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Theoretical Approaches in Human Computer Interaction, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Teoretiska perspektiv på människa-datorinteraktion

This syllabus is valid: 2021-10-25 and until further notice

Course code: 2IN405

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Informatics: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Informatics

Established by: Head of Department of Informatics, 2021-10-21


Human Computer Interaction has developed into an interdisciplinary field of research. In step with the digitalization of society, the need for theories and frameworks to understand, analyze and design interactive systems increases. The development of knowledge in the field of human-computer interaction has taken place through various waves that have been influenced by technology development, use contexts and emerging theories. The course includes an overview of the development and use of theory in the field of Human Computer Interaction and an in-depth exploration of relevant theories within each phase. The course is conducted with special attention on how ethical and critical aspects are reflected in Human Computer Interaction research.

Expected learning outcomes

Regarding knowledge and understanding the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
1. Describe different theoretical approaches in Human Computer Interaction and their underlying assumptions. 

Regarding proficiency and aptitude, the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
2.  Identify, apply, and motivate a theoretical framework to understand a phenomenon within Human Computer Interaction. 
3. Communicate key course concepts in English, both orally and in writing. 
4. Analyse relations between humans and digital technology using different theoretical frameworks.  

Regarding evaluative capacity and approach the student is, after the course, expected to be able to:
5. Compare and evaluate how different theoretical frameworks contribute to our understanding of the relation between humans and digital technology. 
6. Reflect on technological developments that require new theoretical insights within Human Computer Interaction research in the future.

Required Knowledge

Admission to the course requires at least 90 credits in either Informatics, Computer science, Information Systems, Cognitive science, or equivalent studies. Also required is English B/6.

Form of instruction

Learning is supported mainly by lectures, seminars, group activities and supervision in connection with self-studies. Some teaching sessions may be compulsory. If the course so requires, necessary computer applications are introduced and provided, which the students use on their own. Some guidance may be provided in connection with the use of these applications. The language of instruction is normally English and good writing skills and knowledge of the English language are both important in order to be able to complete the course. During the course, students have access to a number of the department's computer labs.

Examination modes

The grade is based on individual assignments, a group assignment, and seminar participation. The grading scale for the course is pass with distinction (VG), pass (G) or fail (U).  
Grades on the course as a whole are awarded when the student has passed all examinations and compulsory course elements. In connection with the description of the content and form of the examination, it is stated what is necessary for the grade Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG). 

Students who do not pass the exams during the course will be given a second opportunity soon afterwards. Students who do not pass after these two attempts have the possibility to complete remaining assignments during subsequent re-exam periods.
When a student has failed an exam on two occasions, they have the right to request another examiner. Requests for new examiners are made to the Director of Studies at the Department of Informatics.
If special circumstances arise, the examiner has the right to decide on another type of exam.


Valid from: 2021 week 43

Rogers Yvonne
HCI theory : classical, modern, and contemporary
San Rafael, Calif. : Morgan & Claypool Publishers : 2012 : 113 p. :
ISBN: 9781608459001
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Kaptelinin Victor
Activity theory in HCI fundamentals and reflections [Elektronisk resurs]
2012 :

Technology as experience
McCarthy John., Wright Peter.
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT : 2007. : p. :
ISBN: 978-0-262-63355-0 (pbk.)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Wiberg Mikael
The materiality of interaction : notes on the materials of interaction design
2017 : ix, 192 pages :
ISBN: 9780262037518
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Articles, research reports and extracts from journals (provided by the Department).