System Evaluation and User Studies,

Course content

This module focuses on the theoretical and methodological aspects of evaluation, with an emphasis on information systems and users. Taking the relevant literature as a starting point, the module examines key models, methods and statistical measures that can be used to evaluate an information system, including system design and performance, relationships between information needs and situations, and information and search behaviour.   

Learning outcome

Academic targets

At the examination, the student can demonstrate:

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • Different types of evaluations and evaluation approaches relevant to information needs, interaction and use, and to assessment of the performance of search systems
  • Key concepts and models of information behaviour and recommending/searching and the related processes and methods for studies thereof.


Skills to:

  • Reflect on key models and methods for the study of information behaviour and recommending/searching, and related processes
  • Evaluate appropriate methods, and combinations thereof, for studies/evaluation of system performance and information behaviour
  • Identify and compare key evaluation concepts and methods for system evaluation and user studies
  • Evaluate and validate evaluation results in relation to given circumstances.


Competencies to:

  • Set up/design investigations for evaluation of system performance and information behaviour
  • Conduct different types of system evaluations and user studies, including reflection on methodological issues such as validity.

Class teaching, lectures, student presentations, workshops and project seminar.

Sample literature:

  • Creswell, J. W., & J. D. Creswell (2018). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (Fifth edition). Sage Publishing.
  • Kelly, D. (2009). Methods for Evaluating Interactive Information Retrieval Systems with Users. Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval, 3(1-2), 1-224.
  • 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.
  • Williamson, K. & Johanson, G. (2013). Research methods: information, systems and contexts. Tilde Publishing and Distribution.   
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 Communica https:/​/​​uddannelser/​aktuelle_studieordninger/​informationsstudier/​informationsvidenskab_og_kulturformidling_mations
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Single subject courses (day)

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