CPSC 599.81: Interactive Collaborative Computing

Brief Description

Principles and applications of collaborative and social computing. Design, implementation and evaluation of systems in specific settings (work, play and everyday life) with insight into social aspects of technology use, and how that affects the design of technologies that are used by more than one person.

Long Description

Computing technologies are often designed to be used by more than one person, each of whom may have unique needs, perspectives, requirements for technology. This course examines the complexity of designing collaborative and social computing technologies that account for these issues. We briefly touch on core social psychology constructs, and then illustrate how these affect technology design in several case studies. These case studies may include everyday applications at work and in everyday life, such as: email, social media, forums, online games, domestic computing, etc. Students will develop an understanding of how to design technologies to support awareness, communication and coordination among groups.


This course will run as a half-lecture, half-seminar course. Lecture material will be assessed through quizes and assignments (GA1, GA6, GA9). Assignments will be designed to allow students as groups to demonstrate breadth of knowledge through the design and construction of systems (GA2, GA3, GA5, GA8). Seminars will also be run on a weekly basis, where students present material, and participate in discussions that will require critical reflection on the material (GA6, GA7, GA8).


Consent of the instructor.

CPSC 319 or 331; Prior or concurrent completion of CPSC 441 and CPSC 481 are strongly recommended.

Course Structure

This is a half-lecture, half-seminar style course, meeting twice a week. Students are expected to contribute to a course blog about the readings, participate in weekly discussions, and deliver presentations in class. There is a also a significant project component.


  • Class participation (contributions to discussion, quizzes): 15%
  • Online participation (contributions to blog): 15%
  • Topic presentation: 10%
  • Assignments: 30%
  • Project: 30%



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