🎉 NEWS 🎉

(April 2024) AlgeSPACE project on SIC news and university news

(Mar 2024) Our lab will offer two new seminars in SS2024 – check them out here.

(Mar 2024) We will be at the Tag der digitalen Bildung (The Digital Education Day) in Saarland!

(Feb 2024) We have launched AlgeSPACE — a collection of free interactive exercises for teaching and learning how to solve systems of equations.

(Oct 2023) New grant (with Sarah Malone) on co-designing a learning dashboard on AI in Education with university students at Saarland.

(Sep 2023) Won the PRESTO (“Sakigake”) grant! (€300K) We will work on participatory design research with school students and teachers in Germany and Japan to design an intelligent system with a focus on student agency.

(Aug 2023) Echo has joined the lab as a postdoc from ASU! Learn more about her.

(Apr 2023) Starting a new role as a Visiting Professor at Hokkaido University in Japan!

(Mar 2023) Gave a talk at CAIS in Bochum

(Feb 2023) Gave a talk at ETH Zürich (FLI Colloquia)

(Dec 2022) Launched the “Future+Learning” working group with Lis Sylvan and Sandra Cortesi @BKC Harvard

(Nov 2022) Moved to Germany to start my TT position at Saarland University!

(June 2021) Our ISLS paper was nominated for Best Design Paper!

(April 2021) We were at the ED Games Expo! Here’s our entry.

(Dec 2020) Won the Fred Mulder Open Education Practice Award!

(Nov 2020) Gave a talk at Keio Univ.

(Nov 2020) Won an AECT award!

(Nov 2020) Presented at OpenEd20

(Oct 2020) Made a tape diagram template (available under CC-BY-NC)

Seminar: User-Centered Research (SS 2024)


Are you interested in a career as a UX Researcher? Do you feel like you know the basics of HCI research but want to get more practical skills and hands-on exercises? You are planning to conduct an interview study but are not sure where to start? Then this seminar may be for you!

Understanding users is a core part of HCI research. Today, many tech companies conduct in-house user research as part of their product design cycle, making sure to deliver products that are not only user-friendly but also offer meaningful user experiences.

In this seminar, we will go through the details of how to conduct user-centered research through several hands-on practical opportunities with iterative rounds of feedback. The goal of this seminar is to help you independently conduct user research on technological products and/or prototypes.

In a small-sized casual learning environment, you will get to learn how to set your research question, how to create a consent form, how to obtain user consent, how to prepare a research protocol and interview guide, and how to conduct user research (e.g., interviews, contextual inquiry, think aloud, personas, empathy mapping) in ethical and effective ways. We will also learn how to analyze qualitative data through a couple of analytical techniques that are used in research and industry settings (e.g., Affinity Diagramming). We will read some papers, and there will be practical activities/assignments for students to apply methods.

This seminar is ideal for:

  • Students who have taken the HCI lecture but want to get more hands-on experiences and feedback on user research
  • Students who are planning to conduct user studies or usability studies for their thesis project
  • Students who are interested in a career in UX Research

Learning objectives: After completing this seminar, you will be able to discuss the benefits and limitations of various practical methods for conducting user research. You will also be able to use those methods to elicit meaningful insights from user studies.

Lecturer:  Tomohiro Nagashima (nagashima[at]

The number of students:  7 from SIC, 3-4 from other departments/faculty at UdS

Location:  TBD (Somewhere in E13…)

Time: Tentatively: Seven Wednesdays 12:00-14:00 starting on May 29th, until July 10th, and May 27th (Mon) 11:00-13:00 and July 8th (Mon) 12-14:00.

Credit points: 7CP

Application/Enrollment: If you are a SIC student, please use the seminar portal to send your application with a motivation statement. If you are in other departments (e.g., EduTech), please use this form to send your application to me by April 12th (Fri), 2024. Please use this form to send your application to me by April 12th (Fri), 2024.

Grading (tentative):

  • 10% weekly reflection posts (your thoughts on what we do every week)
  • 20% discussion lead (short presentation + facilitation of activities)
  • 50% weekly assignments
  • 10% final reflection report (1000-2000 words on what you have learned from the seminar)
  • 10% contributions to discussion during the class

Tentative List of Topics:

  • Day 1: “What is user research and why is it important?”
  • Day 2: “What do I want to find out?”: Defining a research question
  • Day 3: “But how can I get answers to my question?”: Creating a research protocol
  • Day 4: “Wait but I need the user’s consent, right?”: Crafting a consent form and getting consent
  • Day 5: “The day has come…”: Conducting user research sessions
  • Day 6: “Well that didn’t work well...”: Choosing an appropriate method
  • Day 7: “Now I have data!”: Analyzing user data 
  • Day 8: “What other methods are available?”: Exploring alternatives
  • Day 9: “Now I’m ready!”: Applying for UX Researcher jobs