription
Wed03.10.201809:00 - 10:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. floor)Introduction of PR work
Mon08.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Wed10.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Stock)Blocked Session
Mon15.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Wed17.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Stock)Blocked Session
Mon22.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Wed24.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Stock)Blocked Session
Mon29.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Wed31.10.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Stock)Blocked Session
Mon05.11.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)[No lecture - available for own work]
Mon12.11.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Mon26.11.201809:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Quant Quiz
Mon07.01.201909:00 - 13:00 Argentinierstr 8 193-5 Library (2. Floor)Blocked session
Course is held blocked

Examination modalities

Assessment will be based on:

In-class quiz (20%), Written report (15%), Written peer-review (15%), Contributions/short reflection report (10%) and Final Essay (40%).

Note: all components of the assessment have to be passed to receive an overall pass mark. Once the first assessment is submitted, a certificate will be issued at end of term.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
03.09.2018 09:00 11.10.2018 23:30 23.10.2018 23:00

Precondition

The student has to be enrolled for at least one of the studies listed below

Curricula

Study CodeSemesterPrecon.Info
066 645 Data Science
066 935 Media and Human-Centered Computing 1. Semester

Literature

No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Students should have completed their Bachelors degree and be enrolled in Masters. Priority will be given to Media Informatics Masters students if the course is oversubscribed.

Accompanying courses

Miscellaneous

Language

English