Development and Validation of a Case Study Approach to Teaching Human-Computer Interaction

Project: Research project

Project Details


A prior proof of concept project has developed a prototype set of usability engineering case studies, a case browsing tool, and several classroom activities based on the case studies. This work was coordinated with the development and publication of a new HCI undergraduate textbook (Morgan Kaufmann, 2002). The textbook differs dramatically from current offerings, interleaving the presentation of HCI content with a comprehensive scenario-based framework for the development of interactive systems. A key innovation of the new textbook is its use of a case study to introduce and exemplify the analysis, design, and evaluation framework. The proof of concept project enhanced the case study material presented in the book, by developing richer and more flexible online materials, and by building cases from three additional problem domains. This project, submitted to the CCLI-EMD track, further develops and validates the learning effectiveness of case studies as an element of teaching HCI. Using the marketing channels of Morgan Kaufmann, we recruit professors and students from 8-10 other universities interested in using the book, and participating in the evaluation of the case study materials. We work with these instructors and students to develop new activities, as well as packaging the prototype activities for convenient use. We also refine the browsing tool, responding to formative evaluation received during the prototype project, and add new functionality to support traceability of concerns throughout the life cycle, more flexible views and case study reporting schemes, and authoring by both experts and students. This project leverages our ongoing research on scenario-based development methods, incorporating the methodology concepts into undergraduate education. It also highlights the use of information technology in undergraduate education, for both content access and student project support. The graduate students who develop the case studies are becoming experts in presenting and illustrating the scenario-based framework, helping to prepare them for careers in HCI education.

Effective start/end date8/15/031/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $298,250.00


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