Studying Human-Computer Interaction with Video - Online


10/11/2021 - 11/11/2021

Organised by:

University of Liverpool


Dr Stuart Reeves


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


Dr Billie-Gina Thomason

video conference logo

Venue: Online


Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an ever-more pervasive phenomenon. In fact, avoiding any kind of interaction with digital technologies has become a purposeful and quite challenging act in many modern societies. In this way HCI has the potential for widespread relevance considerably beyond its initial disciplinary origins stemming largely from university computer science and psychology departments.

Simultaneously, approaches from the human sciences (and arts and humanities) have pushed well into HCI’s mainstream. One approach that has had significant formative impact in HCI is, broadly, sociological interactionism; that is, understanding interaction with / around digital technologies, infrastructures and services as constitutively interactional in nature.

This course will explore one formative strand of interactionism: video-based studies of social interaction with / around digital technologies (e.g., in everyday life), informed by traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis.

The course will contextualise video analysis both in terms of human-computer interaction as everyday, routine phenomena, and with respect to HCI as a field (and its connections with both technical and sociotechnical fields of research). By looking at video analysis through the lens of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, coupled with a perspective on the disciplinary challenges such work potentially faces, this course will provide a broad introduction to doing studies in this form: how they can be conceived of and what outcomes they might produce.

The course covers:

  • Scoping human-computer interactions (HCI) and collaborative computing as phenomena
  • Scoping HCI as ‘discipline’: Methods, approaches, disciplinarity
  • Social turns and the ‘missing what’: critical review of traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis in / of HCI
  • Video as aid: Why study human-computer interactional phenomena with video?
  • Getting things done: Practicalities of video-based studies of digital technologies and infrastructures
  • “So what?” Formulating outcomes in / of HCI
  • The future: EMCA and the future of HCI discourses

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Be familiar with the nature of human-computer interactional phenomena and matters of HCI research disciplinarity
  • Be aware of the basic ideas driving EMCA and correspondingly the use of video as a tool for this research approach, including an appreciation for the various caveats and inherent problems (as well as practical challenges and disciplinary ones with respect to HCI research)
  • Understand what is involved in examining video recordings of human-computer interaction and unpacking how interaction unfolds (and its significance for designers)

Schedule: The course is run across two mornings and equates to one teaching day for payment purposes

MORNING 1 : 10th November 2021

9:30  Welcome, 20 second intros around the room (10 mins)

9:40  Teaching session 1 (1hr – short break included) – laying the ground work

         Presentations on:

         1) Brief intro to human-computer interactions (scoping HCI as phenomena and discipline);

         2) Primer on EMCA and HCI research and its position within HCI broadly

10:40 Break (20 mins)

11:00 Teaching session 2 (1hr – short break included) – thinking about analysis

          Presentations on continued intro to EMCA, and intro to using video to study human-computer interactions –   note video segment will include interactive components as preparatory for exercise

12:00 Break (10 mins)

12:20 Briefing (20 mins) on the practical activity / task (video analysis)

12:40 End              

Afternoon session (own time): Practical activity taking place in own time in groups and / or individually (TBD)


MORNING 2 : 11th November 2021

9:30   Welcome back / recap (5 mins)

9:35   Teaching session 3 (1.5hrs inc. 15 min break) – analysing data

          Interactive data session / feedback on video analysis task from groups / individuals

11:00 Break (10 mins)

11:10 Teaching session 4 (max 1hr – short break included if necessary) – wrap up

          Presentations on EMCA and technology / further studies, future of HCI discourses

12:10 End


The fee per teaching day is £30 per day for students registered at UK/EU University /£60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions / £100 per day for all other participants In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.

Website and registration:


North West


Video research, Ethnography, Visual Data Analysis, Dissemination through Film and Video, Video analysis , Human-computer interaction , Interaction analysis , Ethnography , Conversation analysis , Ethnomethodology , Field Research

Related publications and presentations:

Video research
Visual Data Analysis
Dissemination through Film and Video

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