CSCI 5129 -- New Course

Thu Feb 4 10:18:59 2010

Approvals Received:
on 02-04-10
by Mary Freppert
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > Catalog
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1109 - Fall 2010
Course: CSCI 5129
UMNTC - Twin Cities
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: GRAD
College: TIOT - Institute of Technology
Department: 11108 - Computer Science & Eng
Course Title Short: Online Intervention Design
Course Title Long: e-Public Health:Online Intervention Design
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
3.0 to 3.0 credit(s)
Planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of Internet-based public health interventions. Students will work on interdisciplinary team projects.  This is an interdisciplinary course with instructors and students drawn from Computer Science, Public Health, and Communications disciplines.  
Print in Catalog?: Yes
CCE Catalog
<no text provided>
Grading Basis: Stdnt Opt
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom, Internet-Delivered
Contact Hours:
3.0 hours per week
Years most
frequently offered:
Other frequency
Term(s) most
frequently offered:
Component 1: LEC (with final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
3.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Repetition not allowed.
for Catalog:
<no text provided>
No course equivalencies
No required consent
(course-based or
No prerequisites
Editor Comments: Note: Course would not be offered under CSci designator w/o a CSE faculty co-instructor.

1.  Appropriateness of 5XXX-level CSci Designator
This course is fundamentally a course on applied persuasive computing.  A review of the topics involved shows that it provides domain depth in the area of public health, while focusing both the course project and much of the lecture content on the principles and practice of persuasive computing,including software engineering concepts, user interface design concepts, and system design concepts.  These concepts are typically at home in Computer Science.

The closest course I've seen listed elsewhere is CSci 7000 at the University of Colorado (Games for Health) which is also offered as a mixed undergraduate/graduate course offered by the Department of Computer Science there.

Few Universities have taught whole courses on persuasive computing (the one I could find was taught at Stanford in 1997 or 1998), but the topic is often introduced as part of a larger course on user interface design, adaptive systems, or a similar topic.  Examples include the University of Aberdeen's CS3017 (Adaptive Interactive Systems), the University of Texas at Austin's i385F (Special Topics in Information Architecture), and during some offerings of our own CSci 5115 (User Interface Design, Evaluation, and Implementation).

Given the need to work in interdisciplinary teams (and to therefore absorb information from across disciplines), this seems to be most appropriate at the 5000-level.
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: Dec 09-New course created, will be cross-listed with PubH 6025. Course has been offered twice as PubH 6000; course is now listed in PubH curriculum as PubH 6025).  Student feedback has been very positive, leading to interest in establishing as a regular, recurring course.
Sponsor Name:
Joe Konstan
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes: * Student in the course:

- Have mastered a body of knowledge and a mode of inquiry

Please explain briefly how this outcome will be addressed in the course. Give brief examples of class work related to the outcome.

The outcome is addressed through problem-based learning, using a course-long team project to motivate and synthesize learning that occurs through a variety of readings, lectures, and class exercises.

How will you assess the students' learning related to this outcome? Give brief examples of how class work related to the outcome will be evaluated.

The project is evaluated by the faculty both in a formative, ongoing manner and in summative evaluation at the end of the course (student projects are presented with feedback and grades).

Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

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Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

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Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
Question 1: What types of writing (e.g., reading essay, formal lab reports, journaling) are likely to be assigned? Include the page total for each writing assignment. Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback by the instructor or the graduate TA.

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Question 2: How does assigning a significant amount of writing serve the purpose of this course?

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Question 3: What types of instruction will students receive on the writing aspect of the assignments?

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Question 4: How will the students' grades depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the overall grade will be dependent on the quality and level of the students' writing compared with the course content?

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Question 5: If graduate students or peer tutors will be assisting in this course, what role will they play in regard to teaching writing?

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Question 6: How will the assistants be trained and supervised?

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Question 7: Write up a sample assignment handout here for a paper that students will revise and resubmit after receiving feedback on the initial draft.

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Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus: For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format;structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" found here. Course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification. This course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

(Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly.)

Planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of Internet-based public health interventions or e-Public Health. How internet/eCommunication may change health risk/promotion and disease prevention. This is an interdisciplinary course with instructors and students drawn from Computer Science, Public Health, and Communications disciplines. Students will work on interdisciplinary team projects. This course will be taught by a multidisciplinary team.

Guest presentations
by faculty undertaking e-Public Health intervention or related research, for example, in such areas as smoking, nutrition, diabetes, sexual health, disaster preparedness and post-disaster intervention. (Because several of the core faculty are working together as a multidisciplinary team on online HIV prevention, students should expect readings and examples to reflect the faculty's current areas of research). Global, international, national, and local populations will be addressed as well as interventions targeting racial/ethnic, immigrant, linguistic and sexual minorities.
The course integrates five areas of learning:
1. theory and practice in designing Public Health interventions
2. theory and practice in e-learning environments
3. e-practice exercises
4. e-Public Health Studio
5. Readings and Exercises
1. The Public Health content will provide a review of relevant behavioral, community and mass media theories, applications, research, and core competencies relevant to the design, development,implementation and evaluation of public health interventions.
2. The e-Learning content will examine e-learning theories, applications, research, and core competencies relevant to the design, development, implementation and evaluation of effective online interventions.
3. The e-practice component reflects that this is an experiential immersion course. During this course, students will gain first hand experience of using such tools as (examples are included):
(a) WebCT/Vista
(b) TA Web Certification program* * optional
(c) UThink blogs
-SPH Public Lectures
(d) Breeze
-Pandemic Influenza Planning Conference
(e) Chat
(f) At least one social networking site
4. While technology is constantly improving, as this course progresses, students will have immersion experience during class time and become familiar with basic tools for implementing public health online interventions.
5. In the Studio component, students in design pods of 4-5 will complete their main assignment (the design, development and formative evaluation of an online public health intervention).
6. Readings and Exercises covers both online and offline key articles and texts and exercises on the Web which the student is required to have read/completed prior to that week's course.
7. Lectures provide students with an overview of theory and implementation. E-practice provides students with an immersion experience of a variety of intervention modalities and in practice simulations. Guest lecturers will provide summaries of cutting-edge e-Public Health studies and designs being implemented. Studio will provide students with a mentored team experience in designing and developing online interventions.

Course Goals and Objectives
1. Identify basic theories, concepts and models relevant to e-public health interventions and practice.
2. Identify the causes of social, behavioral and Internet-mediated factors that affect health of individuals and populations, including virtual communities.
3. Identify, individual, organizational and community concerns, assets, resources and deficits for e-Public Health interventions.
4. Identify critical stakeholders for the planning, implementation and evaluation of e-Public Health programs, policies and interventions.
5. Practice the steps and procedures involved in planning, implementing and evaluating an e-Public Health programs and/or interventions.
6. Describe the role of the Internet in both the onset and solution of public health problems.
7. Describe the merits of e-Public Health interventions.
8. Apply evidence-based approaches in the development and evaluation of e-Public Health interventions.
9. Apply ethical principles to e-public health interventions.
10. Identify multiple targets and levels of intervention in undertaking e-Public Health interventions.

