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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mark P Haselkorn
HCDE 501
Seattle Campus

Theoretical Foundations of Human Centered Design and Engineering

Examination of the theories that inform work in human centered design and engineering, focusing particularly on communication and interaction design theories. Topics include the complexities of communication as it is configured in different theoretical frameworks, the implications of these different configurations, and why these differences matter to people engaged in professional practice or research. Prerequisite: admission to an engineering master's program or permission of instructor. Offered: A.

Class description

Course Goals This course will introduce you to major theoretical perspectives from our field. By reading and writing about this material, you will have an opportunity to explore the complexities of interaction, communication, and technology as they are considered in influential theoretical frameworks: how communicative interaction has been differently defined and circumscribed and why these differences matter to people who study and produce work in this area.

Student learning goals

Define and map differences among some of the major theories that are currently most influential within the community of scholars in our field.

Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories on our perceptions of what designed interaction is and how they function in human activity, organizations, and society at large: for example, to transfer information, construct reality, regulate conduct, and create identity.

Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories for people conducting research: for example, what questions researchers decide to ask, what aspects of communicative interaction researchers decide to look at, how researchers interact with subjects, and what researchers perceive as their role.

Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories for professionals. For example, how practitioners understand their roles, carry out their tasks, and are implicated within wider systems both inside and outside organizations.

Explain and illustrate the implications of some of these theories for professionals. For example, how practitioners understand their roles, carry out their tasks, and are implicated within wider systems both inside and outside organizations.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments Percentage

Participation 10% In-class Presentations 10% Response Papers (2) 20% Comments on Response Papers 10% Final Paper 50%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Mark P Haselkorn
Date: 05/29/2012