This subject is about human computer interaction.  Psychological, physiological and cultural inputs are covered in some detail.

The subject web site contains all of the course material.  The complete URL of its home page is

This web site was originally developed from a set of PowerPoint slides prepared by Robert Robson.  You can find these slides here.

The course has four components:

  • Lectures and Class Discussions: where we discuss the theory outlined in the lecture notes.
  • Workshops: you work in pairs on your own time on small problems that implement concepts introduced in the week's lectures.
  • Assignments: where you work on projects that integrate the topics covered in class.
  • Research Essay: you perform independent research on a specific topic and present your results to the class.

The two assignments and research essay need to be submitted on time.  Any submission after the due date and time will receive a mark of zero.  Note that you still need to submit both assignments and the research essay in order to pass the course.

This web site evolves.  If you have any suggestions on how it could be improved, please feel free to let your instructor know. 

Grading Policy

You can find the official subject outline with the approved outcomes here.

To pass this subject, you must:

  • pass the final exam,
  • pass the total of all assessments,
  • submit all assignments (including the research essay) in satisfactory form, and
  • pass a weighted average of the test and the final exam.


Your workshops are not graded.  However, you may be examined on the results of your workshop results.


Your assignments will be graded to the following:

Description Weight
Completeness and quality of the content 60%
Clarity of the writing 25%
Document structure and references 15%

Tests and Final Exam

Your test and exam answers will be graded according to the following rubric.

Grade Description
Excellent (10) Complete answer and well-written
Good (8) Complete answer but writing may be improved significantly
Marginal (6) Incomplete answer
Inadequate (3) A few elements of the complete answer but otherwise unsatisfactory
Fail (0) No answer


Lecture Notes

The subject material consists of nine (9) distinct parts:

  • introduction
  • humans
  • computers
  • interactions
  • ergonomics
  • icons
  • internationalization
  • user support
  • usability engineering
  • cognitive models
  • design rules
  • captology

Each chapter introduces one concept and outlines the theory associated with that concept.  Typically, one lecture covers one chapter.  You might find it helpful to bring a printed copy of the day's chapter to class and to mark it up during the lecture.


There are eight workshops in total.  They are scheduled to be done after the last class of the week.  Pair up with another student and complete the workshop before our next class.  You will have an opportunity to discuss your results at the beginning of that next class.


The Academic Policy of Seneca College applies to the Computer Studies.  Cheating, plagiarism and breach of copyright are serious offenses under this Policy.  The official version of the Cheating and Plagiarism Section is here.


Cheating during a test or exam is construed as talking, peeking at another student?s paper or any other clandestine method of transmitting information.


Plagiarism is using the work of others without citing it; that is, holding the work of others out as your own work.

Do not submit an assignment that contains material copied from another student, a website, a textbook or any other published or unpublished source without identifying the material that is not your own.  Simple rewording of someone else's submission or changing the field names in their program and presenting their work as your own may be construed as plagiarism: you are still copying the solution and submitting it as your own.  Plagiarism is not excusable by trivial differences in the code or the wording.

All assignments are individual work.  If your instructor notices that you have copied parts of your submission from another student or external source without citation, your instructor may charge you with plagiarism. 

Breach of Copyright

If you photocopy a textbook without the copyright holder's permission, you violate copyright law.