Current Topics in Media Computing and Human–Computer Interaction

This lecture will be available on iTunes U.


This class covers basic research methods and current research trends in Human–Computer Interaction and Media Computing. We use a mix of recent book chapters and papers from conferences and journals of the last few years to give you an idea of how HCI research is conducted, and of the hot topics that are being worked on in the international research community. Examples from past years include interactive surfaces, tangible user interfaces, hybrid documents, human computation, gestural input, and personal fabrication. The class explains the differences between empirical, ethnographic and systems research in HCI, and how to quickly retrieve and evaluate information from existing literature, a skill you will need for your Master's thesis and future research work in HCI.


  • 31.05.16 There will be no lab tomorrow (01.06.16)
  • 18.04.16 You can increase your chances for a spot in the class by handing in the Declaration of Compliance in the first lecture or the first lab!
  • L2P: Link (Will be open after the first lab)
  • CAMPUS: Link
  • First lecture: April 19, 10:15am, room 2222. Can't register? We will solve your problem in the first lab on April 20th.


For any questions about the class, contact Philipp Wacker.

Class Times and Locations

LectureTue 10:15h – 11:45hRoom 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lecture on 19.04.16
LabWed 14:15h – 15:45hRoom 2222, Ahornstr. 55 First lab on 20.04.16

Syllabus - click for full size (last updated Apr 15, 2016)


LectureTopicPresenterLabTopicReading AssignmentWritten Assignment
19.04.Research Literacy 1: Research Approaches in HCI

Slides: S01 Research approaches in HCI
Jan20.04.Paper reading and identifying contribution types

[Declaration of compliance]

Slides: L01 Paper reading and identifying contribution types
• (Wobbrock, 2014) Research Contribution Types in Human Computer Interaction

• (Griswold, n.d.) How to Read an Engineering Research Paper
A01: Search, Classify, and Summarize

Draft: Apr. 27, 6:00 AM
Peer review: Apr. 27–May 02
Final submission: May 04, 6:00 AM

A01 Search, Classify, and Summarize
26.04.Research Literacy 2: Experimental Research (Case study: Text Entry Research)

Slides: S02 Experimental Research (Topic - Text Entry) (full)
Jan27.04.Literature searching and contributions & benefit statement

Slides: L02 Contribution and Benefit Statement
• (MacKenzie, 2007) Evaluation of Text Entry Techniques

• (Wobbrock, 2007) Measures of Text Entry Performance

• (Vertanen & Kristensson, TOCHI 2014) Complementing text entry evaluations with a composition task
A01 Peer review: Apr. 27–May 02

A01 Peer feedback

Final submission: May 04, 6:00 AM
03.05.No lecture04.05.Designing experimental user studies

Slides: L03 Designing experimental user studies
• (McGrath, 1994) Methodology matters
A02: Reverse-engineering User Study Protocol

Draft: May 11, 6:00 AM
Peer review: May. 11–16, 6:00 AM
Final submission: May. 18, 6:00 AM

A02 Reverse engineering user studies
A02 Peer feedback
10.05.Research Literacy 3: Understanding Statistics in HCI Research

Slides: S03 Understanding Statistics in HCI Research
• (Cumming et al., 2005) Inference by eye

• (Delmas et al., 2005) Reading and Interpreting Graphical Representations of Distributions

• Interpreting graphs -- (optional) exercise

• (Yatani) Statistical methods for HCI research

• (Wobbrock) Practical statistics for HCI

• (Cumming) Exploratory Software for Confidence Intervals (under 'The software')
24.05.Topic 1: Textiles

Slides: S04 Interactive Textiles.pdf
Nur25.05.Writing a review for papers

Slides:L04 Writing a review
(Holleis et al., CHI 2008) Evaluating capacitive touch input on clothes.

(Karrer et al. CHI 2011) Pinstripe: eyes-free continuous input on interactive clothing.

