Exams - ISU570 Human Computer Interaction

Professor Futrelle, CCIS, Northeastern University - Fall 2008

Version of December 13, 2008

New - Final Exam information 12/13/2008

The material you are responsible for on the Final Exam is described on this page.


Quizzes and exams will be closed book, closed notes. I will give guidance on what you need to focus on, so you won't feel responsible for hundreds of pages of text with no focus.

Preparing for a quiz or exam: Since you will be asked to write your exam, the best preparation, alongside your reading, is to write. Since you are given focus topics, you should write out some material on those, to get use to formulating ideas about them using the correct vocabulary (and spelling!). For exams, your audience is the person(s) who will be grading it, not another student as in your report writing. But as always, you must be clear. If you throw around a lot of specialized terminology and give no evidence that you understand it, that is not good. Your goal is to indicate that you understand the material and the answers you give, and that the answers are appropriate to the question; they answer the question.

Many have said, and correctly, that good writing requires that good editing is done. When you're writing a report, keep looking it over and editing it to tighten it up, get rid of useless fillers, get the "flow" right, and so forth. Even on an exam, if things don't look right, cross out some material and stick in something better. Please don't waste your time erasing things. If you erase things habitually, it's a habit worth breaking. You can always just cross out an answer and write it again on other pages of your blue book. Of course, you can have an additional blue book if you need it.

Please do not run your answers together. Each answer should start on a new page.

N.B. - I probably made twenty changes to the paragraphs above as I wrote this page. They typically involved rewriting short phrases and inserting commas to get the grouping and pauses right.

QUIZ #1, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th ON the Norman chapter handout

The quiz will focus on terminology, concepts, examples that he discussed extensively in his chapter. The quiz will avoid things that were only mentioned briefly. As I have suggested, writing out some of the main ideas while not looking at the handout is probably the best way to prepare for the quiz.

QUIZ #1 - Notes on your answers (link).


Focus topic for Chapter 2: The plusses and minuses of using metaphors.

Focus topic for Chapter 3: The interplay between mental models (held internally) and external cognition (relying on external entities and processes). I will explore this in Tuesday's class, on 9/25.

QUIZ #2 - Notes on your answers (link).


The Midterm is closed book, closed notes, lasting one-and-a-half hours, the entire class period. It is based on the chapters listed below. Additional information to help you focus on certain information will be added here before the Midterm.

My suggestion on how to study for the exam would be for you to go through the book and write out some notes on each of the topics below. Then you'd be ready. At this stage, writing is more important than passively reading, since the test requires that you write. You prepare to write by writing, a theme of pretty well beaten to death throughout the course.

What you need to know for the Midterm

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