Course Schedule


Week 1: Introduction and Social Informatics (Lynette Kvasny)

For this portion of the course, you'll need to get a copy of the following text
Creswell, R.  (2013). Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches.  4th Edition. Sage Publications.
  • 8/25:  Course Introduction (Kvasny, Lee & Reddy)
    • What will I learn in this course?
    • How to be successful in IST 501: attendance, deadlines, writing, asking for help, preparing for class, speaking in class, doing PhD level work
    • About the college of IST: You mean I'm not in a CS department? What's an information school, anyway?
Week 2: Social Informatics (Lynette Kvasny)
  • 9/1: NO CLASS (Labor Day)
  • 9/3: Preliminary Considerations / Designing Research
    • Readings:
    • homework due 9/8: 
      • Writing Exercise 1 (Creswell, p. 49). 
        • The literature map must focus on a topic in Health Informatics, and include 10 references that are relevant to the chosen topic. Keep this literature map and references handy because you will reuse it for next week's homework.
      • Writing Exercise 1 (Creswell, p. 75)
        • The theoretical perspective should coincide with the topic and literature map produced for the previous Writing Exercise
      • Writing Exercises 1-3 (Creswell, p. 120)
        • write one narrative hook for Q1, do all of Q2, and use 5 papers from your literature map
      • Writing Exercise 1 -or- 2 (Creswell, p. 152)
Week 3: HCI (Madhu Reddy)

For this portion of the course, you'll need to get a copy of the following text
Lazar, J., Feng, J. H., & Hochheiser, H. (2010). Research methods in human-computer interaction. John Wiley & Sons.
  • 9/8: Research In HCI
    • Reading: Today's readings will take you through a whirlwind tour of the last 30+ years of human-computer interaction research. Note how the field has shifted over time! In class, we'll discuss some of the classic concepts for designing usable technologies. 
    • Browse: 
  • 9/10: Research Ethics
    • Reading: The Belmont Report is one of the foundational documents outlining how to do ethically sound research. The remainder of papers in this set are case studies we'll use to ground our discussion of research ethics. When you read the papers, write down a list of the ethical challenges of conducting the research described, and what guidance the belmont report might provide to a new researcher grappling with research ethics (such as yourself!)
      • Lazar - Chapter 14
      • The Belmont Report:
      • De Choudhury, M., Counts, S., & Horvitz, E. (2013, April). Predicting postpartum changes in emotion and behavior via social media. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 3267-3276). ACM.
      • Taylor, N., Cheverst, K., Wright, P., & Olivier, P. (2013, April). Leaving the wild: lessons from community technology handovers. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1549-1558). ACM
      • Thieme, A., Comber, R., Miebach, J., Weeden, J., Krämer, N., Lawson, S., & Olivier, P. (2012, May). We've bin watching you: designing for reflection and social persuasion to promote sustainable lifestyles. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2337-2346). ACM.
      • Tikkanen, R., & Ross, M. W. (2003). Technological tearoom trade: Characteristics of Swedish men visiting gay Internet chat rooms. AIDS Education and Prevention, 15(2), 122-132.
      • Zimmer, M. (2010) "But the data is already public": on the ethics of research in Facebook. Ethics and Information Technology, 12, 4, 313--325.
    • Homework (start after class): 
      • Ethics in Practice: write a mock IRB application for one of the studies you read about today. 

Week 4: Computational Informatics (Dongwon Lee)

