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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Human-Computer Interaction and Governance (LAWS11447)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryTechnology law students increasingly need higher levels of understanding of computing, and this course explores a domain of computer science called human-computer interaction (HCI). It questions what lessons we can learn from this field for technology law and governance.

This short 10-credit course presents a range of methodological and substantive topics to broaden law students' skill sets beyond traditional legal modes of inquiry. This is complemented by utilising novel use cases of cutting-edge technologies to ground class discussions in emerging real life governance problems. We will also reflect on practices of designers and what opportunities there are for addressing legal, cultural, design and social harms in their work.

This has the benefit of introducing students to (a) new ways of thinking about what technology designers do; (b) new methods and approaches they can take back into their own legal work; (c) an opportunities to engage with new applications being developed in HCI research to understand better how we live ethically and legally with technology.
Course description The course will be taught by five weekly seminars, where students are introduced to new substantive and methodological tools. Example topics include discussions around legal design, value sensitive and participatory design, usability, designing for consent, and qualitative, quantitative and creative evaluation methods. The course also considers emerging technologies and regulatory challenges for design, such as accessibility, affective computing, tangible computing, artificial intelligence and, the Internet of Things.

1. Introduction to user-centric design and user experience (UX) for lawyers;
2. Human and legal values in design;
3. Evaluation methods in HCI;
4. Thinking critically about HCI:
5. Contemporary issues in HCI:
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment:

Students will have the opportunity to test out their verbal communication and comprehension by briefly presenting their proposed idea and their plan to evaluate it in an 'elevator pitch' in class. They will receive feedback from peers and the course organiser. This builds on the iterative approach to design, where the class shares opinions and considers feedback in the process of developing ideas and approaches.

Summative Assessment:

The summative assessment will consist of a 2,500-word written assessment which will be worth 100% of the final mark.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of key concepts and methodologies from the field of human computer interaction.
  2. Examine how these concepts and methodologies help address problems in technology governance.
  3. Evidence an advanced literacy in HCI.
  4. Provide critical engagement with interdisciplinary concepts from computing and technology law.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and Abilities in Research and Enquiry

- Greater information literacy in HCI;
- Open and questioning approach to new ideas and ability to apply these to their own domain of knowledge;
- Awareness of social, technical, ethical and legal implications of their studies;
- The ability to design a research study using methods and concepts from a different discipline to tackle a law/governance problem.

Skills and Abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

- Development of understanding of the role of methodological skills in quantitative and qualitative research design;
- Appreciation for how to evaluate the social and legal impacts of emerging technologies and their intersection with law.

Skills and Abilities in Communication

- Ability to communicate effectively in written and verbal form to different audiences;
- Creativity skills by using different media to communicate and express ideas.
KeywordsHuman-Computer Interaction,HCI,Level 11,Postgraduate,Law
Course organiserDr Lachlan Urquhart
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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