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Advice for SIGCHI Conference Chairs

The ACM SIGCHI is strongly committed to continuing education in HCI for researchers and practitioners at all levels. Below you will find recommendations for the yearly CHI Conference and also for SIGCHI Specialized Conferences.
The ACM SIGCHI is strongly committed to continuing education in HCI. Below, we offer some advice for all SIGCHI Conference Chairs–first for Courses Co-Chairs for the yearly CHI Conferences, and then for Specialized Conferences Co-Chairs.

Advice for CHI Conference Chairs
SIGCHI requires that HCI-related courses be a central part of the main CHI conference program. SIGCHI recommends the provision of a balance of courses at the CHI conference, targeting researchers and practitioners at all levels: newcomers to HCI and/or specialist topics; practitioners, researchers and students with some experience who wish to refresh their skills; HCI experts in a topic wishing to broaden their knowledge and applied skills.

We encourage specialized conferences to consider offering courses in their core specialty at the CHI conferences. And we have further specific advice for specialized conference chairs below.

Advice for SIGCHI Specialised Conference Chairs (eg. MobileHCI, EICS etc.)
As noted, the ACM SIGCHI is strongly committed to continuing education in HCI. Your particular conference may have a long and established or recent program of tutorials or courses. Our advice here is not intended to detract from this program but instead to allow you to consider enhancements, changes or new directions in light of the overall vision of continuing education in HCI which SIGCHI encourages.

SIGCHI recommends specialized conference chairs consider a balance of tutorials or courses across a number of years, targeting researchers and practitioners at all levels: newcomers to your specialized area; practitioners, researchers and students with some experience who wish to refresh their skills; HCI experts in a specialized topic area wishing to broaden their knowledge and applied skills. The scale of each conference can make achieving balance each year difficult, hence our advice is for the chairs and steering committee to consider the program across a series of years.

In short, SIGCHI also encourages specialized conferences to consider offering a balanced set of courses relevant to their audience.

Courses at CHI:
Introductory and foundational HCI courses are required every year at CHI, complemented with a balanced offering of specialized domain courses and technical skills and methodology courses that reflect the changing landscape of HCI interests and concerns.

The following course areas must be covered as part of the course program. If the required course areas are not proposed by potential instructors through the standard course submission process, Courses Co-chairs are required to identify qualified experts, and to reach out and invite those to offer these courses.

Courses required for the courses program at the CHI conference are:

  • An introduction and overview of Human-Computer Interaction (this course should target students new to the field of human-computer interaction and should be at the beginners level)
  • An overview of Human-Computer Interaction areas, methods and approaches, including an introduction to the concept of usability and user-centered design (this course should target practitioners)
  • An introduction to qualitative methods in the field of Human-Computer Interaction at the beginners level
  • An introduction to quantitative methods in the field of Human-Computer Interaction at the beginners level
  • An introduction to Universal Design and Designing for Accessibility
  • Introduction to Interaction Design


The CHI Courses program should vary from year to year in areas outside the core foundational areas listed above, allowing CHI Conference attendees to be exposed to and study a broad array of HCI relevant areas over a number of years. The Courses program should offer:

  • Courses related to all phases of user centered design (analysis, design, implementation, evaluation): at least one course for each year
  • Courses that enable participants to acquire basic competencies (for example, introduction to user experience, introduction to basic technological competences e.g. HTML 5/CSS, introduction to psychology/human factors)
  • Topics related to SIGCHI specialized conferences
  • Courses related to special areas, including emerging domains, e.g., Interactive Biotechnology, Robotics


The frequency with which a course is repeated over several years of CHI Conference will depend on the number of participants estimated for the course.

For example, Table 1 lists topics that are required at each CHI conference; “x” stands for inclusion, with Table 1 reflecting required every year/every second year. Table 2 reflects a suggested frequency for specialist courses.

Introductory Level Courses 2017 2018 2019
An introduction and overview of Human-Computer Interaction x x x
An overview of Human-Computer Interaction areas, methods and approaches, including an introduction to the concept of usability and user-centered design x x x
Introduction to quantitative methods in HCI for beginners x x x
Introduction to qualitative methods in HCI for beginners x x x
Introduction to psychology/human factors x x
Introduction to Interaction Design x
An introduction to Universal Design and Designing for Accessibility x
Table 1: Required Course areas for CHI Conferences

Example Course 2017 2018 2019
Introduction to User Needs and Requirements Analysis x
Introduction to Interactive Prototyping x x
Mobile HCI x
Designing for Smarts Home x
Games and Entertainment x x
Introduction to Management of User Experience Teams x
Developing Tangible Interactions x
Mobile HCI x
Introduction to Sketching x x
Introduction to Designing for Social Media and CSCW x
Human-Robot Interaction x x
Table 2: Suggested frequency of specialist courses, offered as an example for ongoing course planning over several years of CHI conferences. These are suggested examples of specialist courses.

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