For this portion of the course, we will use materials drawn from the Web and literature
    Week 5: SI Methods (Lynette Kvasny)
    • 9/22: Quantitative Theoretical Perspectives and Methods
    Week 6: SI Studio (Lynette Kvasny)
    • What you should accomplish in this studio:
      • use of a citation management tool
      • gain familiarity with resources available at the PSU library and writing center
      • practice providing and receiving peer feedback
      • experience working on a research team to conceptualize, design, and implement a small study using social science methods
      • select a topic
      • determine your worldview
      • write an abstract
      • write an introduction and purpose statement
      • organize a brief literature review
      • find an appropriate theory and/or instrumentation (e.g. surveys, interview protocols)
      • develop RQs and hypotheses, if appropriate
      • determine an appropriate qualitative and/or qualitative method(s) given the worldview and RQ
      • design a small study (use the checklists in Creswell)
      • collect qualitative or quantitative data
      • analyze data using quantitative or qualitative analysis tools and/or techniques
      • write up the research results
    • 9/29: SI studio 
      • The purpose of this studio is to gain experience using a quantitative or qualitative social science research method. 
      • You will work in teams of 2 or 3 students.
      • In Class Work:
        • Begin by selecting a method that you would like to further investigate.  Learn all you can about the method today in class.  Organize your learning by preparing an annotated bibliographic entry (i.e. citation, abstract, how the method is used) for every relevant manuscript you find.  
        • Using one manuscript from your annotated bibliography as a basis, design a small scale study that replicates the method. This might be reusing or extending an existing survey, conducting interviews, unobtrusively observing how people use technology in public spaces, conducting a content analysis of websites or photographs, conducting a textual analysis of a web forum or blog
        • Before you leave class, check in with the instructor to discuss the study! It's important that you are on the right track, appropriate scope for the project.
      • Homework due 10/1:
        • Produce an abstract for your study. The abstract must include the citation to the paper that formed the basis of your project -or- the RQ that is informing your project. See Creswell, pp. 108-110 for guidance on writing your abstract.
        • Begin implementing your study 
      • Resources:
    • 10/1: SI studio 
      • In Class Work:
        • Continue implementing your study. I will be in the classroom to provide assistance. Also, we can pull together and help one another. That means that you can ask others in class to complete your surveys, participate in interviews, etc. You can also use this time to analyze your data.  
      • homework due 10/3:
        • Write a 5 page report on the studio project that you conducted. This should include a brief synopsis of the paper that formed the basis of your project -or- the RQ that is informing your project, a description of the method that you used, how you collected and analyzed the data, what you learned from conducting this study, and what you see as the ways to effectively utilize this method in IST research. 
     Week 7: HCI Methods (Madhu Reddy)
    • 10/6: Experimental Methods & Classic Usability Studies in Human-Centered Design 
      • Readings:
        • Lazar et al. HCI methods book: Chapters 2-4, 10
        • Lewis, J. R. (1994). Sample sizes for usability studies: Additional considerations. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 36(2), 368-378.
        • Hartzler, A., Skeels, M. M., Mukai, M., Powell, C., Klasnja, P., & Pratt, W. (2011). Sharing is caring, but not error free: Transparency of granular controls for sharing personal health information in social networks. In AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 2011, p. 559). American Medical Informatics Association.
        • Cook, J. L., & Jones, R. M. (2011). Texting and accessing the web while driving: traffic citations and crashes among young adult drivers. Traffic injury prevention, 12(6), 545-549.
        • Southern, C., Clawson, J., Frey, B., Abowd, G., & Romero, M. (2012, September). An evaluation of BrailleTouch: mobile touchscreen text entry for the visually impaired. In Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services (pp. 317-326). ACM.
      • In class: 
        • In small groups, design a study to test the usability of a medication management device
      • Homework:
        • With the same group you started with in class, collect/analyze experimental data for 5 people. Write a 2 page summary of your methods & results. Bring 2 paper copies of your methods/results summary to the next class.
    • 10/8: Digging deeper: What are the benefits of experimental approaches in HCI? What are the limitations? 
      • Readings:
        • Lazar  et al. HCI methods book: Chapters 8-9
        • Bell, G., Blythe, M., & Sengers, P. (2005). Making by making strange: Defamiliarization and the design of domestic technologies. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 12(2), 149-173.
        • Palen, L., & Aaløkke, S. (2006, November). Of pill boxes and piano benches: home-made methods for managing medication. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 79-88). ACM.
      • In class:
        • Discuss results of experiment homework assigned in previous class
        • WatchThe Context-Aware Pill Bottle and Medication Monitor   
        • We'll continue our discussion of experimental methods, using medication management as an example.  
        • In small groups, begin technology interactions homework. 
      • Homework :
        • observing everyday technology interactions (start in class, due at beginning of next class)
    Week 8: HCI Methods (Madhu Reddy)
    • 10/13: Field Trials and Ethnography 
      • In the early days of human-computer interaction, we could assume that interaction occurred by one person with a computer that stayed in one place. As computing pervades all aspects of life, researchers are adapting their methods to account for those changes. We'll look specifically at two of these techniques: field trials and paratypes.
      • Reading: 
        • Carter, S., Mankoff, J., Klemmer, S. R., & Matthews, T. (2008). Exiting the cleanroom: On ecological validity and ubiquitous computing. Human–Computer Interaction, 23(1), 47-99.
        • Consolvo, S., McDonald, D. W., Toscos, T., Chen, M. Y., Froehlich, J., Harrison, B., ... & Landay, J. A. (2008, April). Activity sensing in the wild: a field trial of ubifit garden. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1797-1806). ACM.
        • Favela, J., Tentori, M., & Gonzalez, V. M. (2010). Ecological validity and pervasiveness in the evaluation of ubiquitous computing technologies for health care. Intl. Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 26(5), 414-444.
        • Hayes, G. R., & Truong, K. N. (2013). Paratyping: A Contextualized Method of Inquiry for Understanding Perceptions of Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing Technologies. Human–Computer Interaction, 28(3), 265-286.
      • In class: 
        • Discuss technology interactions homework
    • 10/15: Design as communication, diary studies
      • Readings:
        • Lazar et al. Chapter 6
        • Excerpts from Greenberg et al, Sketching User Experiences
        • Khai N. Truong, Gillian R. Hayes, and Gregory D. Abowd. 2006. Storyboarding: an empirical determination of best practices and effective guidelines. In Proceedings of the 6th conference on Designing Interactive systems (DIS '06). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12-21. DOI=10.1145/1142405.1142410
      • In class:
        • Storyboarding & prototyping practice
        • Discuss HCI studio requirements & discuss proposed studio topic w/ instructor
      • Homework:
        • Begin HCI studio
    Week 9: HCI Studio (Madhu Reddy)

