Fall 2020 - IAT 804 G100

Foundations of Research Design for Human-Centred Design of Interactive Technologies (3)

Class Number: 7829

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 10:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SIAT Graduate Student.



Provides an introduction to different epistemological worldviews, research approaches and methodological traditions of inquiry that are used to conduct research within SIAT. Students are introduced to a range of ways of knowing and inquiring in human-centred design, development and analysis of interactive technologies including scientific, social science, humanities, design and art-based approaches.


This course examines epistemological approaches and methodologies for conducting research in the human-centred design of interactive technologies. It will explore terminology and research approaches in both the arts and sciences; the assumptions behind different philosophical worldviews or paradigms (e.g., post-positivism, constructionism, pragmatism); the origins and characteristics of different methodological traditions of inquiry; research designs based on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approaches; and, research ethics and the ethics of working with human participants. This course will provide students with foundational knowledge needed to conduct research in the interdisciplinary fields found within SIAT.

In Fall 2020, all sessions will be conducted remotely. Students are encouraged to join the live sessions during the scheduled course time if possible. The presentations will be recorded and shared in the course Canvas site for those who are not able to join synchronously.


Students will be able to:
- understand and use key terminology around the creation of knowledge, inquiry, and methodology
- understand and analyze the underlying concepts of research in the human-centred design of interactive technologies and the differences between research methodologies (e.g., experimental research design, ethnographic research study, phenomenological study, art/design based approaches)
- plan a research investigation using one or more methodologies for conducting research in the areas of human-centred design
- understand and apply principles of research ethics surrounding the design and use of interactive technologies for people and conducting research studies with human participants
- document a research study plan through writing and oral presentation


  • Ethics tutorial and assignment 5%
  • Short paper and in-class group discussion 15%
  • Workshop critique / in-class presentation 15%
  • Assignments on methodological traditions 15%
  • Final paper detailing a research design 50%


Participation in Fall 2020 includes remote attendance at the weekly online presentations and discussion, or asynchoronous engagement (eg. written response or online discussion) with the weekly recorded session.



“Research Design:  Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods Approaches” (2014/2018) by John W Creswell; 4th/5th Editions; SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781452226101

"Ways of Knowing in HCI" (2014)by Judith S. Olson and Wendy A. Kellogg (editors), Springer.
ISBN: 9781493903771


“Doing Psychology Experiments” (2007) by David W Martin; 7th Edition; Wadsworth Publishing"
ISBN:  9780495115779

“Methods in Psychological Research” (2013) by A Evans, B Rooney; SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781452261041

“Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design:  Choosing Among Five Approaches” (2017) by John W Cresswell; 4th Edition; SAGE Publications

ISBN: 9781506330204

“How to Design & Report Experiments” (2003) by A Field, G J Hole; 1st Edition; SAGE Publications

ISBN: 9780761973836

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).