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Final Project

Students will work on quarter-long research project that either contributes to the field of human computation and crowdsourcing, or uses crowdsourcing creativtely to make a contribution to another domain.  Students can either work individually or in teams of no more than three people. The goals of this project are:
  • To make a unique research contribution as described above
  • To understand how iterative design methods can inspire and guide research contributions
  • To engage the class as participants and to recruit online participants beyond the classroom
  • To connect project work with insights from the readings and discussions

To keep projects moving forward, we will have a interim project deadlines due each week. Here is the breakdown of project milestones due each week:

  • Week 4: Bring at least three project ideas and be ready for more brainstorming in class.
  • Week 5: Each team will pitch two ideas (in 3 minutes); the class will provide feedback and vote.
  • Week 6: Prototype your study design or technology. Be ready to demonstrate your rough idea in class.
  • Week 7: Iterate on your prototype, and again be ready to try it out in class.
  • Week 8: Write a 1-2 page document that describes key study design details.
  • Week 9: Collect data and begin preliminary data analysis.
  • Week 10: Create a draft of the presentation and paper.
  • Week 11: Deliver final presentation in class and write a 4-page short paper on your research.

Project milestones:

W4: Ideas
Bring at least three ideas to class.  With each idea, you should attempt to try something novel (or explore an unanswered research question) and impactful. To improve the chances of novelty, scan the papers we have yet to read later in class and scan the proceedings of HCOMP over the past few years. To strive for impact, be ready to explain how your ideas improve the world for others.  In class, we will conduct further ideation and form synergistic teams. 

W5: Pitches
In class during week 5,  each team will present a “pitch” that describes their two favorite ideas in 3 minutes. This should capture an initial research narrative by answering three questions:
  • what's important about the area of research?
  • what's been done previously and what remains unexplored?
  • what's your unique idea for a technology or experiment?
After your very brief pitch, the class will provide comments, ideas, feedback, and provide a short vote on which idea they think has the most promise.

W6: Prototypes
In class during week 6, each team will demonstrate a prototype for their project. This should be a rough mash-up that best represents the trajectory of your project. If your team is prototyping a new crowdsourcing technology, we should be able to roughly try it with the whole class.  If your team wants to do an experiment, we can pilot it with the whole class. The goal is to get started early with iterative trial and error.  

W7: Prototypes (iterated)
Same as week 7, teams will present the current progress of their projects through an in-class demonstration.

W8: Study design document
Before collecting any data, it's generally good practice to articulate all the details of your evaluation. Write a 1-2 page document that describes the "Method" section of your research paper. This typically includes subsections for conditions, hypotheses, participants, procedure/tasks, measures, and analyses. This can be customized so that it fits for your evaluation.  After you get "sign off" from the instructor, you can proceed with data collection.

W9: Data collection and analysis
Teams continue with data collection and analysis. Team should be prepared to give a short verbal update on their progress; if possible, show preliminary charts/graphs.

W10: Rough presentation and draft
Be ready to share your rough presentation and get feedback from classmates and the instructor. We will provide time in class to work on the final deliverables. 

W11: Final deliverables due: presentation and 4-page research paper
Each team will present during finals week on Wednesday Dec 7th from 9-11:50am in our normal classroom. Total time slot for presentations to be determined.

For the presentation, please be sure to include everyone’s names on the first and last slide. The goal should be to discuss all aspects of your research process and results, as if you were giving a conference research talk or a departmental research talk. 

For the final report, your goal is to write a 4-page note using the ACM SIGCHI paper format. All prose and figures/tables should be included within the 4-page limit (citations can fall beyond the four-page limit).  This research paper should include the motivation for the research, background literature, method, results, discussion, and conclusion. The goal is to write a paper worthy of publication in a top-tier research venue.

Final Deliverables:

You should create a Google Drive folder for your team below. In that folder, include:

  • All rough and final ideas
  • Pitch presentation
  • Interim and final versions of your prototypes
  • Study design document
  • Rough and final presentation
  • Rough and final research paper

You will present your final project during class on Dec 7th. To help create a smooth transition between presentations, please create your presentation as a Google slide deck and put a link on the presentation sign up sheet.  If you must use your own laptop, please let the instructors know and sign up for one of the first or last slots so we spend less time transitioning between computers.  Sign up for a presentation slot below.


I would honestly prefer not to assign grades, but the university mandates it.  Here are the qualities I will consider when assigning grades:
  • Novelty/originality of research ideas 
  • Potential impact of research goals
  • Quality of final deliverables (presentation, paper, data analysis)
  • Process documentation
  • Team collaboration
  • Punctual with deadlines

The quality of the final product can be determined in a number of different ways, which are based on both what you choose to do and what your focus is. You will be given the opportunity to help define how you want this quality to be determined. Example ways to measure quality are (i) how well a prototype works, (ii) how clearly and concisely you present research results, (iii) how interesting are the lessons learned, etc.