Comparing the cognitive profile of the HCI professional and the HCI educator

Austin, Ann and Abdelnour-Nocera, Jose ORCID: (2015) Comparing the cognitive profile of the HCI professional and the HCI educator. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED.

[thumbnail of Elsin 2015 final.pdf]
Elsin 2015 final.pdf - Published Version

Download (223kB) | Preview


Previous research into Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) education has focussed mainly on the curriculum, pedagogy and the gap between education, and little is known about the cognitive profile of the HCI practitioner or educator, or how their individual differences impact upon practice in the field or the classroom. This research intends to address this gap by investigating the cognitive style of HCI practitioners, educators, and those with both roles.

315 professionals responded to a global online survey which captured their individual cognitive style using the Allinson and Hayes Cognitive Style Index (CSI) which tests whether the subject tends more towards an intuitivist or analyst, and the Object-Spatial Imagery and Verbal Questionnaire (OSIVQ) which suggests a three dimensional model of cognitive style – object imagers who prefer to construct pictorial images, spatial imagers who prefer schematic representations and verbalizers who prefer to use verbal-analytical tools. Together, these two instruments provide a profile that matches the skills required to work within the field of HCI. The respondents included practitioners in the field (N=179), educators (N=61), and some who were both practitioner and educator (N=75).

A one-way between-groups ANOVA and MANOVA was performed to investigate differences in the role of the professional, and the CSI and OSIVQ profiles respectively, followed by the Welch t-test to compare their OSIVQ scores with the published normative values.

The ANOVA comparing the CSI scores for each of the groups revealed a statistically significant difference of F(2, 312) = 3.35, p= 0.38 and post-hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test indicated that the mean score for the educators was significantly different from that of the ‘both’ group. The practitioners did not differ significantly from either the educators or ‘both’. This may in some part be explained by the fact that very often HCI is taught by an academic with a computer science background rather than an HCI specialist, but further investigation is needed in this area.

The MANOVA used the three constructs of the OSIVQ as dependent variables. No significant difference was found between the groups. However, the t-tests comparing the professional against the normative data revealed that whilst there was no significant difference between the object imager score of the HCI professional and the scientist, there was a difference between the spatial imager score of the HCI professional and the visual artist, perhaps again reflecting the computer science background of many professionals.

24 survey respondents have been interviewed and the resulting data will form the basis of a thematic analysis to extend the cognitive profile, and to identify the predominant technological frames of operation. Applying this concept of technological frames to the domain of HCI, will help to make sense of the adoption and application of knowledge, tools and techniques amongst this community.

In order for the curriculum to meet the needs of the market, the educator needs to understand the practitioner in order to produce graduates equipped for the role. Finally, as HCI is delivered in a multidisciplinary environment, should it not also be taught by a multidisciplinary team?

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Keywords: HCI education, CSI, OSIVQ
Subjects: Education
Depositing User: Ann Austin
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 08:06
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:20


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item