Project Ideas for Columbia Course

A partial list of course project ideas.

  • Critique and develop an alternative design of the user interface to BSCW.
  • Participate in three online communities and write an analysis of how they function and how they can be enhanced.
  • Identify a web site that currently does not support a community and propose a design for how a viable community can be created for such a site.
  • Create a back-channel awareness mechanism for a chat system driven by internet telephony technology.

Project Types

The course project is one of the following two types:

  • Workplace studies plus system design
    • Discuss problems you are interested in solving
    • Review relevant literature
    • Identify some isues you want to address
    • Conduct one or more "workplace" studies to investigate issues
    • Create system design that addresses the issues raised by your findings. The system design consists of screen designs (hand drawings or screen captures of prototyping tool output) and discussion of how your design addresses issues you pursued
    • See Isaacs, Tang and Morris 1996 for an example of this model
  • System prototype plus evaluation
    • Discuss problems you are interested in solving
    • Review literature to demonstrate your solution's potential contribution to the body of CSCW knowledge
    • Build the system in prototype form
    • Evaluate the system with "real" users
    • Draw implications from the user test for your design
    • See Tang and Rua 1994 for an example of this model

Project Milestones

The project work is broken up into four parts and are delivered over four points in the course.

  1. Topic and Team members — 5% due Feb. 3, 2000.
  2. Work plan — 10% due Feb. 17, 2000.
  3. Preliminary results — 15% due Mar. 23, 2000.
  4. Final report — 70% due Apr. 27, 2000.
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