HIVK03041U Cph., System Evaluation and User Studier, Constituent elective module,

Volume 2015/2016

Informationsvidenskab og kulturformidling


The module includes advanced studies of the theoretical and methodological aspects concerning evaluation of interactive information systems in context, the emphasis being on the correlation between information needs, situation and relevance as well as search behaviour seen in the light of dissemination processes and associated technologies.  Taking its starting point in the research literature, the module introduces models for information behaviour and information interaction in order to identify approaches to evaluation of system performance and usability, and explicitly to discuss methods for evaluation of interactive information retrieval systems.

The module consists of the following three sub-courses and a project seminar:

Information behaviour

  • Basic information behaviour models and interactive information retrieval research approaches
  • Types of information needs, including work task related information needs
  • The concept of relevance


Data collection and analysis

  • Research focus: behavioural studies vs. performance tests
  • Research design – test variables
  • Data collection methods: qualitative methods and statistical methods of analysis


Evaluation of interaction design

  • System centric evaluation; Cranfield-TREC-INEX; Performance measures
  • User centric evaluation; usability evaluation and analysis
  • Validation of test results



Learning Outcome

Competence objectives for the module

The objective of the module is to provide the student with:

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Different types of evaluation and evaluation approaches.
  • Central concepts and models for information behaviour and search/retrieval and the related processes and functions, as well as methods for studying the same.


Skills in:

  • Reflecting on central models and methods for the study of information behaviour and search/retrieval as well as the associated processes and functions.
  • Assessing suitable methods, and a combination of these, for the study/evaluation os systems performance and information behaviour - including evaluation of interactive information retrieval systems
  • Identifying and comparing central evaluation concepts and methods for system evaluation and user studies, and to assess and validate evaluation results in relation to given circumstances.


Competences in:

  • Preparing/designing studies and tests for the study/evaluation of systems performance and information behaviour – including evaluation of interactive information retrieval systems.
  • Conducting various types of system evaluation and user studies.


Academic objectives:

The examinee is able to

  • Give an account of different types of evaluation and evaluation approaches.
  • Assess suitable methods, and combinations of these, for studies/evaluation of system performance and information behaviour.
  • Conduct various types of system evaluation and user studies independently.

Sample literature:

  • Ingwersen, P. & Järvelin, K. (2005). The Turn: Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context. Berlin/Heidelberg : Springer. 448 s.
  • Kelly, D. (2009). Methods for Evaluating Interactive Information Retrieval Systems with Users. Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval, 3(1-2), 1-224.
  • Lazar, Feng & Hochheiser (2010): Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction. Chichester, Wiley, 426 s.
  • Saracevic, T. (2009). Information Science. In: Bates, M.J. & Maack, M.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science.  New York : Taylor & Francis. 2570-2586.
Class teaching, lectures, student presentations, workshops and project seminar.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 45
  • Exam
  • 120
  • Exam Preparation
  • 245,8
  • Total
  • 410,8
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Exam language: Danish or English
The student's ability to spell and express himself/herself is included in the overall assessment with a weighting of 10%.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

Winter exam 2015


Re-examination form is the same as for the ordinary examination in February 2016