New Communication Technologies
(EM 500, Boston University, Fall 2016-2017)

Syllabus

Drawing on scientific research and relevant industry examples this course will examine topics related to new media and communication technologies. The first portion of the course will explore key dimensions related to new communication technology. The latter portion will include deep dives into particular media technologies (ranging from smart phones and laptops to newer, emerging media formats such as social games, mobile virtual reality, and wearable sensors), each characterized to varying extents by these dimensions. Throughout the course we will explore relevant theoretical concepts and processes related to new media and communication technologies. Along the way we will identify patterns of media usage and, in turn, review the psychological effects and social consequences of that usage. Additionally, we will consider the larger context in which these technologies - and the means for empirically studying their use and effects - have developed, reviewing emerging methods for research as well as the infrastructure underlying different media industries.


Psychology of Emerging Media
(EM 793, Boston University, Fall 2016-2017)

Syllabus

EM 793 examines the psychological aspects of emerging media. Theories and empirical research from communication, psychology, and human-computer studies will be used to explore: (i) psychological responses to new media technologies; (ii) uses and effects of technological features, such as agency, navigability, and modality, on users' thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; (iii) Nature and dynamic of interpersonal and group interaction when mediated by new media technologies; (iv) cognitive and emotional processing of new media; and (v) issues of source, self, and privacy altered by new media. The goal of EM 793 is to investigate theoretical and practical implications of research for interface design, psychological processing of mediated form and content, human-computer interaction, and Internet-based mass, group, and interpersonal communication through readings, discussion, and empirical exploration.


Fun & Games: Gamification & Motivational Design of User Experiences
(EM 795, Boston University, Fall 2016 & Spring 2018)

Syllabus

Various interventions are employing virtual rewards, teams, and badges to incentivize real world behavior ranging from commercial purchases to reductions in home energy use. These are examples of motivational design, in which the engaging qualities common to games and other enjoyable activities are leveraged to drive particular behaviors. Using scientific research and industry examples we will examine the key processes and concepts that make up such designs. Along the way we will compare different theoretical approaches to motivation, consider the potential application of emerging technologies for new motivational designs, and discuss the ethics of designing for behavior change.


Measuring Media Effects: Experimental Design & Measurement
(EM 555, Boston University, Spring 2017-2018)

Syllabus

EM 555 provides training in the logic, design, and implementation of experimental research methods. The course includes a practicum component, in which students employ novel laboratory research tools in the Communication Research Center to complete original empirical research on the use and effects of emerging media technologies. To this end, the course also provides a review of psychological and psychophysiological literature relevant to these tools. By the end of the course, students will have a sound understanding of the underlying rationale and purpose of experimental research and hands-on experience using cutting-edge research technologies for data collection and analysis related to media processing and effects.


Computers & Interfaces
(COMM 169/269, Stanford University, Fall 2014)

Syllabus

This course explores the relationship between (computer-based) interfaces and human attitudes, behaviors, and cognitions. There are two organizing questions for the course: (1) How do various aspects of interfaces affect individuals and groups? (2) How should the answers to question (1) guide interface design? The goal of the course is to provide tools for answering these questions, rather than simply answering them. In the process we will review theories from different disciplines illustrating cognitive, emotional, and social responses to textual, voice-based, pictorial, metaphoric, conversational, adaptive, agent-based, intelligent, and anthropomorphic interfaces.


Media Psychology
(COMM 172/272, Stanford University, Spring 2014)

Syllabus

Comm 172-272 is an upper-level undergraduate and graduate course designed to review current discussions about and evidence for the psychological significance of media. We will cover traditional media (e.g., television, radio, newspapers, film), as well as a variety of content genres (e.g., entertainment, news, advertising). Much of the course will focus on new media (e.g., interactive games, virtual reality, online social networks). We will consider psychological processes including perception, attention, memory, comprehension, emotional response, arousal, and unconscious processing.

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