Guidelines for the master profile "Interactive Systems"

The following recommendations apply if you have chosen the study profile “Interactive Systems“ (Prof. Reiterer and Prof. Dr. Feuchtner, human-computer interaction group) and refer to the examination regulations (Prüfungsordnung) of the master program "Computer and Information Science".

Profile-specific courses are those that are offered by the human-computer interaction group.

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 or Prof. Dr. Feuchtner.

Important notes referring to the proceeding of the "Seminar to the Master Project", the "Master Project", and the "Master Thesis"

The aim of 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). 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 or Prof. Dr. Feuchtner and the supervising PhD student).

Figure 1: Three steps to your final degree
Figure 1: Three steps to your final degree

At the beginning of the semester, the current project topics for the semester are presented in the HCI Student Jour Fixe (see also Current Topics). After the selection of a topic in agreement with a supervising doctoral student, the work on the seminar can be started. Similar to other courses, the seminar for the master project must be completed within the semester in which the registration for the examination took place. The work on the master project can begin after the seminar for the master project was successfuly completed. For the successful completion of the master seminar and the master project it is in each case required to submit a written documentation and to hold a 30-minute presentation. The deadline for the written submission of the seminar paper and project report is announced in the HCI Student Jour Fixe, at the beginning of the semester. The deadline is the same for both documentations. The presentation dates are assigned to the participants at the beginning of the semester in the HCI Student Jour Fixe.

I) Seminar to the Master Project

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. The basis for the seminar is the topic that you selected in agreement with the respective supervising doctoral student. The selected topic offers a question that should be addressed in the seminar. The topic to be worked on is only partially framed for the seminar on the master project. The participants will receive initial literature at the beginning. This literature is to be seen as a starting point for a deeper analysis. It is expected that the students search for further literature on their own and include it in their seminar paper in addition to the literature that was initially assigned to them.

Seminar Paper

The seminar paper should account for the basic structure that is presented in the following and clearly answer the mentioned questions. The presented structure and the listed questions are only intended to provide a starting point for the structure of the seminar paper. The detailed structuring and addressing of further relevant questions depend on the topic to be worked on and should be done in consultation with the supervising doctoral student.

1. Abstract

2. Introduction:

  •  What is the question that the seminar work addresses?
  •  What is the motivation for the seminar work?
  •  How is the seminar paper structured? (Overview for the different sections)

3. Main part:

  • Which requirements need to be addressed from a conceptual point of view?
  • How were the requirements addressed by related scientific work? (overview about the fulfillment of the requirements by related work + detailed analysis of related work)
  • How do the results of the related work analysis implicate the realization of the master project? (discussion)

4. Final part:

  • What is - based on the results of the related work analysis and the discussion - planned for the master project? (presentation of the planned concept)
  • What is the planned schedule in regard to the master project and the master thesis?

Presentation

The presentation should clearly answer the questions that are provided in the following among others. As for the seminar paper, the listed questions are only intended to provide a starting point for the structure of the presentation.

  • What is the motivation for the seminar work and which question does it address?
  • Which requirements need to be addressed from a conceptual point of view?
  • How were the requirements addressed by related scientific work? (overview about the fulfillment of the requirements by related work + selected details)
  • How do the results of the related work analysis implicate the realization of the master project? (discussion)
  • What is - based on the results of the related work analysis and the discussion - planned for the master project? (presentation of the planned concept)
  • What is the planned schedule in regard to the master project and the master thesis?

The presentation should highlight the most important aspects. The main focus should be on the analysis of related scientific work, the own conclusions that were drawn based on the analysis, and the resulting concept for the realization of the master project. Basic concepts that have already been explained in courses of the Human-Computer Interaction group, and that should therefore be familiar to the participants of the HCI Student Jour Fixe (e.g., the Virtuality Continuum of Milgram and Kishino) should not be re-explained in detail in the presentation due to time constraints. Based on the presentation, feedback will be given by Professor Reiterer and Prof. Dr. Feuchtner, the PhD students of the research group, and other students. It is not expected that this feedback will be incorporated into the written seminar paper. However, it is expected that the feedback will be taken into account in the further work on the thesis.

Submissions

  • Seminar Paper: approx. 10-15 pages in the HCI Konstanz Template (Latex, .zip - alternative Templates (e.g.,  Microsoft Word) on demand)
  • Presentation: 30 minutes + subsequent discussion

Seminar Paper Samples

Due to the change of the examination regulations (3ECTS instead of 4 ECTS) the format of the seminar paper was adapted. There are currently no samples in the new format available.

