Course Syllabus

Printer-friendly version: HCDE 321 Syllabus.



This course is a 2-credit seminar (CR/NC) in which students will create a portfolio that represents their professional identity. The word "portfolio" is meant in the large sense of a comprehensive demonstration of career and professional artifacts. This is in contrast to a more narrowly focused resume or website.

Through a series of short exercises and assignments, students will assemble a body of expertise and artifacts that make up an effective professional portfolio.


Upon the successful completion of this course, you should:

  • Understand the basic components of a professional portfolio and how they function together.
  • Engage in the type of self-reflective thinking required for the construction of an effective portfolio of this kind.
  • Prepare for the use of this portfolio in professional activities such as job searches, networking, and interviews.
  • Have created a comprehensive professional portfolio that you can build on during the rest of your academic career, and beyond.


Assignments in this course are graded as complete or incomplete according to the specification for each one. They are not graded on a numeric scale, but are expected to be of professional quality in writing and visual communication.

To receive credit for this course, students must satisfactorily complete all of the following assignments. Complete details for each assignment may be found on the course website.

  • Professional resume with personal statement.
  • Personalized, public, portfolio website.
  • One additional online presence (LinkedIn, e.g.).
  • Poster highlighting project process.
  • Narrated video of a completed project.
  • Portfolio presentation.
  • Final reflection (short essay or media piece).
  • Engagement in constructive class participation.


A summary of the weekly course schedule is below. This schedule is subject to change; details and updates will be found in the Assignment List section of this site.

Week Date Topic Activities Due
1 Jan 6 Introduction
  • Syllabus review
  • Portfolio sampler
2 Jan 13 Resume
  • Personal Statement reviews
  • Personal Statement
3 Jan 20 no class meeting
  • Resume
4 Jan 27 Digital Footprint
  • Digital forensics
5 Feb 3 UX Interviewing
  • Guest speaker: Avanti Prahlad
6 Feb 10 Process: Posters & Videos
  • Video demos
  • Poster critique
7 Feb 17 no class meeting
Presidents Day
  • Website Deployment
  • Auxiliary Site
8 Feb 24 Artifacts
  • Website, poster, video review
  • Project Poster or Video
9 Mar 3 UX Careers
  • Guest speaker: Tracey Lovejoy
10 Mar 10 UX Recruiting
  • Guest speaker: Geoff Harrison
  • Portfolio Presentation
F Mar 17 no class meeting  
  • Final Reflection


The following general policies apply to this course:

  • Respect: If there were only one policy allowed in a course syllabus, I would choose the word respect to represent our goals for a healthy and engaging educational environment. Treating each other respectfully, in the broadest sense and in all ways, is a necessary and probably sufficient condition for a successful experience together. But since I am not limited to one policy, some other, more specific ones, can be stated.
  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend class regularly. Although attendance is not specifically graded, missing a significant number of classes will likely have a negative impact on your class participation grade, as you will have fewer opportunities to participate in discussion and in-class activities. If you must miss a class due to an illness or other extenuating circumstance, please let me know as soon as possible to make arrangements for a makeup of in-class activities.
  • Late Assignments: In general, submitting late work is penalized 10% of its total grade per calendar day. This is to encourage you to keep up with the work and to be fair to all students. If there are legitimate extenuating circumstances for why you will be late submitting an assignment, at my discretion I will try to accommodate your needs. The earlier you notify me, the more likely you are to be granted an extension.
  • Participation: Active participation in class activities is one of the requirements of the course. You are expected to engage in group activities, class discussions, interactions with your peers, and constructive critiques as part of the course work. This will help you hone your communication and other professional skills.
  • Collaboration: Working in groups or on teams is an essential part of all design and engineering disciplines. In most assignments and projects in this course, you will be expected to work with others and your success in those situations will be a part of your grade. (Other assignments will be individual, of course.)
  • Academic Integrity: Simply stated, academic integrity means that you are to do your own work in all of your classes, unless collaboration is part of an assignment as defined in the course. In any case, you must be responsible for citing and acknowledging outside sources of ideas in work you submit. Please be aware of the HCDE Department's and the UW's policies on this: HCDE Academic Conduct. These will be strictly enforced.
  • Assignment Quality: You are expected to produce work in all of the assignments that reflects the highest standards of professionalism. For written documents, this means proper spelling, grammar, and formatting. Adherence to these good practices will be considered in your grades. For visually-oriented material, I recognize that not everyone is an accomplished graphic designer (including me!), but you should strive for neat and clear visual communications in your work.
  • Privacy: Students have the right for aspects of their personal life that they do not wish to share with others to remain private. Please respect that policy.
  • Accommodations: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from DSS indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to me so you can discuss the accommodations you might need in the class.


This syllabus draws on ideas and materials from previous versions of this course taught by Brook Sattler.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due