Field Research Methods in HCI
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Uurimismeetodid inimese-arvuti interaktsioonis
Course title in English
Field Research Methods in HCI
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2020/2021  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The course explores and practices qualitative research methods in relation to the constraints of actual situations, thus enabling students to gain first-hand experiences on their applicability and feasibility in the field.
Brief description of the course
Review of cost-effective strategies, methods and instruments for data gathering in the field.
Overview of contextual constraints, namely ethical concerns, for conducting field research.
Course consists of a series of seminars in the first half of the semester where students are expected to be actively involved.
In addition every student must conduct field research project in groups of two.
Independent work
Field research project (run-time: 5 weeks).
Learning outcomes in the course
After the successful completion of the course students…
● Can differentiate between different field research strategies;
● Are aware of the main contextual constraints and ethical concerns of field research;
● Can set up research questions and choose appropriate methods within the constraints in the field;
● Are able to design instruments for data collection;
● Can analyse and interpret the collected data; and
● Are prepared to report results and communicate insights.
Assessment methods
Individual and group work in seminars 30%.
Group field research project 70%.

Students must participate in 80% of the class sessions.
Students must carry out an group field research project.

A - 90-100% of the work is done - excellent: outstanding work with only few minor errors.
B - 80-90% of the work is done - very good: above average work but with some minor errors.

C - 70-80% of the work is done - good: generally good work with a number of notable errors.

D - 60-70% of the work is done - satisfactory: reasonable work but with significant shortcomings.

E - 50-60% of the work is done - sufficient: passable performance meeting the minimum criteria.

F- less than 50% of the work is done - fail: more work is required before the credit can be awarded.
Tobias Ley, David Lamas
Study literature
To be determined on the basis of each field research project.
Additional information
Students must participate in 80% of the class sessions.
Students must carry out an group field research project.
Replacement literature
Crabtree, A. (2003). Designing collaborative systems. A
practical guide to ethnography. London: Springer.
Crabtree, A., Rouncefield, M., & Tolmie, P. (2012). Doing
design ethnography. London: Springer.
Fetterman, D. M. (2010). Ethnography. Step by step. Los
Angeles: Sage.
Holtzblatt, K., Burns Wendell, J., & Wood, S. (2005). Rapid
contextual design. A how-to guide to key techniques for usercentered
design. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Randall, D., Harper, R., & Rouncefield, M. (2007). Fieldwork
for Design. Theory and Practice. London: Springer.
Olson, J. S., & Kellogg, W. A. (2014). Ways of Knowing in HCI. Springer, New York.
Kuniavsky, M. (2003). Observing the user experience: a practitioner's guide to user research. Morgan Kaufmann.