System Evaluation and User Studies, Constituent elective module A

Course content

The module includes advanced studies of the theoretical and methodological aspects concerning evaluation of information systems, the emphasis being on the correlation between information needs and situation, as well as information and search behaviour.  Taking its starting point in relevant literature, the module introduces models for information behaviour and information interaction in order to identify approaches to evaluation of system performance and user studies.

Learning outcome

Academic aims

At the exam, the student can demonstrate

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Different types of evaluation and evaluation approaches of relevance to information searching and assessment of the performance of infor-mation retrieval systems,
  • Key concepts and models on information behaviour and search/re-trieval and the associated processes and functions as well as methods for studying these.


Skills in:

  • Reflect on key models and methods for the study of information be-haviour and search/retrieval and the associated processes and func-tions,
  • Assess relevant methods, and combinations of these, for the study/evaluation of system performance and information behaviour – including evaluation of interactive information retrieval systems,
  • Identify and compare key evaluation concepts and methods for sys-tem evaluation and user studies, and to assess and validate evalua-tion results in relation to given circumstances.
  • assess and validate evaluation results in relation to the given circumstances


Competencies to:

  • develop/design surveys for the evaluation of system performance and information behaviour
  • conduct various types of system evaluations and user studies, including reflecting on methodological issues, such as validity

Class teaching, student presentations and workshops

Sample literature:

  • Ingwersen, P. & Järvelin, K. (2005). The Turn: Integration of Information Seeking and Retrieval in Context. Berlin/Heidelberg : Springer. 448 s.
  • Kelly, D. (2009). Methods for Evaluating Interactive Information Retrieval Systems with Users. Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval, 3(1-2), 1-224.
  • Lazar, Feng & Hochheiser (2010): Research Methods in Human-Computer Interaction. Chichester, Wiley, 426 s.
  • Saracevic, T. (2009). Information Science. In: Bates, M.J. & Maack, M.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science.  New York : Taylor & Francis. 2570-2586.
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Exam language: English
See Academic Regulations for the Masters program in Information Science and Cultural Communications http:/​/​​uddannelser/​aktuelle_studieordninger/​informationsvidenskab-og-kulturformidling/​informationsvidenskab_og_kulturformidling_ma
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 90,5
  • Exam Preparation
  • 264,3
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • English
  • 410,8