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2010/2011  KAN-CMIT_VHIP  Human Information Processing

English Title
Human Information Processing

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Pending schedule: Week 36-38: Monday: 09.50-11.30 Week 39-41, 43-45: Monday: 9.50-12.25
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems
Course Coordinator
Ravi Vatrapu - vatrapu@cbs.dkSecretary Bodil Sponholtz - bsp.caict@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Marketing
  • Business psychology
  • Information Systems
  • Communication

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The objective of this course is to enable students to critically engage with the field of human information processing. As mentioned before, the course is organized into three major parts. The objective of part one is to enable the students to develop an understanding of the conceptual, methodological, analytical and ultimately philosophical issues and aspects of human information processing. The objective of the second part of the course is to demonstrate the various work place applications of the basic research findings in human factors surveyed under part one. The objective for the third and last part of the course is to expose the students to three emerging challenges to the computational/informatics theories of human information processing.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
1. Understand the intellectual history, issues, topics, and aspects of the cognitive sciences in general and human information processing in particular.
2. Identify and discuss the basic research findings in human information processing with respect to human sensation, perception, attention, memory, knowledge representation & organization, decision-making, problem-solving, reasoning, and creativity.
3. Analyze the work place applications of basic research findings in human information processing.
4. Critically reflect and engage with the emerging challenges informatics/computational approach to human information processing.
Familiarity with information systems in general and human-computer interaction in specific are desired but not required.
Oral exam based on a mini-project
Exam Period Winter Term
Max. 10 A4-pages per student, Max. 15 A4-pages per 2-4 students
The mini project must be submitted two weeks before the date of the exam.
Even if it is a group exam, each student must be assessed individually.
The students must give an account of which parts of the project they are responsible for. The mini project and the oral exam are both included in the overall assessment.

The title question(s) and content of the project must be prepared by the student(s) within the framework of the syllabus, possibly together with the teacher.
The oral examination will be based on a discussion and a perspective of the mini project.
The examiner may ask questions that go beyond the project, but within the framework of the syllabus.
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

Students of management information systems (MIS) learn about the design, development, deployment, use, and impact of various business information systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relations management (CRM), etc. Specifically, MIS students learn about the ways in which information systems and human actors intertwine and entangle in business settings. However, often if not always, despite the thorough knowledge about how computers and organizations process information, the human mind remains a black-box. As a result, a critical concern is that present students and future managers of information systems might lack crucial understanding of how humans process information. This course addresses the above concern by empowering the students with knowledge, skills and abilities with regard to human information processing. A deep understanding of human perception, attention, memory, categorization, decision-making, problem-solving etc. and their relation to human performance is the primary focus of this course.

This course is primarily designed to meet the requirements of graduate students interested in information systems. At the same time, the course is highly relevant to students of human-computer interaction, human factors, engineering psychology, and/or philosophy of the mind. This course might be also of interest to business professionals and students who desire to know about work place applications of human information processing.

The course reading list consists of three textbooks and selected research papers. Together, we will explore and discuss various issues in and aspects of human information processing ranging from the predominant computational/informatic theories of mind, the ecological/evolutionary approach to perception and action, and the emerging challenges to universal cognitive architectures from cultural cognition research.

The course is structured into three major parts. The first part offers a traditional lecture-based instruction on the topic of human information processing and an advanced graduate seminar of the main topics of inquiry in human information processing. The second part of the course surveys the workplace applications of basic research findings discussed. The third and final part of the course covers three specific lines of empirical research that challenge the computational approaches human information processing.

Teaching Methods
This course will be conducted in the blended learning format which is a mixture of lecture, in-class small group participation, and online discussion. Each lecture will begin with a brief discussion of the material covered so far in class from the course textbooks and readings for this class (see below). Each lecture will include engaged discussion points at which we will reflect on how to best apply the lecture materials and research findings in our diverse professional workplaces and organizational settings. The second and major part of the course will be conducted in the subsequent weeks in an advanced graduate seminar format, where the assigned course readings are to be critically read, assessed, and discussed. Typically, we will read 4-6 research papers per week. Please be prepared to critically read the assigned materials; assess their relative strengths and weaknesses in terms of theories, methodologies, analysis, and conclusions; and discuss them with your classmates in-class and/or in the online discussion forum.

Dimaggio, P. (1997). Culture and Cognition. Annual Review of Sociology, 23, 263-287.

Dourish, P. (1998). On" Technomethodology": Foundational Relationships Between Ethnomethodology and System Design. Human-Computer Interaction, 13(4), 395-432.

Gardner, H. (1987). The mind's new science: A history of the cognitive revolution: Basic Books.

Greeno, J. G. (1994). Gibson’s affordances. Psychological Review, 101(2), 336-342.

Nisbett, R., & Norenzayan, A. (2002). Culture and Cognition. In D. L. Medin (Ed.), Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental Psychology (3rd ed., pp. 561–597).

Palmer, S. (1999). Vision science: Photons to phenomenology: MIT press Cambridge, MA.

Sternberg, R. J. (2008). Cognitive Psychology (International ed.): Wadsworth.

Thagard, P. (2008). Cognitive Science. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 ed., pp. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/cognitive-science/).

Vatrapu, R., & Suthers, D. (2007). Culture and Computers: A Review of the Concept of Culture and Implications for Intercultural Collaborative Online Learning. In T. Ishida, S. R. Fussell & P. T. J. M. Vossen (Eds.), Intercultural Collaboration I : Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 260-275): Springer-Verlag

Wickens, C., Lee, J., Liu, Y., & Gordon-Becker, S. (2003). Introduction to Human Factors Engineering: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.