Most of the homeworks assigned in this course will be in the form of discussion questions that you'll submit to the cs584 list at least 24 hours before the class that covers the topic.
Contribute questions that are reasonable for the presenters to answer, given suitable thought and perhaps a little digging into other references if they are so inclined.
Do not ask for the presenter's opinion about something or to speculate about design decisions -- UNLESS there is a good chance they can answer using a scientific basis, in which case these can be excellent questions.
Contribute questions that promote thought/ insight/discussion about the topic the paper was chosen for. eg, if the paper is a case study about how to apply particular HCI techniques, "how/when/if to apply" is the ideal territory for questions.
Discussion questions are to be questions that help us understand the research issues of humans doing software development. So, raise these questions from the perspective of a researcher, not from the perspective of a programmer. Here are some examples of good discussion questions that have been raised in the past:
In general then, your questions should attempt to dig deeply into some issue that arises from the paper we are studying.
Consistent with what I've said above, here are some sample grading comments I've given in the past:
Question 1 and 3 are reasonable questions, but off the point. Question 2 based on a mistaken understanding. None of these questions do much to advance discussion of the role of the paper in this class, a case study of using HCI techniques to ... -------- Qu 1/2/3 = B+/B/A+ Insights in isolation are reasonable (but this does not make for an A, which means excellent). Insights that bring in substance we've learned are better ideas. ---------- 1: reasonable, but off topic. (Answer is yes, foreseeing a problem that doesn't exist.) 2: ok at beginning, trivial toward end, regarding _this_ class's focus. 3: not advancing discussion/understanding of this course. 4: reasonable, but off topic. None of these questions do much to advance discussion of the role of the paper in this class, a case study of using HCI techniques to ... --------- I especially like question 3, which is just the kind of thing I'm looking for to promote discussion/learning of the course topic. ---------- Most of these questions don't do much to advance discussion of the role of the paper in this class, a case study of using HCI techniques to ... 1. Doesn't advance the course discussion/topic. 2. why would this be something we'd care about for the intended audience? 3. same comment as with 2. 4. good question, this is a good one for the course goals. ---------- These are the kinds of questions I'm looking for! Very nicely aligned with the kinds of discussion and learning the class is trying to promote. ---------- Question 1 is reasonable, and question 4 is extremely nice. Those two are nicely aligned with the course goals, namely to study _how_ to use HCI in the design of programming languages/environments. Question 2 is based on a flaw in understanding and is not the sort of thing the presenters could profitably spend time to answer. Question 3 even more so. ------------ Question 1 is good, 2 is somewhat adequate, and 3 is somewhat adequate. In general, you want questions that can promote learning/discussion of the course theme, namely _how_ to use HCI techniques to design better languages/environments for forms of programming. -------------- Question 1 is an excellent question, and just the kind of thing I'm looking for, to promote discussion/learning of the course theme: _how_ to use HCI techniques to design better languages/environments for humans to program with. Question 2 is ok. The answer is "individual differences", which one always finds in human data. Question 3 is ok. -------------Date of last update: Oct. 2, 2013