About

This course covers the design of personal health and wellness technologies. It explores theories informing their design and evaluation, reviews the state of the art in technology designed to measure and support personal health and wellness (including popular consumer technologies in addition to research prototypes) and discusses theoretical and empirical approaches to evaluating their success. This class will include a mix of lectures, fun, hands-on in-class activities and group discussions focused on class readings.

Teaching Staff

Lauren Wilcox, PhD Assistant Professor OFFICE HOURS: M 4:30PM-5:30PM 345 TSRB

 

Pre-Requisites

Students in the class will likely have different backgrounds and there are no pre-required courses. Both undergraduates and graduate students will be allowed into the class, and each should have a deep interest in how computing systems can enable interactive experiences in service of personal health and wellness. The requirements for graduate and undergraduate students will differ. When reading assignments be sure to follow the instructions for your level of study.

I also recommend using Dr. Braunstein’s online Health Informatics in the Cloud course as needed, to provide further background information on health informatics concepts, architectures or standards if they arise during your project work and/or readings but are unfamiliar to you.

Texts

Readings will be posted as PDFs on the class website, see: http://health.info.gatech.edu/class-media/. It is the responsibility of the students to obtain and read the material. The material in those readings may be included on evaluations in the class.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand major technical approaches to sensing key health behaviors in everyday naturalistic settings
  • Identify the sociotechnical principles involved in the design of successful behavior change technologies.
  • Understand key methodological considerations in the design of personal health interventions.
  • Understand the challenges of introducing new interactive technology to study and influence personal health.
  • Get exposure to integrative interdisciplinary approaches to evaluating health behavior applications along several dimensions, drawing on the perspectives of medical research and socio-behavioral fields.
  • Develop skills that are necessary for scientific discussion of current personal health informatics literature and for critiquing emerging health behavior technologies.

Format

The class will mix lectures with class discussion and participation, in-class activities, and “report-backs” from homework assignments (e.g., what happened when you tried to track thing X with device Y). Readings should be finished well before class, so that we can discuss them intelligently.

On certain days, graduate students will present and lead the discussion about one or more of the assigned research papers, in pairs (see details on the Paper Presentations page of the class website–this is part of the graduate students’ course grades). Undergraduate students will not be expected to present a research paper to the class or lead the discussion; however, all other students who are not presenting–undergraduates and graduate students–will be expected to read the assigned material and formulate discussion questions before class for the presenters. All students will be graded on these (see details below).

Rules of the Game

You are responsible for all material covered in class. You are also responsible for all the assigned reading (including changes or additions announced in class). If you miss a class, please talk to someone who attended. (Copies of each class’s slides will be linked to the schedule.) Course material will be found on the web through T-Square , and the assignments will be linked through http://health.info.gatech.edu/schedule/.

Submission Policy

All work should be submitted electronically through T-Square, using the Assignments feature, before the beginning of the class on the day the assignment is due. If you don’t submit an assignment on time, the following lateness policy applies.

Lateness Policy

The Discussion Questions or Class Presentation portion of your work cannot be late (they happen during a scheduled class). For in-class homework, “make-ups” will not be possible. However, for Homework and Project deliverables, your grade for late work will be docked by 10% for each day that it is late. After three days, late work will not be accepted.

Exceptions to the policy can be made in the event of documented personal illness and family emergencies. Such exceptions will require that the teaching staff be consulted well before the deadline.

Academic Honesty

Please make sure that you’ve read the Georgia Tech Honor Code. Collaboration on any assignment (except as an approved part of group projects) is strictly prohibited. Cases of suspected inappropriate collaboration or cheating will be immediately reported to the Dean of Student Affairs and will be pursued to resolution.

Courtesy to Fellow Students and Teaching Staff

You can do some simple things to help the class run smoothly. Please turn phones and other mobile devices off before coming to class. Do not leave early unless we discuss this first. Finally, please do not hold private conversations during class. I also prefer that you take written notes and leave laptops closed during lectures and class discussions.

Grading

The final grade is calculated based on a 1000-point maximum. The tables below describe how these points (and corresponding percentages) are allocated.  Example scenarios are included to illustrate concretely how grading works. In “borderline cases” (e.g., your grade is within a percentage point of the minimum needed for the next highest letter grade) I will round up. If needed (e.g., an assignment was not effective) extra credit may be offered. Points associated with EC would add to your earned points while keeping the 1000-point maximum for calculating final grades.

Graduate versus undergraduate student grading

Graduate students will be held to a higher standard in the course. First, they will need to do more to demonstrate their knowledge of the research literature (see Class Presentation, which is a requirement only for graduate students). Though homework accounts for 10% of graduate students’ course grades (as opposed to 20% for undergraduates), graduate students will be expected to do the same amount of homework as undergraduates. Graduate students are expected to do the same amount (or more) of the project work, which counts for 50% of their grade (but 65% of undergraduate students’ grades). More grading details are provided below.

Graduate Student Grading

Discussion Questions 25% 250 Points
 Class Presentation (Research Papers) 15% 150 Points
Homework 10% 100 Points
Project 50% 500 Points (See table below)

Undergraduate Student Grading

Discussion Questions 15% 150 Points
Homework 20% 200 Points
Project 65% 650 Points (See table below)

No exams.

Student Project Grading (grad/undergrad)

Part One: Background and proposal 10% / 13% 100 / 130 Points
Part Two: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% / 13% 100 / 130 Points
Part Three: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% / 13% 100 / 130 Points
Part Four: Team-specific deliverables
(determined during proposal process)
10% / 13% 100 / 130 Points
Part Five: Final Report and Presentation 10% / 13% 100 / 130 Points

Calculating Final Grades (All)

90-100% (900-1000 points) A
80-89% (800-899 points) B
70-79% (700-799 points) C
60-69% (600-699 points) D
<60% (Fewer than 600 points) Not passing

Examples

Scenario 1, grad student: You got 90% on each of the five parts of the project (for 450 total points), 90% of the points on each homework (for 90 total points) and 80% on your presentation (for 120 points). You completed discussion questions to participate in class and did pretty well (for an average grade of 94% on these or 235 total points). Out of 1000 points, you’ve earned 895. From 89.5%, I round up to 90%, which means that you have earned a course grade of ‘A’.

Scenario 1, undergrad studentYou got 90% on each of the five parts of the project (for 585 total points), 90% of the points on each homework (for 180 total points). You completed discussion questions to participate in class and did pretty well (for an average grade of 94% on these or 235 total points). Out of 1000 points, you’ve earned 906 (total of 90.6%) which means that you have earned a course grade of ‘A’.

Scenario 2: undergrad student: You got a full 100% on each of the five parts of the project (130 points each, for 650 total points)  and 70% of the points on each homework (for 140 total points). However, you did not complete discussion questions. Out of 1000, you’ve earned 790 (79%) for a course grade of  ‘C’.

Scenario 2 with EC: You have a total of 790 points from required coursework. However, you have also completed an extra credit assignment worth 25 points. This EC raises your total points to 815 (81.5%) and your course grade is now ‘B’.

Scenario 3: grad student: You have earned an average of 82% on the project (for 410 total points), 80% on one homework and 82% on another (for 81 total points). Your class presentation is 85% (for 127.5 points) and your discussion questions are pretty good (averaging 85% or 212.5 points). Out of 1000, you’ve earned 831 points (83.1%) for a course grade of ‘B’.

Scenario 3 with EC: You have a total of 831 points from required coursework. However, you have also completed an extra credit assignment worth 50 points. This EC raises your total points to 881 (88.1%) and your course grade remains a ‘B’.