Contextual Inquiry – ETHNO 463

What will you learn from this course?

The tradition of participant observation defines the very heart of anthropological ethnography. In ETHNO 463, you will explore the restructuring of traditional participant observation as contextual inquiry. This accelerates the research process to generate insights that can inform specific design problems in a timely manner. You will learn to plan in advance but be prepared to revise, and evaluate the uses of varied observational techniques.

 What critical skills will you build?

You will develop your ability to successfully meet the challenge of conducting successful, ethical contextual inquiry, a core practice in user research and professional design ethnography.

 How will you build those skills?

You will explore the powers and limits of contextual inquiry by planning and conducting two observational exercises. You will address ethical implications and questions of method. You will evaluate your effectiveness by extracting design insights to share with other participants in the course.