COSC368-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Humans and Computers

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2019
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 September 2019


The course provides an introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI is concerned with understanding, designing, implementing and evaluating user-interfaces so that they better support users in carrying out their tasks. On completing the course you will have knowledge of the theoretical foundations of designing for interaction between humans and computers. You will also have practical experience in implementing and evaluating graphical user interfaces.

The designers of interactive computer systems create a language or dialogue that allows users to communicate with their systems. This language may take many forms, such as a text-based command-line interface, a graphical user interface with windows and buttons, or a 3D graphical visualisation. In this course you will learn how to design, implement, and evaluate different types of user-interfaces.

The course (twenty-four lectures) provides an introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). HCI is concerned with understanding, designing, implementing and evaluating user-interfaces so that they better support users.

Learning Outcomes

Having completed the course students will be able to do the following:
- Analyse and identify user requirements;
- Evaluate and apply current methodologies when designing and implementing interface solutions that meet user requirements;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying human factors and usability guidelines that influence successful interactions and apply them to user interaction design;
- Demonstrate theapplication of formative and summative interface evaluation techniques.


(1) 45 points of (200-level Computer Science and ENCE260), (2) 30 points of EMTH or
15 points of MATH/STAT (MATH120 recommended). MATH101 is not acceptable. RP: COSC110 OR COSC101, COSC263 OR SENG201



Recommended Preparation


Timetable Note

Depending on final student numbers, some of the advertised lab/tutorial streams may not run. Final lab/tutorial options will be available for self-allocation closer to the start of the semester through My Timetable.


Andrew Cockburn


No assignments will be accepted after the drop dead date. The penalty for the late submission of an assignment will be an absolute deduction of 15% of the maximum possible mark.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Johnson, Jeff(Consultant); Designing with the mind in mind : simple guide to understanding user interface design guidelines ; Second edition;

Norman, Donald A; The design of everyday things ; Revised and expanded edition; Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2013.


There are several important documents available online about departmental regulations, policies and guidelines at the following site. We expect all students to be familiar with these.

Notices about this class will be posted to the class forum in the Learn system.

COSC students will also be made members of a class called “CSSE Notices”, where general notices will be posted that apply to all classes (such as information about building access or job opportunities).

Additional Course Outline Information

Grade moderation

The Computer Science department's grading policy states that in order to pass a course you must meet two requirements:
1. You must achieve an average grade of at least 50% over all assessment items.
2. You must achieve an average mark of at least 45% on invigilated assessment items.
If you satisfy both these criteria, your grade will be determined by the following University- wide scale for converting marks to grades: an average mark of 50% is sufficient for a C- grade, an average mark of 55% earns a C grade, 60% earns a B- grade and so forth. However if you do not satisfy both the passing criteria you will be given either a D or E grade depending on marks. Marks are sometimes scaled to achieve consistency between courses from year to year.

Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website within five days of the assessment.

Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Department and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required.

Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $850.00

International fee $4,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering .

All COSC368 Occurrences

  • COSC368-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019