IT Systems: Cultural Context, Communication, Usability and Usability Evaluation

2022/2023

Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Disclaimer.
This is an English translation of the module. In case of discrepancy between the translation and the Danish version, the Danish version of the module is valid.

PURPOSE
To provide the student with insight into users' and IT systems' communicative aspects, as well as basic analytical skills in relation to describing and understanding IT-supported communication and interaction. This knowledge must be combined with an insight into basic principles of human-machine interaction and methods for assessing the usability of specific IT systems

REASONS
IT systems are communicative systems that facilitate the exchange of information and communication on several levels. However, IT systems are often difficult to use for users because the systems do not necessarily fit into the users' conceptual world and activities; these systems may be characterized by a low level of usability. Therefore, it is partly central to establish competencies to understand and analyze the importance of IT systems for how users interact with the systems. On the one hand, it is crucial to understand what a system's usability is and how it can be evaluated

CONTENTS:
The course is organized around two main elements:

  1. The course introduces the basic theories and concepts of human-machine interaction that relate to usability. It then reviews principles, methods and guidelines for usability evaluation of graphical user interfaces and how these are used to evaluate the usability of specific systems.
  2. The course introduces selected theories and methods that aim to adress and analyze the communicative dimensions of IT systems, as well as any consequences and possibilities for users and developers. The elements of the course are: basic communication theory and analysis, basic cultural theory and analysis as well as media theory in relation to digital media.

The course is run as a separate module in relation to the students' project work and choice of project.

Learning objectives

Knowledge

Knowledge of users and IT systems' communicative aspects, as well as basic analytical skills in relation to describing and understanding IT-supported communication and interaction.

This knowledge must be combined with an insight into basic principles of human-machine interaction and methods for assessing the usability of specific IT systems

Skills

  • be able to apply theory and method in relation to analysis of IT-supported communication
  • be able to decide how and with what effects are communicated through IT systems
  • be able to explain the concept of usability and explain the activities in a usability evaluation

Competences

  • have practiced the ability to think in optimal IT-based information and communication solutions
  • have practiced the ability to plan and perform a usability evaluation of a specific system

Type of instruction

The teaching is also organized in accordance with the general teaching methods for the education, cf. section 17.

Extent and expected workload

The student is expected to spend 27.5 hours per ECTS, which for this activity means 137.5 hours.

Exam

Exams

Name of examIT Systems: Cultural Context, Communication, Usability and Usability Evaluation
Type of exam
Written or oral exam
ECTS5
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Additional information

Contact: Study Board for Computer Science via cs-sn@cs.aau.dk or 9940 8854

Facts about the module

Danish titleIT-Systemer: Kulturel kontekst, kommunikation, brugbarhed og brugbarhedsevaluering
Module codeDSNBAITB114
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
SemesterAutumn
ECTS5
Language of instructionDanish and English
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module

Organisation

Study BoardStudy Board of Computer Science
DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
FacultyTechnical Faculty of IT and Design