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Course pages 2023–24

Practical Research in Human-centred AI

Formal assessment

Formal assessment will be based on two pieces of work, to be submitted at the end of term:

  • Mini-project report, in the format of research paper of around 3,000 words (80%)
  • Reflective diary, binding together 8 weekly entries plus a final summary, documenting the development of your own thinking over the period of the course, total length around 1,200 words (20%)

Formatting of phased assignments

For the phased assignments, please submit to Moodle as PDF if possible. Please put your name at the top, followed by "(ACS/Part III)"

For each phased assignment, please include all the text of the previous phases within the same document, but with the new text that has been prepared for this phase clearly emphasised (e.g. in a different colour). Where you have decided to revise the text from a previous phase in response to feedback, please also mark the revised text, if you would like to receive further feedback on it.

Reflective diary format

Drafts of reflective diary entries can be submitted via Moodle each week, then final versions of all entries compiled together for the final submission. Each entry should answer the following three questions, with 50 words each addressing:

  • Summarise in your own words the contents of the lecture.
  • How does this relate to some of the other literature you have come across, (e.g. academic literature from the reading list, or influential books, or think-pieces from high-quality media outlets)? Use formal citations.
  • What opportunities for further research and interesting questions / conflicts do you see in this topic?

Note that we have enabled submission of the weekly entries via Moodle as a reminder, and for your own convenience. We will not be giving written feedback on these entries in every week. (Feedback on diary entries will be given in Week 2 and Week 4).

The final summary in the reflective diary should address the following three questions, also with 50 words each:

  • Summary of your own previous background in HCI
  • Your assessment of the current state of the art in intelligent user interfaces.
  • A specific opportunity for future research exploiting the issues explored in the course.

Formatting of final report

The final report is to be formatted as a conference submission to an ACM conference such as IUI or CHI (see Materials tab for links). You should use your judgment to choose the most appropriate submission format for the kind of contribution you have achieved. You should pay particular attention to overall length, remembering that student projects would typically be submitted to a conference as a short papers. Note that while guidance for draft text has indicated an approximate number of words, ACM conference submisssions are determined as number of pages. Precise word count is not a priority.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria for both the reflective diary and the final report will be the standard criteria applied across the MPhil ACS:

  • 90-100% - Original interpretation extending beyond taught material.
  • 80-89% - Demonstrates significant insight or creativity.
  • 75-79% - Demonstrates critical thought and insight.
  • 70-74% - Clearly presented. Evidence of understanding, but may contain some faults. Execution basically good
  • 60-69% - Adequate presentation, lacking clarity or detail in places, or containing irrelevant material. Mostly demonstrates understanding, but with occasional mistakes.
  • 50-59% - Somewhat incoherent, with important omissions, or irrelevant material. Some serious flaws in understanding.
  • 40-49% - Work is poor and unstructured, with some parts missing. Little evidence of understanding, many inconsistencies and flaws.
  • 30-39% - All aspects have been handled badly. Assigned work is substantially absent, incomprehensible or wrong. Little evidence of understanding, but at least mentions most of the relevant ideas.
  • 20-29% - Almost total failure to engage with task. Assigned work is substantially absent, incomprehensible or wrong. Some reference to relevant ideas, but many are entirely missing.
  • 0-19% - No evidence of any understanding. Marks may be given for presentation.

Continuous feedback

In addition to these summative assignments, students may submit draft versions via Moodle, for written provisional grades and oral feedback during class sessions.

Work for provisional grading and discussion during class sessions should be submitted via Moodle by noon on that day.

  • Week 2 - 200 word summary of research question
  • Week 3 - 400 word description of study design
  • Week 5 - 400 word draft of literature review for final report
  • Week 6 - 200 word draft of introduction to final report
  • Week 7 - 400 word draft of results section for final report
  • Week 8 - 200 word draft of discussion section for final report

Provisional grades will be given to this draft work, to provide an indication of how these elements would be assessed if they appeared in the final formal submission. These grades are only for information - the final piece of work is also expected to demonstrate a coherent research argument, so the grade may not simply correspond to an average of grades received for individual draft submissions.

  • A+ excellent, consistent with final grades in range 85-100
  • A very good, consistent with final grades in range 75-85
  • B good, consistent with final grades in range 70-80
  • C acceptable, consistent with final grades in range 60-70
  • D disappointing, consistent with risk that a pass grade will not be achieved
  • E unacceptable, consistent with fail