Human Factors
Summer Session I (May), 2005; 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM MTWRF, JUB 202
 


Instructor:  Dr. William Langston
Office:  JH 348
Phone:  898-5489 (office)
email:  wlangsto@mtsu.edu
Office Hours:  Drop in anytime, calling first is a good idea, email is always better for simple things.
 
[Text] [Description] [Responsibilities] [Grading] [Policies] [Calendar]
 
Required Text:
 
Dekker, S. W. A.  (2005).  Ten questions about human error.  Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.  This book provides an inexpensive alternative to a full text, and analyzes specific situations from a systems perspective.  You will need to rely on the notes (see below) and lectures for some of the content.
 
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Course Description:
 
In this course we will discuss human factors.  Roughly, we will begin with characteristics of the human operator and apply that information to the design of systems (machines/devices + operator + environment).
 
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Course Responsibilities:
 
1.  Exams:  We will have three exams spaced evenly throughout the term.  Each exam will consist of an in-class essay section, and an additional essay to be completed outside of class.  Exams are worth 100 pts. each.
2.  Project:  You will analyze a familiar product for design flaws, suggest an improved design, and propose a research project to assess your new design.  The project will be done in small groups.  The write-up for the project will be worth 50 pts.
3.  Presentation:  You will make a professional presentation of your project (as if you were trying to sell your new design evaluation idea).  The presentation will be worth 100 pts.
4.  WRRs:  You will write 5 Weekly Reaction Reports.  Reaction reports are reactions to the design of products/devices based on what we're covering in the class.  You may also react to the course content or the primary literature.  Extra reaction papers will replace lower grades on earlier reaction papers.  WRRs are worth 10 pts. each.  Information on writing WRRs is available on the Human Factors page.
 
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Points/Grades:
 
Assignments: Description: Points:
Exams
3 @ 100 ea.
300
Project
Write-up
50

Presentation
100
WRRs
5 @ 10 ea.
50
TOTAL
500
 
Your grade will be based on the number of points earned.  Totals (in the highest category that applies):
 
>450 = A, >435 = B+, >415 = B, >400 = B-, >385 = C+, >365 = C, >350 = C-, >335 = D+, >315 = D, >300 = D-, >0 = F.
 
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General Policies:
 
1.  Attendance:  Attendance is strongly encouraged.  I will pass around a sign-up sheet every class for use by the financial aid office and to determine whether or not extra credit will apply to your total.
 
2.  Late policy:  Complete assignments on time.  The rule that no more than three WRRs will be accepted within any week will be strictly enforced.
 
3.  Grading guarantee (my late policy):  Exams will be returned within one week of the exam date.  Bonus points will be awarded at the rate of five points per incomplete exam per day until they are graded.  Bonus points will be divided equally amongst all assignments turned in to me on time, for anyone with perfect attendance.
 
4.  Missed exams:  If you know in advance, notify me to make arrangements.  Make-ups will only be given in cases where some emergency forced you to miss the exam.
 
5.  Course notes (PowerPoint) are available on the web at www.mtsu.edu/~wlangsto/HumFac.html.  You are encouraged to read the notes before class and have them with you during the lecture.
 
6.  Any student engaging in any form of academic misconduct will lose credit for the relevant assignment and will be subjected to the appropriate university judicial proceedings.
 
7.  If you experience problems in the course, see me.  You're welcome in my office anytime.
 
8.  Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities:  If you require assistance or accommodation (e.g., testing, note-taking, etc.) due to a disability, or you have questions related to such accommodations, speak to me as soon as possible.  Also, the office of Disabled Student Services (898-2783) can provide information about such accommodations.
 
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Schedule of events:
 
Day:  Topic: Notes: Read: 
5/16
Course introduction 
Research methods
1 
2
Preface
Ch. 1
5/17
Error
3
Ch. 2
5/18
Information processing
Sensory input
4
5
Ch. 3
5/19
Perception
6
Ch. 4
5/20
Exam 1
Meet with project groups


5/23
Displays
7
Ch. 5
5/24
Attention
Memory
8
9
Ch. 6
5/25
Problem solving
10
Ch. 7
5/26
Response selection
Control of movement
11
12
Ch. 8
5/27
Exam 2
PowerPoint/Presentation development


5/30
H O L I D A Y --Memorial Day


5/31
Controls
Physical environment
13
14
Ch. 9
6/1
Presentations


6/2
Human resource management
Human-computer interaction
15
16

Ch. 10
6/3
Exam 3


 
Please note:  Some due dates and topics may shift to later dates.  In no event will due dates be moved to an earlier date.
 
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Human Factors Syllabus
Will Langston
 
Back to Langston's Human Factors Page