IST 413: Usability Engineering
Time: M 6:00 – 8:40 p.m. Place: 40 MCB
IST 331 and fifth semester standing
The goals of this course are to understand the theoretical concepts of usability and apply them appropriately in real-world situations.
Text and Materials
Cooper, About Face 3.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design
Other reading material assigned by instructor
Emily Wenk, M.S. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: 205 ISTC Phone: 771-4095
Office hours: Monday 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Other times by appointment
Course Management Space: cms.psu.edu
Your own effort and quality of work over the course of the semester will determine the final course grade you are assigned. It will be based on the following formula:
Mid-term Exam 20%
Course Participation 20%
Individual Project 10%
Team Project 50%
Letter grades will be assigned by this scale:
94 – 100 A 80 – 83 B-
90 - 93 A- 77 – 79 C+
87 - 89 B+ 70 – 76 C
84 – 86 B 60 – 69 D
0 – 59 F
There will be one in-class exam tentatively scheduled for October 13. Questions will be taken from assigned readings, class notes, homework assignments, and research. The format of the exam will be written essay and short answer questions. The presentation of the team’s interface project will be in lieu of a final exam and will be held during finals week, at a time and place to be determined by the campus registrar.
If you are unable to attend class the day of any scheduled exam or presentation due to illness or circumstances beyond your control, you must notify your instructor by e-mail or voice mail before class. Otherwise, it will not be possible for you to arrange a make-up exam.
Twenty percent of your final grade will be determined by your active participation in course discussions and class activities. These activities may include written and oral case study discussions, quizzes and postings, and homework assignments.
It is also expected that IST 413 students will have completed the assigned reading before class. There will be discussion during class in which all students are required to participate.
A significant portion (50%) of your final grade will be determined by the delivery of a substantial UI project. Students will utilize user-centered design methods, task analysis, prototypes, and user testing. Complete, specific guidelines will be supplied for the completion of project. In addition, there may be weekly team meetings, progress reports, and meetings with your client.
According to Penn State University Policies
and Rules (section 49-20), “Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited
to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating of information or citations,
facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized
possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work
previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the
academic work of other students.” Academic integrity is expected of all
students. All work submitted for a grade is required to be a reflection of your
own efforts and understanding of course material. Any violation of this policy
will be grounds for disciplinary action which will be determined according to
the university’s policy on academic integrity. For more information please
visit the following sites:
Academic integrity is expected of all
students. All work submitted for a grade
is required to be a reflection of your own efforts and understanding of course
material. Any violation of this policy
will be grounds for disciplinary action, which will be determined according to
It is Penn State policy not to discriminate against qualified students with documented disabilities. If you have a disability-related need for modifications in this course, please contact the instructor. You also may choose to contact the
This syllabus is subject to revision by the instructor at any time.