Human-computer interaction (HCI) is increasingly becoming a subject taught in universities around the world. However, little is known of the interactions of the HCI curriculum with students in different types of institutions and disciplines internationally. In order to explore these interactions, we studied the performance of HCI students in design, technology and business faculties in universities in UK, India, Namibia, Mexico and China who participated in a common set of design and evaluation tasks. We obtained participants’ cognitive style profiles based on Allinson and Hayes scale in order to gain further insights into their learning styles and explore any relation between these and performance. We found participants’ cognitive style preferences to be predominantly in the adaptive range, i.e. with combined analytical and intuitive traits, compared to normative data for software engineering, psychology and design professionals. We further identified significant relations between students’ cognitive styles and performance in analytical and creative tasks of a HCI professional individual. I will discuss the findings in the context of the distinct backgrounds of the students and universities that participated in this study and the value of research that explores and promotes diversity in HCI education.
José Abdelnour Nocera is Associate Professor (Reader) in Sociotechnical Design and Head of the Sociotechnical Centre for Innovation and User Experience at the University of West London. He is the current Chair for UNESCO IFIP TC 13.8 working group in Interaction Design for International Development as well as Chair for the British Computer Society Sociotechnical Specialist Group. His interests lie in the sociotechnical and cultural aspects of systems design, development and use. In pursuing these interests, he has been involved as researcher and consultant in several projects in the UK and overseas in the domains of mHealth, e-learning, social development, e-commerce, e-governance and enterprise resource planning systems. Dr. Abdelnour-Nocera gained an MSc in Social Psychology from Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela, and a PhD in Computing from The Open University, UK.