Current Topics in HCI (2020)

  Class Information

Lecture Tue, 10:30 - 12:00
  Zoom videoconferencing
Lab Wed, 12:30 - 14:00
  Zoom videoconferencing
Language English
Credits 6


Midterm Mon, June 8th, 08:30
Final PT1 Mon, Jul 27th, 11:30
Final PT2 Mon, Aug 17th, 11:30

Announcement: Online Class

Due to the Corona pandemic, lectures and labs in this class take place via Zoom videoconferencing this semester. Students registered via RWTHonline received an email with details how to connect.

This class covers basic research methods and current research trends in Human–Computer Interaction. 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, human computation, gestural input, interactive textiles, augmented reality, 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.

The first part of the class consists of weekly lectures, labs, reading assignments and group assignments about HCI research methods. In the second part of this class, the lectures present new topics in HCI research, and the labs are for feedback on your projects and discussions. The class includes graded written midterm and final examinations.

This course has limited seating. You need to register to obtain a seat in this course.


Prof. Dr. Jan

Anke Brocker

For any questions about the class, please contact Anke Brocker, MSc.


  • Introduction & Research Contribution Types

    • Lecture: Class Organization & Research Contributions in HCI Part 1

      Tue, Apr. 7th

    • Assignment 1: Search and Identify Contribution Types

      Due: Apr. 15th

    • Lab: Organization of Excercises and Lab

      Apr. 8th

  • Research Contributions in HCI & Contribution Statements

    • Lecture: Research Contributions in HCI Part 2 & Contribution Statements

      Apr. 14th

    • Assignment 2: Benefit & Contribution Statements

      Due: Apr. 22nd/p>

    • Lab

      Apr. 15th

  • Research Approaches in HCI

  • Experimental Research

    • Lecture: Research Approaches in HCI Part 2 & Experimental Research Part 1

      Apr. 28th

    • Assignment 4: Reverse Engineering User Studies

      Due: May 5th

    • Lab

      Apr. 29th

  • Experimental Research

    • No Lecture: Dies

      May 5th

    • Assignment 4 (on-going): Peer Reviews for User Protocols

      Due: May 8th

    • Lab: Analyzing Experimental Data and Alternative Analysis Methods

      May 6th

  • Experimental Research

    • Lecture: Experimental Research Part 2 & Writing a Review

      May 12th

    • Assignment 5: Writing Reviews for Scientific Articles

       Due: May 20th

    • Lab

      May 13th

  • Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses

    • Lecture: Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses

      May 19th

    • Assignment 6: Conducting a First Experiment by Replication

       Due: May 27th

    • Lab: Hands-on Quantitative Analysis

      May 20th

  • HCI Design Patterns

    • Lecture: HCI Design Pattern Part 1

      Tue, May 26th

    • Assignment 7: Mini HCI Research Experiment

       Due: Different Dates

    • Lab: Midterm Preparation

      Wed, May 27th

  • Midterm Exam 

  • HCI Design Patterns

  • Collaborative Work & Data Science Programming

  • Personal Fabrication

  •  Tangibles

  • Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

    • Lecture: Guest Presentations

      Experience with Virtual Reality – Sebastian Hueber
      Augmented Reality and Handheld AR Interactions – Philipp Wacker
      Tue, Jul 7th

    • Lab

      Wed, Jul. 8th

  • Project Presentations

    • Student Project Presentations Part 1

      Tue, Jul. 14th

    • Student Project Presentations Part 2

      Wed, Jul. 15th


Your grade will be calculated as follows:

Assignments 25%
Midterm 30%
Final Exam 45%


Assignments will be given out weekly. You can find them in the Moodle course room. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Fields of Study

  • Informatik (M.Sc.)/Angewandte Informatik
  • Informatik (GYM+GS,SII)/Hauptstudium/B. Praktische Informatik
  • Technik-Kommunikation (M.A.)/2. Hauptfach (Technisches Fach)/Grundlagen der Informatik/isierung Informatik
  • TK 2. Fach-Grundlagen der Informatik (M.Sc.)/Wahlpflicht Informatik/Angewandte Informatik
  • Media Informatics (M.Sc.)/Multimedia Technologie
  • Media Informatics (M.Sc.)/Multimedia Technologie/in Aachen
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Applied Computer Science
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Practical Computer Science
  • Software Systems Engineering (M.Sc.)/Areas of Specialization/Media Informatics

Course Allocation and Registration Guide

Number of SWS: V3+Ü2 (Aachen)
ECTS Credits: 6
Course language: English for all lectures, assignments, and exams

To get a seat in this course, follow these steps before:

  • Register for the course in RWTHonline (registration will be open on March 23, 2020). Only 30 seats are available for this course. Priority is given to Master students in Computer Science, Media Informatics, Software Systems Engineering, and Technical Communication. Registration will stay open until May 29, 2020.
  • Erasmus students can register during the first lab or studio.
  • Sign the Declaration of Compliance and hand it in before 2pm, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Note: Due to the current pandemic situation, scans or pictures are valid. Please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and add the mail subject prefix [CTHCI]. We will give priority to students who hand in the Declaration of Compliance before this deadline. 
  • Make sure that you have access to Moodle after the registration phase is over.


Previous Offerings

SS 2019 - SS 2018 - SS 2017 - SS 2016 - SS 2015 - SS 2014 - SS 2013 - SS 2011 - SS 2010 - SS 2009 - SS 2008 - SS 2007 - SS 2006 - WS 2004/2005

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