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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Case Studies in Design Informatics 2 (INFR11095)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryHow would you help the next generation of Design Informatics students avoid the mistakes you made? Every time a decision is made to pursue one course of action, other routes are closed off. The goal is to lead a group of fresh thinkers to see why you made particular project design decisions, and to help them map out a different service or product that could be built from the same components.
Course description The syllabus divides into four phases, with the first phase covering the summer placement period, and the third phase being the longest within semester time.
- In the first part of the course, student placements are project based and the tasks to be carried out are defined in advance, in consultation between a member of the host organisation and an academic member of staff, who act as co-supervisors. The placement has a variable term, with a length of up to three months over the summer between years 1 and 2 of study. Immediately prior to the placement, the student works through a catalogue of types of experience they wish to gain, and identifies those they wish to prioritise. During the placement, they keep a diary recording examples of activities which increase experience in the selected areas, and their progress through the project. Towards the end of the placement, a draft of an accessible personal reflection is compiled, and made available for academic feedback.
- In the second part of the course, in the new academic year, the core case study is presented; this varies from year to year, but is normally derived from an active or recent informatics research project where a product or service is an important deliverable. Presentations are normally given by members of the relevant project team. While following this course, the senior students take into account academic feedback to revise their draft reflective reports, and provide short presentations about them. Each individual┐s final placement report describes their project, synthesises their reflections, and identifies which skills and strategies they need to develop further. This form of assessment recognises that placement projects with external hosts may not succeed as planned, for reasons beyond the student's control. A reflective analysis provides the means for all students to submit a report whose assessment is not tied to the success or failure of the placement projects themselves. This final placement documentation is assessed by academic staff.
- In the third part of the course, groups of students work together on new case studies. The case studies varies from year to year, but are normally derived from an active or recent design informatics project where a product or service is an important deliverable. Each group works to identify important features of their project, and analyses design decisions to identify possible extensions or improvements, and to identify possible new applications of the core techniques. As part of this, senior students offer tutoring and mentoring to the junior student groups, regarding their case studies. The justification for the selection and scoping of their own group┐s new project, and the delivery of a presentation about it,
constitute the main documentation assessed by academic staff.
- In the final part of the course, each senior student individually reflects on what they have learned so far, and on how well their tutoring and mentoring has functioned, specifying which aspects of their activity were successful, and which less so. Their report additionally scopes a new conceptual or experimental case study, and outlines a proposal for using it in future course delivery. These elements constitute the main documentation assessed by academic staff.

The core aims of this course mean that the examples used on an annual basis have to be re-assessed for current relevancy. However, the primary focus is on projects relating to groups of humans interacting with, and via, networks of objects.

This course extends students' engagement with real examples in the emerging field of Design Informatics. A key component of the course is the detailed evaluation and rationale behind several current research projects that highlight the limitations of the state of the art, or novel use of the latest theories and technologies. The primary learning outcome is the development of specialist reflective and leadership skills that can then be exploited in future industrial application or academic research into Design Informatics.

The senior students following this course as part of a two-year masters complete a compulsory summer placement, and then work with junior students (normally, who are enrolled in CSDI1) in groups of 5-6, under the direction of the senior student, with a member of academic staff as mentor.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Case Studies in Design Informatics 1 (INFR11094)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 14, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 14, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessed Assignments 100

- 30% of assessment is for the individual's reflective report and multimodal documentation of their summer placement.
- 40% is for the team's proposal for a new case study.
- 30% is for the individual's written critical evaluation of the successes and failures of their leadership, and for their proposal for new case study content for future delivery on the course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate that they can contribute to the activities of a small group, usually in the commercial sector
  2. Critically evaluate personal experience in addressing problems and suggesting potential solutions, and present conclusions using multimodal tools
  3. Introduce selected problems as potential new case studies
  4. Lead discussion in analysing problems and scoping solutions
  5. Mentor colleagues who extend, through engineering and/or design methods, specific features or applications identified in one real example
Reading List
Readings are provided by teachers. Each week students are asked to read one or more papers. The list varies from year to year.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Throughout the course, there are peer support labs for the students on this course, who function as team leaders for students pursuing CSDI1.
Special Arrangements Placements involve students spending from 1-3 months onsite with a host company or organisation. Since the Design Informatics Community of Interest is the source of host companies, many of these are local to Central Scotland, but any interested UK-based company in our Community can be considered as a host. Host companies may pay the student a salary or stipend at their own discretion, but must agree to cover travel/accommodation/subsistence costs for students as required, depending on their location. In the case of non home/EU students, any discretionary salary arrangements must be compatible with regulations of the UK
Borders Agency.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Robin Hill
Tel: (0131 6)50 4426
Course secretaryMs Katey Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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