(Profita et al., ISCW 2013) Don't mind me touching my wrist: a case study of interacting with on-body technology in public.
A03: Writing reviews for scientific articles

Draft: June 01, 6:00 AM
Peer review: June 01-06, 6:00 AM
Final submission: June 08, 6:00 AM

A03 Writing reviews for scientific articles
31.05.Topic 2: HCI Research in Augmented Reality

Slides: S05 HCI Research in Augmented Reality
Phil01.06. No Lab Required:
• (Möller et al., CHI 2014) Experimental evaluation of user interfaces for visual indoor navigation

• (Grubert et al., CHI 2015) MultiFi: Multi Fidelity Interaction with Displays On and Around the Body
A03 Peer review: June 01–06, 6:00 AM
Final submission: June 08, 6:00 AM
07.06.Topic 3: Personal Fabrication

Slides: S06 Personal Fabrication
Jan08.06.Midterm Preparation

Slides:L06 Midterm prep
14.06.Midterm examPhil and Nur15.06.Midterm exam discussion and A04 kick-offA04 Mini research project:

Group formation:Jun. 20, 6:00 AM
Part 1: Research questions Jun. 22, 6:00 AM

A04 Mini HCI Research Experiment
21.06.Topic 4: HCI Design Patterns

Slides: S07 HCI Design Patterns (Full)
Jan22.06. A04 Part 1 group appointmentsResearch question for 'Analog vs. Digital'
28.06.Topic 4 continuedJan29.06.No labRequired:
• (Dearden, Finlay, Human–Computer Interaction, Vol. 21, Iss. 1, 2006) Pattern Languages in HCI: A Critical Review
Experiment protocol
05.07.Topic 5: Interactive Museum Guide Systems

Slides: S08 Interactive Museum Guide Systems
Phil22.06. A04 Group appointmentsRequired:
• (Lanir et al., 2011) Examining proactiveness and choice in a location-aware mobile museum guide
Pilot study appointments
12.07 Topic 6-1: Multi-Touch Surfaces

Slides: S09 Multi-Touch Surfaces
Simon 13.07.Final exam preparation lab
Slides: Final Exam Preparation
19.07.Topic 6-2: Tangibles on Interactive Surfaces

Slides: S10 Tangibles on Tabletops
Christian20.07. Final Project Presentations Final report submission: 21.07.

Course Allocation

ECTS Credits: 6
Course language: English throughout (for all lectures, assignments, submissions, and exams)

The primary audience for this class are Master students of Computer Science, Media Informatics, Software Systems Engineering, and Technical Communication. For a full list of eligible programs, see CAMPUS.

Course Registration

Dates What to doRemarks
08.3. – 20.4.16Register for the lecture in CAMPUS System • Only 30 40 seats are available on this course due to limited resource for the lab.
• We will allocate the slots based on students' background in HCI and in our previous courses.
• You can increase your chances by handing in the Declaration of Compliance in the first lecture or first lab.
• TK students with PO 2010 and students from other majors: drop Phil an email for registration.
20.04.16Registration result announcement. Make sure that you have access to L2p L2P.
27.05.16Last date to deregister from course and exam
Before 20.05.16Register for the exam


MidtermTue 14.06.2016, 10:15h – 12:30h Room AH 4, Ahornstr. 55 (ONLY)
Final (1st Chance) Tue 02.08.2016, 10:00h – 12:00h Room AH 6, Ahornstr. 55
Final (2nd Chance) Tue 16.08.2015, 10:00h – 11:30h Room 2222, Ahornstr. 55

Missing the Midterm

If you cannot attend the midterm for valid reasons (medical reason, exam schedule conflicts), you need to inform us before the midterm, and submit a scanned copy of the evidence (medical certificate, course registration, boarding passes) within 5 days after the midterm.
  • If the reason for missing the midterm is valid, you will do your first attempt of the midterm for the parts that you missed on the same date as the second chance exam.
  • If the reason is not valid, you will not get any score from that midterm. If your overall score passed the course, you will not have a chance to take the midterm again.

If you are writing the final exam on the 2nd chance date and had a valid reason for missing the midterm (see above), you will have to take both the midterm and final exam in the second chance on the same date.

How Your Final Grade Is Calculated

Assignments A01–03
15 %
30 %
Mini HCI research project
10 %
45 %

Previous Offerings

SS 2015 - SS 2014 - SS 2013 - SS 2011 - SS 2010 - SS 2009 - SS 2008 - SS 2007 - SS 2006 - WS 2004/2005

Created by jon. Last Modification: Monday 20 of March, 2017 14:49:25 by hamdan.

Media Computing Group at RWTH Aachen