Activity Theory - autumn 2016

The course introduces the students to activity theory, a leading post-cognitivist theory in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). The main themes covered within the course include the basic concepts and principles of activity theory, applications of activity theory in HCI and related areas (including interaction design, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and technology-enhanced learning), and the relationship between activity theory and other post-cognitivist theories. Special attention will be placed on analytical tools for design and evaluation, informed by activity theory, developments in activity-centric computing, and application of the concepts, studied within the course, in concrete research projects.

Schedule (preliminary, subject to change!)

Day Date Time Activity Room
Tue 01/11 10-15

INTRODUCTION (Lecture/ Seminar)

Course book: ch. 3 (whole chapter), ch 4 (pp. 98-102)

MA406 VK
Tue 08/11 10-15

METHODS (Lecture/ Seminar)

MA406 VK
Tue 15/11 10-15  

EMPIRICAL STUDIES (Lecture/ Seminar)

MA406 VK
Tue 22/11 13-15


MA406 VK
Tue 06/12 10-15

DESIGN (Lecture/ Seminar)
Assignment 2 presentations*

tba tba 13-15 Discussion/ supervision tba VK
Tue 10/01 10-15

AT & OTHER THEORIES (Lecture/ Seminar)

MA406 VK
Fri 13/01 13-15

Concluding discussion

Course evaluation

MA406 VK
16/01 10:00 Submission of course papers
* obligatory attendance
VK: Victor Kaptelinin


Victor Kaptelinin, Bonnie Nardi.
Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design.
Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press : 2009 : 352 p. :

ISBN-10: 0262513315
ISBN-13: 978-0262513319

In addition, a selection of journal articles and conference papers will be used in the course.  A list of papers will be provided to the students at the start of the course.


Course paper, obligatory course assignments


Victor Kaptelinin