• Web page: http://faculty.washington.edu/wpratt/MEBI554/
  • Course mailing list: mebi554a_sp12@u.washington.edu
  • Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 1-2:50pm
  • Room: South Campus Center 303
  • Quarter: Spring 2012
  • Instructor: Professor Wanda Pratt
    • Email: wpratt at u dot washington dot edu
    • Office: MGH 330L
    • Office Phone: 543-6653
    • Office hours: Mondays or Wednesdays 3-4pm ( confirm via email or in person)
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Content: The course introduces the theoretical frameworks and research methodologies that underpin the study of human-information interactions and the design of technology to support or enhance those interactions. The course will emphasize how findings from studies of information behavior can be used to inform and improve the design of information systems in biomedical contexts. It will cover a variety of design methodologies. Examples will be drawn from clinical informatics, personal health informatics, public health informatics, and bioinformatics.
  • Style: In addition to covering the core topic of information interactions and user-centered design, this course is designed to provide a enjoyable and supportive environment that helps you improve your skills in reading papers critically, presenting papers, defining and scoping a project, writing about a project, and presenting a body of work. The assignments in this course correspond to this style.
  • Readings are available online through e-reserves

The objectives for this class are to help students to:

  • Understand the value of information interaction studies
  • Gain design thinking skills
  • Create a user-centered design of an information system
  • Use a variety of user-centered design methodologies
  • Design and critically assess user-centered evaluation plans for an information system

As with most graduate-level courses, this course should also help students present their ideas in a written report and an oral presentation.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities:

To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from DSS indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so we can discuss the accommodations you might need in the class.   

Academic accommodations due to disability will not be made unless the student has a letter from DSS specifying the type and nature of accommodations needed.

For additional information, see Statements to Ensure Equal Opportunity and Reasonable Accommodation

Academic Integrity

The essence of academic life revolves around respect not only for the ideas of others, but also their rights to those ideas and their promulgation. It is therefore essential that all of us engaged in the life of the mind take the utmost care that the ideas and expressions of ideas of other people always be appropriately handled, and, where necessary, cited.  For writing assignments, when ideas or materials of others are used, they must be cited. The format is not that important–as long as the source material can be located and the citation verified, it’s OK. What is important is that the material be cited.  In any situation, if you have a question, please feel free to ask.  Such attention to ideas and acknowledgment of their sources is central not only to academic life, but life in general.

Please acquaint yourself with the University of Washington's resources on academic honesty (http://depts.washington.edu/grading/issue1/honesty.htm.


All of the expressions of ideas in this class that are fixed in any tangible medium such as digital and physical documents are protected by copyright law as embodied in title 17 of the United States Code. These expressions include the work product of both: (1) your student colleagues (e.g., any assignments published here in the course environment or statements committed to text in a discussion forum); and, (2) your instructors (e.g., the syllabus, assignments, reading lists, and lectures).  Within the constraints of "fair use", you may copy these copyrighted expressions for your personal intellectual use in support of your education here at UW.  Such fair use by you does not include further distribution by any means of copying, performance or presentation beyond the circle of your close acquaintances, student colleagues in this class and your family. If you have any questions regarding whether a use to which you wish to put one of these expressions violates the creator's copyright interests, please feel free to ask the instructor for guidance.

Student Code of Conduct

Good student conduct is important for maintaining a healthy course environment.  Please familiarize yourself with the University of Washington's Student Code of Conduct at:

Last Updated on Monday, Mar 28, 2011
Mt. Rainier Background Photo by Wanda Pratt
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