This course provides a general introduction to behavioral and social research methods. We examine the application, strengths and major criticisms of methodologies drawn from both the qualitative and quantitative traditions. The course permits an understanding of the various decisions and steps involved in designing and executing a research methodology, including basic data analysis, and a critically informed assessment of published empirical research.
Three assignments are included in the course that aid the students in performing research. These assignments cover (1) Qualitative Interviews, (2) Lab Experiments, and (3) Online Surveys (including scale construction). All assignments are graded by means of a report written in groups of approximately 4-5 students. In the course we also discuss and practice the generation of research ideas, and writing of research proposals and reports.
The course has a strong focus on learning by doing. Therefore we have both lectures in which new theories are explained and workshops in which those theories are applied. In this way, students learn all the skills needed to perform research projects in follow-up courses.
In the course of the project the students pass the complete empirical research cycle in a research project from the domain of Human-Technology Interaction.
In the first quartile of this project, students study and define the research question, design the experimental set-up, and perform pilot research. Ideally, data collection also takes place in this phase.
In the fifth week of the first quartile, each group will submit their research plan. They will also present and discuss their research plan in an interactive session about ethics with other groups. The methodology will be graded by the mentor, taking into account the result of the ethical session.
In the second quartile (quartile 4), they finalize the data collection, analyze them statistically, interpret the data and report on it in a scientific article. The writing process is an important part of this course, so groups should reserve sufficient time for this phase. In this phase, we will also apply peer review. The grade for the scientific paper will be corrected for peer review
In the explorative course (5 ECTS) we consider the crucial role that humans play in technology from different perspectives: an analytical perspective and an empathic perspective, based on the idea that students both need to care and have knowledge about the user. This is accomplished along three lines.  The most important topics and concepts relating to the user experience will be introduced by means of lectures that present the most important psychological and sociological perspectives, theories and experiments, to give the students insight into different aspects of human behavior and cognition, in so far as it is relevant for technology design and use. These theories and experiments will each be treated in detail, with the additional benefit of introducing the students to the idea and procedures of experimental research. Subsequently, the implications of these perspectives for technology design and use will be outlined. Furthermore, psychophysical experiments and findings on human experience of vision and sound will be part of this line-up, so that a broad spectrum of behavioral, cognitive and emotional aspects and their impact on the interaction with technology are introduced.  Students will be introduced to methods for empathizing with users, and they will work in groups on a small case study to familiarize themselves with those methods.  In addition, the explorative course will contain lectures by guest lecturers who share their experience on the crucial role of insights into the human in the innovation process within companies.
The course will consist of lectures and group work. That is, in groups students will write a report on a small case study to familiarize themselves with methods for empathizing with users. As part of this case study, students will describe interviews in which they ask a technological specialist and users for her or his opinion about the technology and about their proposed improvements to that technology Also, in (different) groups students will analyze a concrete innovation employing the insights from the lectures. Learning goals will be assessed using an exam and a report and presentation.
Are you interested in understanding the human mind, how we think and perceive and how our brains work? This course introduces you to the fascinating world of psychology. You will learn about how people sense and perceive, think and learn, experience emotions, and interact with each other. Psychological knowledge will improve your understanding of how to create technological systems and environments that fit human capabilities and serve people's needs.
This course serves as an introduction in the HTI master program and the different research domain involved in the master. First of all, students will be introduced to all relevant elements of the MSc-HTI curriculum, teachers, other students and facilities.
Content wise, this course provides basis knowledge on the various topics through explorations and applications provided by a multitude of staff of HTI through guest lectures, and preferably also external scientists and researchers from industry. HTI research is built upon two theoretical areas of psychological research, of which one can be loosely described as ‘Brain, Perception Action’ and the other as ‘Cognition and Social Interaction’ the learning lines as we have them in the BSc. PT program. Theories from these areas are applied in technical domains such as ICT, Living, Robotics and Sensing, and Energy. The coherence and cross-sections of these research areas will be discussed in a separate lecture (HTI research Areas) and the guest lectures aim to provide detailed insights into a particular intersection of these areas: for example, a topic could be how persuasive strategies can help people to consume less energy (cross section of cognition and social interaction with the energy domain)
For each lecture students prepare by reading assigned papers and writing discussion points on issues regarding the specific topic. Dicussion points can discuss boundary conditions, methodological issues but also new ideas and applications. These discussion points will be reviewed and assessed via peer review by other students (using a predined grading scheme (rubric) in an online learning environment) and by the teachers. Reviewing will allow students to get acquainted with the academic method of peer review. The discussion points will be used as a starting point for discussions in class at the end of the guest lecture.
At the end of the course, students are required to individually write a paper in the form of a research proposal about one of the topics as presented in the guest lecture. The aim of the research proposal is to identify a clearly unsolved issue in a particular domain (e.g., an existing gap in the literature, criticisms on methods used, new applications of existing theories) and propose new research that can further investigate the issue.