Week 6 Activities

Task Analysis:

  • make a list of tasks that you typically do with your mobile phone
  • in groups of 2, do a task analysis of one sample task to be decided in class

Usability assessment:

Work in groups of 4. Person A does a task, while Person B notes down every single mouse click (Measure 1), Person C times the task start to finish, and Person D determines whether Person A was successful and keeps notes of any problems along the way.

Use two tasks:

1) Go onto LEARN, goes to the Discussion Forum (General) and answer the question about their favourite animal.

2) Go onto TopHat, and do the same

Complete the System Usability Scale for


b) the Class blog

c) TurnItIn

Preliminary Survey Results for Mid-Term Course Feedback

Thank you for your submissions! 10 out of 34 have submitted the survey, and 4 are still pending. There’s no time limit on this survey, of course, but if I get your submissions before Week 6, I can start implementing changes ūüôā

Even if you agree with the changes that I’m planning to make, it would still be good to get feedback.

Results so far

From what I have seen so far, 3 out of 10 would like more of a challenge, whereas for 7 out of 10, the pace was right.

Changes I will make based on your feedback:

  • Review Learning Outcomes at the start of each class. That’s relatively straightforward; I will do that after the initial questions, to give people time to come in and settle.
  • Draw a clearer line between blog and Top Hat. I will use Top Hat for in class activities, the blog for out of class activities / revision
  • Specify class activities more clearly. I will take care to write these down more clearly on Top Hat, and spend some more time typing at the front – especially for those activities that I make up on the fly in response to your questions
  • More workshops and interactive class activities, less school-style question answering. I will come prepared with more activities and more opportunities to identify useful activities.
  • Improve in-class discussions¬†by ensuring that they have a specific outcome, which will discourage just chatting, are shorter, and more clearly linked to your own learning

What I will review for the next iteration of the course is whether I should keep using the blog / external web site. (Also, I will work on my handwriting …)

(Updated: previous feedback was based on 7 respondents, current on 10)

Information on the Quizzes

This post is for information about the Quizzes.

Each quiz will consist of 10 multiple choice questions. Questions may have more than one correct answer, but there will always be at least one correct answer.

The learning outcomes for each week are in three parts, understand, remember, and apply. All information that you are expected to recall in a Quiz is indicated in the “remember” section; this information is in slides or PDF / text documents on Learn and part of material that should be reviewed in preparation for each session.

The Week 5 Quiz is about information from Weeks 1-4, the Week 9 Quiz is about information from Weeks 5-8.

For your information, the options I’m using are:

  • Multiple choice: typically, one or two options will be correct.
  • Questions
  • Force completion: Once you’ve started, you must finish.
  • No retaking
  • Timed: You have 20 minutes
  • Questions are displayed one at a time
  • Question pools: You will see 10 questions that are drawn randomly from a pool of 40 and presented in a random order

Make sure that you review the following tips and tricks for taking quizzes on Blackboard LEARN, both the short version and the long PDF file bb9-online-test-taking-tips.

A practice quiz is now up on LEARN in the Assessments folder – try it out!

Open Discussion for Week 4

This is the open discussion thread for Week 4.

As I am a lecturer of very little voice this week, here’s a list of some of the interactive activities we’ll do this week – and we will use TopHat quite a bit, too.

(Don’t come too close – you don’t want to catch what I have.)

Activities this week:

  • Have you ever had back pain or a wrist injury? How did that affect your work?
  • What are aspects of socioeconomic status?
  • What are aspects of social media literacy?
  • Sort aspects of social media literacy according to importance.
  • What are examples of the digital divide?
  • According to the theory of Digital Natives, you people are supposed to be totally expert in and comfortable with technology. Is that true?
Protocol of points raised in discussion of different spaces – LG34 vs B1.11
  • levels create better vision: easier to see each other and the lecturer
  • bigger screen
  • more lecture-style: environment cues teaching style
  • more comfortable seats
  • accessibility issues on the levels
  • space that is not designed for laptop can more easily be appropriated for it
  • seats may enforce unnatural posture

The most comfortable posture is not always the most ergonomic one – it’s the one your body is used to. It might take different environments and reeducating your body to settle into a better posture.

Socioeconomic status

Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation – PDF description

Joan has asthma. Her GP suggests an app that monitors her through the Apple Watch and runs on iPhones with iOS 10 (the most current one). She can also buy a peak flow meter that automatically transfers her peak flow (breathing capacity) measurement to the app in addition to the device that the NHS gives her.

(Standard: pen and paper diaries)

Case Study Q&A

Basically, you will need to convince me that you have spotted a usability problem. To do that, explain what the problem is, who is affected by the problem, why it is a problem, and conclude with suggestions for addressing the problem.

If you want an approximate structure for the case study, translate each of the four steps into a paragraph of 100-150 words. This will automatically help you structure your argument. To further help you structure and write, summarise the key point you want to make in each paragraph in 2-3 bullet points, and then write out those bullet points.

Use a neutral, factual writing style, make sure you say where exactly the self-service machine is (Country, operator, location, e.g. the self-service till in the Quartermile Sainsbury’s), and use plenty of pictures to illustrate your points.

The word “figure” in the original task description is a term that covers anything that is not a table – pictures, diagrams, graphs, etc.

Make sure that you use enough pictures to help you make your point. It is all about explaining clearly what the one small problem is that you have identified. Typically, 1-2 pictures are enough.

The Open University has great advice on how to write a short essay.

When you explain who is affected by the problem, and why it is a problem, try as far as possible to link back to concepts and theories that we have discussed in the course – look at the “Understand” and “Remember” sections of the learning outcomes for inspiration. I’m also happy for you to throw in cultural or anthropometric aspects, if you like. However, make sure that you use the correct scientific terminology; when in doubt, refer to the textbook.

And, most importantly of all, go small!

Here are my marking criteria for the Case Study:

  • Did you address all of the four steps?
  • How well do you understand the aspect of design that you have chosen? ¬†range: not at all – publication quality¬†¬†
  • How well structured and coherent is your argument? range: no argument – publication quality ¬†
  • How clear is your writing? Range: incoherent, impossible to understand – ¬†brilliantly clear¬†

Note that I am not marking you on grammar – as I have seen time and time again, you can be very clear and easy to understand despite making a few grammar mistakes.