IN9510 – Participatory experimental design

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course gives theoretical and practical knowledge of participatory design in line with the design tradition originating from IFI emphasizing user involvement in the design process. You will learn to design IT as an integral part of the use environments and activities with emphasis on tools and techniques for involving users in the design of an IT-based service or system. The goal is to design better technologies based on the users’ ideas and suited to their demands and needs, providing a better fit between the technology and the activity that it will be part of. In addition to lectures and exercises you will learn about participatory design through a large project work involving real users. The student project topics vary every year, examples from earlier years are home robots, public services, or welfare technology.

Learning outcome

After successful completion of this course, you can

  • explain the basic principles of experimental and participatory design
  • apply basic tools and techniques for collaborating with users in the design process
  • provide a rich description of the use context and the user group
  • design a prototype together with users and evaluate it with them
  • analyze the design suggestion through theoretical concepts from the course and argue for your design choices
  • discuss ethical perspectives concerned with designing with users
  • plan and implement a participatory design process where mutual learning is a goal


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

IN2020 – Methods in Interaksjonsdesign, IN2021, IN2150 – IT in Organizations

Overlapping courses


There will be 2 hours lectures + 2 hours exercises per week. In addition, the project will require independent group work

Mandatory assignments:

  • a project plan
  • presentation of a paper from the curriculum
  • mid-semester presentation of the project work
  • final presentation of the project work

In addition to the Master curriculum:

  • select a topic to explore that are not part of the curriculum
  • write a literature review where the extra readings are compared to the course curriculum
  • present the literature review orally  

It is mandatory to attend the two first lectures since it will be given important information.


The mandatory assignments must be approved prior to the exam. The exam evaluation is based on a written report and an oral exam.

  • 50% written report: project report with individual reflections for each group member
  • 50% oral: project presentation and group examination of the curriculum.

The written report needs to be approved before the student can participate in the oral exam. Both parts must be passed in the same semester.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of your three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: IN5510 – Participatory experimental designINF5722 – Experimental Design of IT (continued)INF9722 – Eksperimentell design av IT (continued)

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

This course is at continuation of INF9722 and will be held for the first time in autumn 2018


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)