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CS916 Social Informatics

CS916 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS) Term 2

Availability

Option - MSc Computer Science, MSc Data Analytics

Prerequisites

None.

Academic Aims

The aim is to combine perspectives and methods of enquiry drawn from disciplines such as Psychology and Sociology with the tools, techniques and technologies of Computer Science to create an approach to of digital systems’ design and innovation that is both relevant and practical.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate, in writing, knowledge of issues and problems in social informatics.
  • Demonstrate understanding of issues impacting on uptake of digital systems and innovations by diagnosing problems in relations between technologies and use in a range of application domains.

  • Apply appropriate principles and methodologies to address challenges in the design and deployment of novel digital systems.
  • Show confidence in handling different disciplinary perspectives on social informatics and ability to apply them to solve design and deployment challenges.
  • Devise, plan and execute requirements investigations and evaluation studies from a social informatics perspective, and present findings in a clear and effective manner.
  • Demonstrate awareness of current areas of research in social informatics by locating and summarising examples of recent controversies and progress.

Content

  • Background: development and scope of social informatics; practical goals.
  • Understanding individual behaviour: perception, memory and action.
  • Modelling human interaction with digital systems.
  • Design methodologies and notations.
  • Techniques and technologies: dialogue styles, information visualisation.
  • Designer-user relations: iteration, prototyping.
  • Evaluation: formative and summative; performance and learnability.
  • Mobile computing and devices: novel interfaces; ubiquitous computing.
  • Organisational factors: understanding the workplace; resistance; dependability.
  • Innovation processes at scale: social shaping of IT, actor-network theory, co-production.

Books

  • Rogers Y. et al. Interaction Design: beyond human-computer interaction (4th Edition), Wiley
  • Beynon D. Designing Interactive Systems: A comprehensive guide to HCI, UX and interaction design (3rd edition). Pearson
  • Luff, P., Hindmarsh, J., & Heath, C. (Eds.). (2000). Workplace Studies: Recovering work practice and informing system design. Cambridge University Press.
  • Kling, R. (2007). What is social informatics and why does it matter? The Information Society, 23(4), 205-220.
  • Randall, D., Harper, R., & Rouncefield, M. (2007). Fieldwork for design: theory and practice. Springer.

Assessment

Two-hour examination (70%), group coursework (30%)

Teaching

20 one-hour lectures plus 10 one-hour seminars plus 8 one-hour workshops


Jalote P, Fault Tolerance in Distributed Systems, Prentice Hall, 1994.
Lynch N, Distributed Algorithms, Morgan Kauffman, 1996.
Gouda M, Elements of Network Protocol Design, John Wiley, 1998.
  • Background: development and scope of social informatics; practical goals.
  • Understanding individual behaviour: perception, memory and action.
  • Modelling human interaction with digital systems.
  • Design methodologies and notations.
  • Techniques and technologies: dialogue styles, information visualisation.
  • Designer-user relations: iteration, prototyping.
  • Evaluation: formative and summative; performance and learnability.
  • Mobile computing and devices: novel interfaces; ubiquitous computing.
  • Organisational factors: understanding the workplace; resistance; dependability.
Innovation processes at scale: social shaping of IT, actor-network theory, co-production.