Enhancing Student's Learning for CS & SE through HCI and Usability Lab

Project Title: Enhancing Student's Learning for CS & SE through HCI and Usability Lab

Long Title (if desired): Enhancing Student's Learning for Computer Science and Software Engineering through Human Computer Interaction and Usability Laboratory

Project Lead's Name: Hakam W. Alomari

Project Lead's Email: alomarhw@MiamiOH.edu

Project Lead's Phone: 513-529-0356

Project Lead's Division: CEC

Primary Department: Computer Science and Software Engineering

List Departments Benefiting or Affected by this proposal: Computer Science and Software Engineering

Estimated Number of Under-Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 300

Estimated Number of Graduate students affected per year (should be number who will actually use solution, not just who is it available to): 0

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem: In the Computer Science and the Software Engineering programs, our students have to take several programming (applications and webs), designing courses, and capstone project. Therefore, any student is required gathering requirements, analyze, design, and develop complex and creative software products and prototypes (e.g., games, documentary, websites). While these products should satisfy what users' needs, it should also satisfy the usability requirements. Based on the ISO 9241, the usability means: “The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.” So, we want to make sure once we have built the product it can be used by people the way we think they can. And, of course that includes the accessibility aspects too.

The major goal of this project is to improve the quality of learning in CS and SE by providing our students with specialized environment to learn the fundamental principles of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The question is Why HCI? Since the only way the user can interact with the underlying hardware/software is through the User Interface (UI). And of course after this interaction we should study and analyze the User Experience (UX). And the standard and the well known method to accomplish this, is through the usability testing. So that we can ensure that the students' work is useful. Usefulness = usability + utility.

Our goal is to create a HCI and Usability laboratory for our Computer Science and Software Engineering students. With this lab, students are able to focus on the user interface (UI), user experience (UX), and usability aspects when developing software systems. They will gain more experience with UI/UX software tools as well as a variety of hardware equipment’s necessarily to conduct a usability testing.

How would you describe the innovation and/or the significance of your project: This project will allow 100+ students per year work on projects for web programming courses, such as CSE 383, designing courses, e.g., CSE 212 the UI/UX course with approximately 100+ students in the Fall semester, and 100+ students on their capstone projects CSE 448/449.

Deeper impact - this project will allow the UI/UX students (100+ students) to focus on developing software system that is consistent with the user's mental models, understanding and improving the UI/UX design, Improving the User-Centered Design (UCD) techniques, provide the best environment for students to run a usability test (observe and listen), and facilitate the collaborative work between CS/SE students and other related departments, such as the phycological department.

How will you assess the success of the project: We are planning on both qualitative and quantitative assessment of this project. The quality can be measured by observing the final student’s evaluation on the capstone projects and other created software products and prototypes. Quantitively, we will track the number of working hours in the HCI/usability lab. Finally, the learning achievement can be measured through the students final grades, questionnaires, and user surveys.

Total Amount Requested: $8,009

Budget Details:

  • 1 computer with a big monitor (27 inch) for the user. Multiplatform. $1,350.00
  • 1 smartphone for testing mobile prototypes and Apps $1,099.00
  • 1 picture-in-picture face camera to record the user’s thinking aloud comments and facial expressions $350.00
  • 1 camera to capture on-screen video of both computer screen and mobile screen $350.00
  • Eye tracking equipment: Tobipro Sprint Package - 1year $2,160.00
  • Audio capture equipment $300.00
  • Intercom with external speakers for the computer $50.00
  • Observation room: 1 wall mounted large TV monitor shows the interface/prototype being tested and the participant’s actions. $500.00
  • 1 webcam and microphone attached to the large TV. Used to conference with the participant. $250.00
  • 1 small laptop 15” for the facilitator $1,400.00
  • Mounting Supplies $200.00
  • Total = $8,009.00

Is this a multi-year request: No