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  1.   1.  Introduction
  2.   2.  Timeline & Deliverables
  3.   3.  Final Project Presentation
  4.   4.  Final Project Paper

1.  Introduction

The project will be an important and significant item in the class. It is expected that students devise and complete a project either on their own, or as paired with another student. There are several types of projects which will be acceptable (each idea will need to be discussed and approved by the instructor), though preference will be given to projects that either integrate aspects of the student’s ongoing research in a new direction. Acceptable types of projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Design of a novel groupware system
  • Evaluation of a system with a focus on communication/coordination systems
  • Qualitative investigation of an existing set of practices regarding communication/coordination
  • Design of a novel tool for PI data collection
  • Study of a tool for PI data collection / visualization / analysis
  • Design of a tool that integrates

The main deliverables for the project will be: a proposal document that outlines a topic, research question of interest, and a plan for conducting that work (5%); a short “mad-minute” presentation given to the class that summarizes the plan for this project (5%); a relevant literature review (10%), and a final paper written in CSCW format (40%).

My general expectation is that work from this class should produce a publishable 4-page paper at a conference (e.g. CSCW or CHI).

Some sample project ideas (I am happy to chat about any of these):

  • How do always-on video systems work "in the wild"? - Interview study with dropcam users
  • Communication practices of health proxies
  • Distributed collaboration spaces
  • Mobile media spaces / collaborative workrooms
  • Collaborative sense-making
  • Zoomable VideoArms
  • Study of KinectArms visualizations
  • Designing for engagement and creativity
  • NPR and expressivity
  • Styles of "collaborative play" and video game design

2.  Timeline & Deliverables

I have noted several "meet with Tony" times through the term. These are short meetings (15-20 mins) to discuss project ideas/work. These meetings are so that both you and I can calibrate our expectations for each milestone.

  • Jan 17: Project discussion: Create three (or more) project ideas, and share them with the class. Describe the research question, articulate a potential approach, and how you'd evaluate the idea.
  • Jan 21 (week of): Meet with Tony
  • Jan 28: Project proposal due (~3-6 pages): This is your formal project proposal, and it is a contract. It lays out the motivation for your work, the objectives, and the research question you are addressing. It spells out the milestones, a schedule for the work you'll deliver, and your deliverables. (I would recommend having a deliverable of some sort every two weeks. This helps us to keep our expectations (yours and mine) in sync. Also, if you intend on running a study, ethics needs to be in by here, too.
  • Feb 4 (week of): Meet with me.
  • Feb 11: Submit a list of 6-8 paper citations that are relevant to your topic. These will be the papers from which you will begin your literature review, and gives me a chance to help you to help tailor your search. (Use ACM DL and Google Scholar to begin your searches. Consider conferences such as CHI, CSCW, and TEI.)
  • Feb 14: Project speed dating: We will employ a "speed dating" technique so that you present your work in 2 minutes, get feedback for 2 minutes from 4 of your classmates, and vice versa: you will listen to four 2 minute presentations, and provide feedback for 2 minutes each.
  • Mar 4: Literature survey (~1 page): A summary of literature that is relevant to your research question of interest. This should be in the form of a "related work" section of a typical research paper. It can later be used for your final project report. I expect you to have found ~10 pieces of related work (I can help with this). Saul Greenberg has a nice article on writing literature reviews.
  • Apr 11 & 16: Project presentations: 15 minute talk + 5 minutes for questions.
  • Apr 16: Project report 8-10 pages in ACM CHI format & archive of materials/software

3.  Final Project Presentation

Coverage: I expect you to describe the following: (a) what you are studying; (b) why you are studying it; (c) describe the basics of your study; (d) describe your findings (what you saw) with evidence (e.g. sample quotes, captured video, etc.), and (e) what your findings tell us. If you are building/designing a system, I expect you to discuss the following: (a) what is it that you built; (b) how does this relate to prior systems that have been built, (c) what are the design principles that underlie some of mechanics/what are your goals for your system; (d) design evolution -- how did your design change from its original scope, and (e) what does your design tell us about some theoretical construct?

Evaluation: You will be evaluated on your ability to concisely document your project, method, and results. Your presentation will be graded on your ability to present the project in an engaging and entertaining fashion. You will be critiqued on both the content of the presentation and your delivery.

4.  Final Project Paper

  • Hand in a print copy of your final paper on the last day of class.
  • Use the ACM CHI format
  • Sections: Introduction, Related Work, Method, Findings, Discussion, Conclusion; alternately, Introduction, Related Work, Design Principles/Requirements, Implementation, Discussion, Conclusion
  • Include (as an appendix) all data that you collected (transcripts, audio/video recordings, relevant code). If this appendix is looking large (e.g. more than 10 pages), email the appendix to me.