    For this studio, you have two options:
        • Option 1: Design & conduct a paratyping OR diary study. 
        • Option 2: You propose and carry out your own HCI studio idea. If you choose this option, you must discuss in advance w/ instructor and get approval. 
    • Deliverable: 
      • 4-8 page report in ACM SIGCHI format, written in the style of a research paper. 
      • For an example of what your report should look like, refer to the following paper: Iachello, G., Truong, K. N., Abowd, G. D., Hayes, G. R., & Stevens, M. (2006, April). Prototyping and sampling experience to evaluate ubiquitous computing privacy in the real world. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human Factors in computing systems (pp. 1009-1018). ACM.
      • 10/20: HCI Studio
      • 10/22: HCI Studio
      Week 10: Computational Informatics (Dongwon Lee)
      Week 11: Computational Informatics (Dongwon Lee)
      Week 12: CI Studio (Dongwon Lee)
      Week 13: Philosophy of Science (Fred Fonseca) 
      • 11/17: Classic Philosophy of Science
      For this portion of the course, you'll need to get a copy of the following text
       The structure of scientific revolutions - Author: Kuhn, Thomas - ISBN: 0226458083 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press.
        • give short answers for the following questions
          • Chapters I  through V, pp. 1-51.
      1.  Is Science for Kuhn a cumulative enterprise?
      2. What does Kuhn mean by the term "incommensurability?"
      3. What is "normal science" for Kuhn?
      4. Are fact and theory separable for Kuhn?
      5. Are "discovery" and "justification" separable for Kuhn? 
      6. What is a "paradigm" and what are its characteristics?
      7. Is Kuhn a foundationalist: that is, does he believe that knowledge can be reduced to a set of fundamental and neutral atoms?
      8. When scientist move from working in one paradigm to another is the process of transfer a "rational" one?  In what sense?
      9. Is science a "fact-gathering" activity?
      10. Does science aim to achieve novelty?
      11.  What are the function of scientific "rules" for Kuhn?  Does science need them?
          • Chapters VI through IX,  pp. 52-110.
      1.  Is "normal science" cumulative for Kuhn?
      2. When and for what reasons do scientists change paradigms?
      3. Does science for Kuhn have any place for a process like "falsification" the way that Popper describes it?  Why?  Is Kuhn's version of falsification an accurate depiction of the process as described by Popper?
      4. When a scientist rejects a paradigm and does not adopt another who's fault is it -- the scientist's or the paradigm's?  For Kuhn, is the scientist still a scientist?  How about for Popper?
      5. Is "puzzle solving" for Kuhn somehow similar to the process of "falsification" for Popper?
      6. What  does Kuhn mean by a "gestalt switch?"  Give an example?
      7. What does Kuhn see as the symptoms of a scientific crisis?
      8. For Kuhn, can paradigm choice be settled by logic and experiment?  Why or why not?
      9. Distinguish between Kuhn's use of the terms "incompatibility" and "incommensurability?
      10.  For Kuhn, do scientific standards and methods develop by a cumulative process?
      • 11/19: Classic Philosophy of Science
        • Reading: The structure of scientific revolutions - Author: Kuhn, Thomas - ISBN: 0226458083 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press.
        •  Read chapters 10 - 13 pp. 111-173.