Methods of Instruction and Work Expectations
This course will include 75 minutes of in-person lectures per week. Part of this is termed immersion e-learning where students will use a variety of formats (e.g., synchronous chat, asynchronous chat), role-plays (e.g., facilitator for facilitated online focus groups), and exercises (e.g., a breeze presentation). To complete the major assignment, students will need to meet (virtually and sometimes physically) in studio pods, normally outside of class time, and for feedback within class to permit team mentored participation in the design, development, and evaluation of an online public health intervention.
a. Course Schedule, Readings and Assignments
Students are expected to complete the assigned readings and exercises prior to the lesson in which they will be covered.
b. Activities
The course is designed to teach students the process of designing, developing and evaluating effective online public health interventions. The course covers both basic e Public Health modalities and methods (such as those inherent in the e-practice and laboratory) and identification and review of more sophisticated e-Public Health interventions and research methods. A field trip to the U of M's Usability laboratory is included in this course.
c. The Major Assignment: Design Studio
E-Public Health intervention design, like any other design challenge, is most effectively learned through experience. In this course, we will lead students through the design of an intervention of their choice in a studio format, with periodic class sessions devoted to small group formative evaluations, general critique and suggestions, and learning on-demand. Student teams will work on a single intervention design throughout the course. This may be disease prevention, outbreak intervention, health promotion, or a situation lending itself to e-Public Health intervention (e.g., disaster preparedness). Students will be expected to review and evaluate currently available online interventions relevant to their topic. Students will identify an underlying theory or model to guide the design of their intervention, and then design a prototype of the intervention. In addition, students will develop a plan for formative evaluation research for their design.
d. Expected Effort
University of Minnesota policy states that work expectations per credit hour are fixed at a ratio of 1:3. That is, a 3-credit course assumes 12 hours of work per week including class attendance. The course has been designed with this expectation in mind, however, this is an average. Some weeks may require more time, other weeks less.

Course Text and Readings
The field of e-Public Health is so new and evolving so far, no text exists. Hence there is no required texts for this course. Rather, as is appropriate to an online course, students can expect to be asked to review online materials and readings available on the class website prior to the class.
For students interested in additional readings: There are three reference texts for this course that will be available
to students in studio:
On Public Health Theory:
Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K., Lewis, F.M. (Eds). Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research and Practice (3rd Edition). San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.
On e-communication:
Gurak, L.J. & Lannon, J.M. (2004). A Concise Guide to Technical Communication. Second Edition. New York, NY: Pearson Longman.
On building e-learning interventions:
Allen, M.W. (2003). Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning: Building interactive, fun, and effective learning programs
for any company. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
In addition, background additional readings which may interest students include:
On health website comparative analysis:
Noar, S., Clark, A., Cole, C., Lustria, M.L. (2006). Review of interactive safer sex web sites; practice and potential.
Health Communication, 20, (3): 233-241.
On formative evaluation:
1. needs assessment. Hooper, S., Rosser, B.R.S., Horvath, K.J., Remafedi, G., Naumann, C. and the Men's
INTernet Study II (MINTS-II) Team (2008). An evidence-based approach to designing appropriate and effective Internet-based HIV prevention interventions: Results of the Men's INTernet Sex (MINTS-II) Study needs assessment. AIDS & Behavior, 12, online first.
2. quantitative survey assessment. Pequegnat, W., Rosser, B.R.S., Bowen, A., Bull, S.S., DiClemenete,
R.J., Bockting, W.O., Elford, J., Fishbein, M., Gurak, L., Horvath, K., Konstan, J., Noar, S., Ross, M.W.,
Sherr, L., Spiegel, D., Zimmerman, R. (2007). Conducting Internet-based HIV/STD prevention survey
research: Considerations in design and evaluation. AIDS & Behavior: 11:505-521.
3. qualitative online interviewing. Davis, M., Bolding, G., Hart, G., Hart, L., Sherr, L., Elford, J. (2004).
Reflecting on the experience of interviewing online: perspectives from the Internet and HIV study in
London. AIDS Care, 16, (8):944-952.
On human subjects design considerations:
1. Designing human consent procedures online: Gurak, L., Rosser, B.R.S., Oakes, J.M. The challenges of
ensuring participant consent in internet studies: a case study of the Men's INTernet Study. Manuscript in review
2. Ethical issues in e-Public Health research: Rosser, B.R.S., and Horvath, K. (2007). Ethical issues in Internet based HIV primary prevention research. In Loue, S & Pike, E. (eds). Case Studies in Ethics and HIV research. New York, NY: Springer.
On online/offline learning comparisons:
West, W., Rosser, B. R. S., Hooper, S., Monani, S, Gurak, L. (2007). How Learning Styles Impact E-Learning: A
Case Comparative Study of Undergraduate Students who Excelled, Passed, or Failed an Online Course in
Scientific Writing. Journal of Administrators of Electronic Learning, 3(4):533-541.
On data security:
Konstan, J. Rosser, B.R.S., Stanton, J., Brady, P., Gurak, L. Protecting subject data privacy in Internet-based HIV
survey research. STD/HIV Prevention and the Internet Conference, Washington, DC. August 25-27, 2003.
On reaching hidden populations:
Rosser, B.R.S., Oakes, J.M., Bockting, W.O., Miner, M. (2007) Demographic Characteristics of Transgender Persons in the United States: Results of the National Online Transgender Study. Sexuality Research and Social
Policy, 4(2):50-64.
On structural change in physical community secondary to virtual community growth:
Rosser, B.R.S., West, W., Weinmeyer, R. (2008). Are Gay Communities Dying or Just in Transition? An International Consultation from the Eighth AIDS Impact Conference Examining Structural Change in Gay Communities. AIDS Care, 20(5):588-595.

