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Course Project

Students will complete a major project that studies a particular instance of collaboration or involves the design of a collaborative technology (either for work or domestic activities). Students will document this project by writing a conference-style publication and presenting the work through a conference-style presentation in front of the class.

Theme: There is no specific theme this term. You should, in general, focus on technologies that allow for collaboration, communication (e.g., sending messages back and forth, talking with one another, etc.), or shared experiences in real time.

Sample project ideas include:

  1. Study the use of existing mobile video chat systems by families for doing activities together over distance: interview 8-10 people about how they use FaceTime as a part of their normal routines for video calling.
  2. Design a new system to support the sharing of dinner over distance between remotely-located partners
  3. ...

Scope: If you are doing a study, I would expect you to have around 10 to 12 participants. If you are designing a system, I'd expect it to be a medium-fidelity technology that works for real for the core features of the system. Other aspects could be faked or not functional. You will not likely have time to evaluate your design if you build something.

Ethics: If you are conducting a study that involves people, normally we would need to get approval to run the study from the Office of Research Ethics at SFU. However, as part of a course, you can conduct a study with people you know (e.g., family, friends) without having to get ethics approval. That said, if you want to try and publish your work after the course, it is best to get external participants and go through the ethics process.

Length and Format: The final paper should be between 8 and 10 pages long in ACM SIGCHI Paper Format. Here is the format with actual paper content. See this page for details on what sections to include in the final paper. For those who create systems for their projects, you can optionally submit a paper that is 4 pages long if you also submit an accompanying video demonstrating your system. The video should be between 2 and 4 minutes in length and adhere to these guidelines.

I expect to see at least eight papers cited and discussed within a Related Work section of the paper. If you want to publish the work outside of the course, you'd likely need around twenty or more. So keep this in mind.

Final Presentation: You will present the work to the class as part of a short presentation followed by questions.

Submission instructions: Please submit your final papers in a Word document format to me, in addition to a PDF, both sent via email. I want to embed some comments within the Word doc that will help you revise the paper for submission to a conference venue. For deadlines, please see the course calendar.

Mock Program Committee & Reviewing: You will also participate in a mock program committee (PC) where you review papers and discuss them at a PC meeting.

Evaluation: You will be evaluated on your ability to concisely document your project, method, and results. You will also be graded on your writing ability. Your presentation will be graded on your ability to present the project in an engaging and entertaining fashion. You will be critiqued on both the content of the presentation and your delivery.

Your paper reviews and participation in the mock PC meeting will be evaluated based on your thoroughness, work ethic, and level of participation. The grade for the program committee work will be incorporated into your project grade.