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Prerequisites: SIAT Graduate Student
Corequisites: None

Course Description:
This course provides an introduction to different epistemological worldviews, research approaches and methodological traditions of inquiry that are used to conduct research within the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (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.

Course Details
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.

Learning Outcomes:
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 of 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


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

Required Textbooks:

  • Creswell, “Research Design” (SAGE Publication, 4th edition, 2013)
  • Creswell, “Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches” (SAGE Publication, 3rd edition, 2013).
  • Martin, “Doing Psychology Experiments” (Wadsworth, 2004)

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Field, A., & Hole, G. J. “How to Design and Report Experiments” (Sage Publications, 2003)
  • Evans, A., & Rooney, B. “Methods in Psychological Research” (Sage Publications, 2013)

Grading Schema:
I use the following grade schema by default. This is subject to change though during the semester depending on overall student performance.

  • 95% ≤ A+
  • 90% ≤ A < 95%
  • 85% ≤ A- < 90%
  • 80% ≤ B+ < 85%
  • 75% ≤ B < 80%
  • 70% ≤ B- < 75%
  • 65% ≤ C+ < 70%
  • 60% ≤ C < 65%
  • 55% ≤ C- < 60%
  • 50% ≤ D < 55%
  • F < 50%