Overview of Course Outline/Weekly Schedule At a Glance
Week Day 1 Topic Instructor.  Day 2 Topic Instructor. Assignment due

1. Sep 2 Overview;introduction of e-PH concepts,Rosser & Team. Sep 4 Cases and the eenvironment, Konstan. Pod Selection
2. Sep 9 e-PH Proposal, Rosser. Sep 11 Technology Overview and Tutorial, Konstan. Submit project topic:Audience/Problem
3. Sep 16 Behavior Change, Rosser. Sep 18 Interactivity & Personalization,Konstan Design sketch(es) of the intervention
4. Sep 23 e-Communication Persuasive Computing,West. Sep 25 Studio 1: Domain Experts, Rosser. Identify: theory for intervention; Draft: background, epidemiology, justification
5. Sept 30 E-learning Design, West. Oct 2 Social Computing, Konstan. Draft: theory Identify: related work
6. Oct 7 Games, Calendars,etc.,Konstan. Oct 9 Human Subjects: Ethical and Other issues, Rosser. Draft: related work Revised design sketch
7. Oct 14 Paper Prototyping/Project management,Konstan Danilenko. Oct 16 Studio 2: Design Studio,Konstan&Team. Full Project Proposal
8. Oct 21 Studio 3: Cognitive Walkthrough,Konstan & Team. Oct 23 e-Health Literacy West. Paper Prototype (Tues)Development Plan
9. Oct 28 Evaluation Strategies, Konstan. Oct 30 Case Study: Smoking Cessation, An (Rosser). Cognitive Walkthrough
10. Nov 4 Studio 4: Scope & Technology Issues,Konstan & Team. Nov 6 Usability Lab, Konstan. Heuristic Evaluation
11. Nov 11 Case Study:MINTS (HIV Prevention),Rosser. Nov 13 Case:Nutrition/Diabetes,Horvath (Rosser). Running Prototype User Test Plan
12. Nov 18 E-mail,Recruitment & Retention,Konstan. Nov 20 Security Issues, Konstan. No deliverable this week
13. Nov 25 Studio 5: Experts, Rosser & Team. Nov 27 Thanksgiving - no class. User Testing (Tues)
14. Dec 2 Project Presentations.Team. Dec 4 Project Presentations. Team. Final Presentations Change List
15. Dec 9 Course Wrap-up,Course Evaluations,Group Self-Evaluation

Evaluation and Grading
Students will be evaluated through multiple methods. Final grade will be assessed on a 100-point scale.
10% Pod Formation Assignment
15% Participation
20% Proposal
20% Design
15% Final Presentation
20% Final Project including User Testing and Implementation
Grades will be based on the following scale, as rounded to the nearest grade:
A 93 - 100; B- 80 - 82; D+ 67 - 69;
A- 90 - 92; C+ 77 - 79; D 63 - 66;
B+ 87 - 89; C 73 - 76; D- 60 - 62;
B 83 - 86; C- 70 - 72; F Below 60.
The S/N option is available for this course. A grade of B- or better is required for an S.