        • give short answers for the following questions
          • Chapters X through XII,  pp. 111-159.
          1. What does Kuhn mean when he says that a paradigm is necessary for perception itself to take place?  Is sensory experience for Kuhn fixed and neutral?
          2. What does Kuhn mean when he refers to the "traditional epistemological paradigm?"
          3. What does Kuhn mean when he says that "paradigms are not corrigible by normal science at all?"
          4. What does Kuhn mean when he says that after a paradigm change a scientist works in a different world?
          5. Is the development of science linear and cumulative?  Do scientists see it that way?  Why?
          6. What parts of Popper's program of falsificationism does Kuhn accept and why?
          7. Why for Kuhn can't disputes between different paradigmatic positions be solved by logic and neutral experience? 
          8. What does Kuhn mean by "persuasion?"
          •  Chapters. XIII through postscript,  pp. 160-210.
          1. How does Kuhn measure scientific progress?  How and in what sense?
          2. What does Kuhn mean by the question as to "whether truth in the sciences can be one?"  What is his position on this question?  Does his position hold water?
          3. For Kuhn what is the "goal" of science?
          4. Distinguish between the two different senses in which Kuhn uses the word "paradigm?"
          5. What does Kuhn mean by the term "revolution" with respect to a change in paradigm?
          6. What does Kuhn mean by a "disciplinary matrix?"  What does a Kuhnian disciplinary matrix consist of?
          7. Can neural mechanism explain the rules, laws, criteria of identification, values, etc. involved in a Kuhnian disciplinary matrix?  Or is it the other way around; that is, might not the program involved in and implied by neural mechanism be a particular psychological disciplinary matrix?  Or as Bishop Berkeley put it: "No sir, the brain is an idea of the mind."  Where does Kuhn stand on this issue?
          8. What role do "values" play in Kuhn's position?  Do they help to solve the problem of incommensurability?  Are they part of what he means by "persuasion?"
          9. Does Kuhn consider his position to be a prescription or a description?
        • Submit abstract (500 words) for your Capstone Project by Friday, Nov. 21
      • 11/24: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Holiday)
      • 11/26: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Holiday)
      Week 14: Mixed Methods / Capstone Project (All)
      • 12/1: Mixed Methods Studio
        • Consultative meeting with Instructor, and begin working on your project 
        • Reference: Mixed Method Procedures (Creswell, p.215-239)
      • 12/3: Mixed Methods Studio
        • free time to work on project
      Week 15: Capstone Project (All)
      • 12/8: Project Presentations
      • 12/10: work on your own to complete Capstone Project - Due Friday, Dec. 12 at midnight