Guidelines for the master profile “Interactive Systems“
The following recommendations apply if you have chosen the study profile “Interactive Systems“ (Prof. Reiterer, Human-Computer Interaction Group) and refer to the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung) of the master program “Information Engineering”. Within this program you have to achieve 43 ECTS of courses from the compulsory section (Wahlpflichtbereich). In the compulsory section A, B, or C you have to achieve 17, 60, or 77 ECTS, respectively, from courses offered by the department of computer and information science. The profile “Interactive Systems” covers 43 ECTS of which 30 ECTS refer to the Master Thesis, 9 ECTS to the Master Project, 4 ECTS to the Seminar to the Master Project, and 17 ECTS to courses that are specific to the profile. Profile-specific courses are those that are offered by the Human-Computer Interaction Group (see 1).
The choice of these courses as well as the choice of courses from different departments has to be made in agreement with your mentor, Prof. Reiterer.
As the seminar to the Master Project introduces the last part of the master program it is highly recommended to begin with the seminar only if all (or nearly all) other necessary courses have been successfully attended (the preceding mentor conversation is thus compulsory).
Important notes referring to the proceeding of the “Seminar to the Master Project”, the “Master Project”, and the “Master Thesis”
The aim auf the master’s degree consists in acquiring HCI expertise and skills as well as the ability to apply scientific principles and methods independently (e.g. solving a complex problem by means of a scientific approach). Results are expected in such a quality that they could be principally published at scientific conferences, for instance in the form of a short paper (“note”) at the “Mensch und Computer” or the CHI conference (superscript). The master thesis is considered as a combination of the Seminar for the Master Project and the Master Project (see figure 1). Thus the combination is supervised and advised in close coordination with your supervisor (Professor Reiterer and the supervising PhD student).
(I)Seminar to the Master Project (4 ECTS): In the “Seminar to the Master Project” you become acquainted with the topic of your Master Project in terms of theoretical basics and a state-of-the art analysis. In addition you identify and define possible research questions that you will address afterwards in your Master Project. In contrast to the bachelor’s program research questions have to be more complex in the sense that they require the application of scientific skill that are more sophisticated. As the overall amount of ECTS for the seminar, the project, and the thesis is significantly higher than in the bachelor’s program (43 instead of 28 ECTS), the number of pages may be higher as well. The last chapter of your seminar paper includes a schedule regarding your further steps, i.e. the anticipated subject matter of your Master Project and the Master Thesis.
Seminar paper: ca. 30-40 pages in the Springer Format3 (or similar)
Seminar talk: 30 minutes + subsequent discussion
(II) Master-Project (9 ECTS): The subsequent Master Project allows you to practically solve a complex Human-Computer interaction problem. Two models exist:
The design-oriented project covers the conceptual design and the implementation of a novel interaction concept. The concepts (e.g. scenarios, personas, sketches, story boards) and their implementation are documented in the written project report.
The evaluation-oriented project consists in the conduction of a comprehensive evaluation study. The subject matter of the evaluation, the chosen evaluation setting, and the conduction (including a pilot study) are documented in the written project report.
(III) Master-Thesis (30 ECTS): Usually the subsequent Master Thesis continues the master project. The Design-oriented Master Thesis focuses on the conduction of a usabililty test (with approx. 6-8 users) or a case study (with approx. 2-4 users) in which the implemented design concept is evaluated. The respective insights and implications form the second focus of the thesis. In particular the derived re-design proposal and their partial realization distinguishes the Master Thesis from the Bachelor Thesis. Before the study is introduced, the essential findings from the Seminar (the state-of the art analysis, 3-5 pages) and the Project (brief description of technical solution, 3-5 pages) are presented.
Typical structure of the Thesis: research question, state-of-the-art (with reference to the seminar paper), individually developed interaction concept (with reference to the project report), study, study results, study conclusions, re-design proposal, overall conclusion & outlook.
Evaluation-oriented Master Thesis focuses on the presentation and the interpretation of the results of the evaluation. Respective implications have to be presented in detail (e.g. redesign proposals, new evaluation setting, new research question). Conclusions may thus lead to further evlaluations with a different methodic approach and/or further research questions. Before the evaluation is introduced the essential findings from the seminar (the state-of the art analysis, 3-5 pages) and the project (brief description of subject-matter, 3-5 pages) are presented.
Typical structure of the thesis: research question, state-of-the-art analysis (with reference to the seminar paper), subject-matter (with reference to the project report), evaluation, evaluation results, conclusions, outlook
Thesis: ca. 60-100 pages in the Springer Format3 (or similar), Video showing the final outcome of your practical implementation.