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14 April 2008 / erikduval

Penguins, Flubbers, Bunnies and … Sex … in my CHI class: YOU can help

Bunnies

This Spring, I am teaching my class on Human-Computer Interaction using Facebook as an application development platform. Well, “teaching” is maybe not the best term for this, as we have weekly “studio meetings” where we (that is: my students and me!) talk and present while they develop a facebook app, and we hopefully all learn about usability…

Interestingly, and somewhat unexpectedly, at the start of this clas, of 36 students, only 24 “had heard of facebook” and only 9 already had a facebook account. Only 2 reported that they would typically take an invitation for facebook from a friend seriously; most would just file it away without acting on it. It seems that they are a rather serious group, who worry about making good use of their time… And now I make them spend more than 100 hours on Facebook😉

challenge

There is a wiki that documents their progress and that includes all the class material. And there is a facebook group for the class, which has not been used much.

The applications they develop range widely in scope: from more conventional facebook type apps to rate people, throw things to one another or nurture virtual pets, over games to apps that help you to find a meeting place or set up a poll…

flubber

In fact, we’ve set up a page with a three-line description of every app and an invitation FOR YOU to install it and try it out. Indeed, external users are VERY useful for a course on usability! You can REALLY help… Many of my readers care about teaching and learning… Chances are you do. You CAN help… Please DO install and try! THANKS!

Interestingly, some apps have more than 1000 external users so far. That is way beyond what we could achieve in earlier years with more conventional application development environments. Soliciting sufficient external user feedback was always a challenge. Not in facebookland!

One Comment

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  1. tombonte / Apr 29 2008 3:27 pm

    Lijkt me leerrijk EN plezant (!) om zelf zo’n application te ontwikkelen.

    Ik zal hier dadelijk wat van jullie applications installeren.

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