II) Master-Project

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.

Under guidance, the participants learn how to organize a challenging project, carry it out and communicate it. The technical and conceptual complexity of the implementation/evaluation study is supposed to be appropriate to the master program.

Registration

You have to use this registration form to register for the master project: Registration Form Master-Project

Project report

The project report should account for the basic structure that is presented in the following and clearly answer the mentioned questions. The presented structure and the listed questions are only intended to provide a starting point for the structure of the project report. The detailed structuring and addressing of further relevant questions depends on the topic to be worked on and should be done in consultation with the supervising doctoral student.

1. Abstract

2. Introduction:

  • What is the motivation for the project?
  • How is the project report structured? (Overview for the different sections)

3. Main part:

  • How do the results of the seminar work inform the project?
  • Which requirements need to be addressed from a technical point of view to realize the concept that was derived in the seminar work (interaction concept/study setting)?
  • Which previous work (e.g., related to interaction concepts or algorithms), and other available products (software, hardware, and other materials) can help to address the requirements to which extent? (comparative analysis and clear reasons for choices that were made to realize the project)
  • How was the project realized? (methodology)
  • What was realized in the project and which limitations do still exist?

4. Final part:

  • What is - based on the final status of the project - planned for the master thesis? (Outlook to the planned study/data analysis and possibly still necessary revisions of implementation parts)
  • What is the planned schedule in regard to the master thesis?

Presentation

The presentation should clearly answer the questions that are provided in the following among others. As for the project report, the listed questions are only intended to provide a starting point for the structure of the presentation. Important: As part of the project presentation, a live demo is expected! It is also recommended to make a backup video to be able to use it in case of unforeseen problems during the demo.

  • What is the motivation for the project?
  • How do the results of the seminar work inform the project?
  • Which requirements needed to be addressed from a technical point of view to realize the concept that was derived in the seminar work (interaction concept/study setting)?
  • How did previous work (e.g., related to interaction concepts or algorithms), and other available products (software, hardware, and other materials) help to address the requirements?
  • How was the project realized? (methodology)
  • What was realized in the project and which limitations do still exist?
  • What is - based on the final status of the project - planned for the master thesis? (Outlook to the planned study/data analysis and possibly still necessary revisions of implementation parts)
  • What is the planned schedule in regard to the master thesis?

The presentation should highlight the most important aspects (e.g., the three key challenges that were mastered). The focus should be on clearly communicating on how the technical realization was done based on the preliminary seminar work. This includes the clear argumentation and justification of design decisions. Basic concepts that have already been explained in courses of the Human-Computer Interaction group, and that should therefore be familiar to the participants of the HCI Student Jour Fixe (e.g., the Virtuality Continuum of Milgram and Kishino) should not be re-explained in detail in the presentation due to time constraints. Based on the presentation, feedback will be given by Professor Reitererand Prof. Dr. Feuchtner, the PhD students of the research group, and other students. It is not expected that this feedback will be incorporated into the written project report. However, it is expected that the feedback will be taken into account in the further work on the thesis.

Submissions

  • Project report: approx. 15-25 pages in the HCI Konstanz Template (Latex, .zip - alternative Templates (e.g.,  Microsoft Word) on demand)
  • Presentation: 30 minutes + subsequent discussion

Project Report Samples

Due to recent changes in page and format requirements, no samples are available for the current format of the project report.

III) Master-Thesis

Usually the subsequent master thesis continues the master project.

  • The design-oriented master thesis focuses on the conduction of a usability 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. As part of the conclusion, concrete redesign proposals and other implications are presented. For cases in which this makes sense, parts of the redesign proposal are implemented exemplarily. 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.
     
  • The 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 evaluations 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.

Submissions

  •  Thesis: approx. 50-80 pages (e.g., in the HCI Konstanz Template (Latex, .zip - alternative Templates (e.g., Microsoft Word) on demand))
    • The cover sheet for the thesis is provided by the university. See: https://www.informatik.uni-konstanz.de/beratung-und-service/links-und-downloads/
    • Attention, the guidelines for the format and submission of the thesis, which are given in the examination regulations and elsewhere by the university, must be checked and primarily followed. If there should be a conflict with the provided template in the future, the guidelines from the examination regulations and other guidelines of the university take precedence!
  • Presentation: 30 minutes + subsequent discussion
  • Video showing the final outcome of your practical implementation
    • Format: mp4
    • Resolution: maximum available (e.g., HD or full HD)
    • Length: max. 5 min