Chris Johnson, Index
Open Assessment From 1996-7
The aim of this assessed exercise is to give you practice at using the world's computer resources to
research and present a given problem. A paper copy of the solution should be handed to your tutor in the
first lab of next term (week 21).
You should write an essay of no more than 2,000 words to answer the question given below. Marks will
be allocated for the style and presentation of your argument. Marks will also be allocated for the
references that you use. You should cite the Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) of the pages that you
visit. Here is an example of one of these references . You should also cite any books that you find
useful. Here is an example of a book reference . Here is an example of a journal reference .
Human error is a greater cause of major accidents than computer or systems failure. Discuss.
An overview of human error and major accidents is provided at . A number of sites present 'real'
accident reports. These can be accessed through the Links page of the Glasgow Accident Analysis
Group . The Air Accident Investigation Branch is a good starting point for first-hand reports of major
accidents. For example, a recent near-accident involving a Boeing aircraft is reported in full at .
Nancy Leveson, one of the leading experts in this area, is giving a talk to the Department on Wednesday
19th March, details of this event are available through the Department's main web page.
This exercise is worth 20 marks out of the 100 that are associated with the HCI course. The following
marking scheme will be applied:
- introduction and conclusion (5 marks).
The essay must begin by identifying the main issues. It should motivate the reader that the topic
is important and it should identify the structure of the argument that will be presented. The
conclusion of the essay should summarise the main points in this argument and should clearly
identify the main finding from the research.
- argument (10 marks).
The essay must clearly argue the case for either or both sides of the question. The argument
MUST be supported by evidence in the form of relevant citations and quotations.
- presentation (5 marks).
The essay should be produced using a word processor such as ClarisWorks. It may contain
diagrams and illustrations if appropriate. The choice of fonts and general layout should conform
to the guidelines that have been presented in the HCI course.
 J. Preece, Human-Computer Interaction, Addison Wesley, Wokingham, England, 1994.
 N.G. Leveson, Software Safety: Why, What And How, ACM Computing Surveys, Vol. 18, No. 2,
pages 25-69, June 1986.
(note that there is no 'l' on 'htm')