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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Beth E Kolko
HCDE 505
Seattle Campus

Computer-Assisted Communication

Explores computer-assisted communication from three perspectives: (1) cultural roles of communication technologies; (2) relationships between communication and information including information technologies in the workplace, academe, and other settings; and (3) application to design including models for audience analysis, task analysis, and cognitive systems engineering. Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of instructor. Offered: Sp.

Class description

This class is an overview of computer-mediated communication as it applies to the range of information and communication technologies available today. When computer technologies were largely constrained to text-based interfaces, CMC provided a useful way for thinking about how individuals interacted with technology and with one another. Two significant shifts over the past ten years have affected how CMC can be used as a way of understanding humans’ interaction with computers: (a) the shift from text-only to a combination of text and graphical and, (b) the growth of networking so that even computer games are increasingly based around multiple players communicating within and around the gaming experience. This course will situate information and communication technologies within a historical context, and we will look at older, text-based technologies as well as blogs, wikis, and cellphone-based text-messaging. The course also emphasizes the importance that design plays in shaping users’ expectations for technologies, and, subsequently, helps influence usage patterns for different technologies. Students in the class will have the opportunity to explore design first-hand by completing a design project.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Course evaluation will be based on response papers (1 page each), annotated bibliography, individual or group project plus paper to accompany project, and participation.


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.
Last Update by Anne Ec Hilton
Date: 05/07/2012