Olivier St-Cyr Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Canada
Craig MacDonald School of Information, Pratt Institute, USA
We are very pleased to welcome you to this special issue of EngageCSEdu Open Educational Resources (OERs) on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI, as its name indicates, is the study of how humans interact with computer systems. Traditionally, HCI was known as the discipline focused on the design of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for computer applications. Today, this view no longer holds. In fact, as many societies have moved toward advanced computerized technologies, more devices and systems are under the umbrella of HCI.
From 2011-2014, the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee sponsored a project to investigate the present and future of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) education . Research consisted of 52 interviews conducted with SIGCHI community members, as well as 616 surveys completed in English, 156 in Brazilian Portuguese, 52 in Mandarin Chinese, and 48 in Chilean Spanish. Questions focused on what educators, practitioners, and students considered to be top priorities for the field of HCI. Additionally, educational resources were compiled, and discussions were hosted at the annual CHI conferences, including discussion lunches, HCI education workshops, and SIGCHI Town Hall meeting discussions .
Throughout the project, a recurring theme emerged: participants’ desire for a collection of online resources shared among HCI educators. The goal was to create a community of practice (CoP) of HCI scholars and educators, sharing and collaborating to develop course outlines, curricula, and teaching material, known as a living curriculum .
At the CHI 2018 conference in Montréal, Canada, we held a workshop to emphasize the need to develop a CoP to support global HCI education and build excitement and interest in the living curriculum . Of the many themes that emerged from the CHI 2018 workshop activities and discussions, two stood out as an immediate need: creating discussion channels for HCI educators and providing a platform for sharing HCI curricula and teaching experiences.
We established discussion channels for HCI educators through a CHI Symposium series named EduCHI [4,5,6,7]. We held EduCHI at the CHI conferences from 2019 to 2022. EduCHI symposia bring together HCI educators across disciplinary and geographical borders to discuss, dissect, and debate HCI teaching and learning. Our CoP is growing every year, and now includes a website (https://hcilivingcurriculum.org/) of current events and archived content from past events, a Facebook group, a mailing list, a twitter account, and a Slack workspace. In spite of that, development of a platform for sharing HCI curricula and teaching experiences has been slow, as the task requires infrastructure and labor. To that end, we approached EngageCSEdu with the objective of building a partnership that would allow HCI educators to have access and publish OERs on teaching HCI.
A call for OERs was distributed in the summer of 2021. After double-anonymous peer-review, we accepted seven submissions to this special issue of EngageCSEdu on HCI. Accepted OERs are available for download on the EngageCSEdu website. It is our aim to continue to accept EngageCSEdu HCI OERs on a rolling basis to expand the content of EngageCSEdu to include HCI and to work towards our goal of providing a platform for sharing HCI curricula and teaching experiences. We hope the OERs published in this EngageCSEdu special issue on HCI will bring opportunities for educators to appreciate the importance of HCI in our world. Each OER describes different teaching materials related to many aspects of HCI education.
First, Using Science Fiction Trailers to Teach Social Responses to Communication Technology and the Media Equation by Adam S. Kahn and Dave B. Miller describes an innovative classroom activity that uses examples from science fiction to help students understand the Computers are Social Actors (CASA) paradigm (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3519932).
Usability Observations of Everyday Things by Michelle Dowling and Scott Grissom discusses an assignment that teaches students how to recognize good and bad usability in the products they use everyday (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3554915).
Usability Testing Plan Template: A flexible tool for planning and teaching usability evaluation by Emma J. Rose is a flexible template that teaches students how to plan and implement a usability study by breaking the process down into a series of questions (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3548658).
Using Affect-Aware Computing as a Theme for a User-Centered Design Course by Annuska Zolyomi explains how to teach students the basics of user-centered design by focusing on novel affective computing technologies such as social robots and emotional artificial intelligence (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3519940).
Using Citizen Science as a Theme for a User-Centered Design Course also by Annuska Zolyomi explains how to teach students user-centered design in the context of citizen science (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3547492).
Interaction Metrics Projects for Human Computer Interaction by Stephen B. Gilbert engages students in the practice of creating and validating performance metrics for human-computer interfaces, with a specific focus on workplace analytics (https://dl.acm.org/doi/book/10.1145/3554913).
1-Hour Collaborative Learning Activity for Responsible Human-AI Design by Evan Peck is a classroom exercise in which students critically analyze and discuss familiar AI-driven software applications (e.g., music recommendations, auto-complete) from an ethical, human-centered perspective.
To conclude, we would like to invite you to visit the EngageCSEdu Website, https://www.engage-csedu.org/ where you will find all the OERs of this special HCI edition as well as several other OERs on computer science education. We hope you’ll enjoy reading the HCI OERs and that they will inspire your teaching and pedagogy.
We encourage all educators to consider submitting a HCI OER (https://www.engage-csedu.org/content/submit-your-materials).
Olivier St-Cyr and Craig MacDonald
Co-Editors EngageCSEdu HCI Special Issue
- Elizabeth F. Churchill, Anne Bowser, and Jennifer Preece. 2013. Teaching and learning human-computer interaction: past, present, and future. interactions 20, 2 (March 2013), 44-53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2427076.2427086
- Elizabeth F. Churchill, Anne Bowser, and Jennifer Preece. 2016. The future of HCI education: a flexible, global, living curriculum. interactions 23, 2 (February 2016), 70-73. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2888574
- Olivier St-Cyr, Craig M. MacDonald, Elizabeth F. Churchill, Jennifer Preece, and Anne Bowser. 2018. Developing a Community of Practice to Support Global HCI Education. In CHI EA '18: Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/3170427.3170616
- Olivier St-Cyr, Craig M. MacDonald, and Elizabeth F. Churchill. 2019. EduCHI 2019 Symposium: Global Perspectives on HCI Education. In CHI EA '19: Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290607.3298994
- Olivier St-Cyr, Craig M. MacDonald, Colin M. Gray, Leigh Ellen Potter, Anna Vasilchenko, Jaisie Sin, and Elizabeth F. Churchill. 2020. EduCHI 2020: 2nd Annual Symposium on HCI Education. In CHI EA '20: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3334480.3375066
- Craig M. MacDonald, Olivier St-Cyr, Colin M. Gray, Leigh Ellen Potter, Jaisie Sin, Anna Vasilchenko, and Elizabeth Churchill. 2021. EduCHI 2021: 3rd Annual Symposium on HCI Education. In CHI EA '21: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1145/3411763.3441320
- Craig M. MacDonald, Olivier St-Cyr, Colin M. Gray, Leigh Ellen Potter, Carine Lallemand, Anna Vasilchenko, Jaisie Sin, Anna R. L. Carter, Caroline Pitt, Eunice Sari, and Deepak Ranjan Padhi. 2022. EduCHI 2022: 4th Annual Symposium on HCI Education. In CHI EA '22: Extended Abstracts of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3503703