The main practical work for this module is the semester-long group project. The group is to consist of either four or five students (no more, no less). The same grouping will be used also for all the homeworks. All homeworks will also be group-based (i.e., to be completed as a group, not individually). Pick a topic of a relatively narrow scope. For example, to redesign the remote control for an automobile. The project may involve evaluating the remote control for usability, a physical design that fits well into one's palm, has clear visual feedback of any button pressed, etc. The remote control will then be redesigned with improved human factors engineering. The project may involve the conduct of a survey (e.g., get vehicle owners to try out the remote control). The purpose of the group project is to acquaint students in-depth with human factors engineering and ergonomics literature. The students’ knowledge base should be broadened and deepened in the process.
A report and presentation are the deliverables for the group project. The report should be completed in the below form:
- A literature review which must be based on bonafide, scientific references to support the arguments put forth.
- A section on what is lacking in the design and how your group plan to fill in the gaps.
- A survey (if necessary) to determine the problem and also to find a solution to the problem.
- An analysis and discussion of the survey results.
- A last section where you put forth your recommendations and a conclusion section to tie together the whole report.
The report must be type-written. It should be no longer than 20 A4-size pages including all figures and tables, double-spaced, 12-point font, with 2.5 cm margins all round. This limit must be adhered to as scientific reports must be complete and thorough while at the same time succinct and to the point.
The group project presentations will take place during the last week of class (i.e., Week 13, April 16). Plan for a 15-min PowerPoint presentation plus 5-mins for questions and answers. Further details on the presentations will be announced later.
The project topic once decided upon has to be properly scoped. Choose your topic carefully. If your coverage is too large, you would not be able to accommodate it in the 20-page limit. If it is too narrow, there may not be enough reference material. To aid you in scoping the topic, a one-page proposal is to be submitted by Tues, Jan 29, 6:00 pm. You will be informed by the teaching assistant on how to make this submission. I should then be able to make suggestions on the scope of your group project and help direct you to available references. It is stressed that students must choose topics in which they have not worked on before. The university honor code applies. The report must be the result of the students’ sole effort. A statement to this effect and your signature is required at the end of the report. Any plagiarism will result in a failing grade for this course.
The final report is due on Tues, Apr 16, 6:00 pm, in hardcopy.
As much as we can, we shall finalize the group assignments during the first two weeks of classes.