We have significant supplementary material available in a separately published Instructorâ€™s Guide. The material is all about how to mount a college-level (or other) course on usability and user experience and is complete enough to support even an instructor who is new to this topic.
To access the supplementary materials, follow these two steps:
- Register and create an account atÂ http://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/Register.aspx
- Once logged in, access materials atÂ http://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/manuals.aspx?isbn=9780123852410
This site is intended as a place for readers to post their experiences with the book, their anecdotes, etc. Eventually we will include a blog on philosophical issues, particular design critiques, etc. There are many exciting possibilities here including ambitious ones where instructors who adopt our book can have student teams post their semester-long project deliverables as case studies on this site for other instructors and readers to see. This Web site would be an important resource for us, too, in gathering suggestions for changes to make in subsequent editions.
Founded on many years of experience and refinement through detailed usage of our own in real courses, the instructorâ€™s guide will contain many helpful suggestions on approaches to teaching the material and how best to use classroom time. It will be especially helpful in providing the necessary details for setting up project assignments and deliverables, and rubrics for grading them.
Sample course Web site and syllabus
A sample course Website will be provided and can be very useful in helping a new instructor get started. This time-tested course Web site can be very complete, including:
- a sample syllabus describing course goals, requirements, expectations, and activities, with enough detail to help avoid misunderstandings later in the course
- a full course description
- subject matter objectives
- description of textbook and additional study materials
- detailed grading policies
- other items like attendance and weather policies, extra credit work, the honor code, and accommodating disabilities
- a sample semester calendar for pacing of lectures, topical coverage, and project and homework assignment due dates
- descriptions of possible additional outside-of-class activities
- complete descriptions of the team project assignments
- mutual team-member evaluation methods
We will also provide some suggested PowerPoint-style lecture slides (along with Keynote versions for Mac users) ready for presentation or for instructors to adapt into their own presentation slides. These lecture slides reflect our presentation and refinement of this material in our always popular and over-subscribed UE/UX classes at Virginia Tech. (We received heretofore unheard-of perfect 4.0/4.0 student evaluation of the graduate-level UE course for five recent times it was taught.)
These sample semester-long team-oriented project assignments are not just sketches of project assignments, but very specific thorough point-by-point descriptions of 6 or 7 major student project team deliverables, the details of which have been developed and refined with every offering of our UE/UX course at Virginia Tech. The preface tells about how each team can find a local real-world client, expected documentation standards, and the audience for project reports. Each sample assignment includes sections on what to do, how to do it, deliverables, and grading guidelines.
The arsenal of course teaching and learning tools
A textbook by itself, no matter how entertaining the style, can be a hard way to internalize this much material. Students and practitioners learn best from repeated exposure to the material. But repeated exposure doesn’t mean just repetition. This book and the supplementary materials represent an integrated approach for knowledge delivery that builds the learning adventure on a series of related and inter-dependent reading, hearing, seeing, and doing experiences.
First, they read it and see it (via many figures in each chapter) in the text, then they hear and see a summary of the highlights in the lecture and slides. Then they see the material illustrated in the examples for each main step in the process. Then they learn-by-doing by applying it on a small scale via the in-class exercises. Finally, the team project assignments are major learn-by-doing activities.
When Hartson first introduced in-class activities in the early 1990s for hands-on team-oriented application of the material in this book, he discovered a huge boost in student enthusiasm and the quality of their work. Itâ€™s about engagement and helping the students own the learning process.