Official course description:

Full info last published 18/06-19
Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
BSc in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Course manager
Associate Professor
Course semester
Efterår 2019
26 August 2019
31 January 2020

The course will introduce and teach students to work with Physical Computing, including an exploration of input and output modalities in human-machine interactions beyond screens, keyboards and the mouse. The course will teach the students fundamental concepts of basic electronics and how to work with a microcontroller using for example the Arduino platform.


The course is important because in any design practice, knowledge about the materials used to do design is essential. In the larger context of digital design, students need to have a certain level of knowledge about digital materials also on a physical level, i.e. electronics. The course allow students to experiment with sensors and other input or output technologies as low-level building-block in technology design allowing them to apprehend knowledge of how everyday technologies are constructed and how to design interactive technologies and experiences from a technical, physical perspective.

After the course, it is expected that the student should be able to, for example, build interactive Physical Computing systems based around for example the Arduino-platform, read simple datasheets and circuit schematics, and design and construct simple interactive installations.

The course is rather hands-on, and includes much lab-work. The course teach the students fundamental concepts of basic electronics and how to connect and program a microcontroller. Students will get familiar with the properties and use of standard components such as resistors, diodes, transistors and capacitors but also more complex components and sensors. They will also learn how to construct circuits on a breadboard.

Formal prerequisites
Enrolled in the Bachelor programme in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Apply, Name, and Describe basic electronic components, sensors, actuators and relevant formulas.
  • Construct interactive models, devices or systems utilizing microcontrollers that will be programmed by the students.
  • Prototype a working Physical Computing system.
  • Evaluate and reflect on the work from a technical, physical/digital and interaction paradigm perspective.
  • Analyse and relate your work to State-of-the-art (e.g. from research articles)
Learning activities

Theoretical introduction to lab-activities and related topics. 

Basic electronics and circuit diagrams.

Basic programming of a microcontroller.

Plenum and group discussions. 

Prototyping and construction of circuits using for example an Arduino board.

Presentations in class.

Mandatory activities

1 group presentation based on an article or an existing physical computing system. 

The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.

Course literature

The course literature is published in the course page in LearnIT.

Ordinary exam
Exam type:
D: Submission of written work with following oral, external (7-trinsskala)
Exam variation:
D2G: Submission of written work for groups with following oral exam supplemented by the work submitted. The group has a shared responsibility for the content of the report.
Exam description:

The submission is two parts: a brief report submitted via learnIT and a working physical computing prototype which must be presented at the oral exam. Shared responsibility for the report and prototype. Students will work in groups of 4-6 students. 

A single grade is given based on the combined overall performance of the student. 

The duration of the oral examination is max 20 minutes per examinee (incl. grade assessment). Group exam form: Mixed 2. 

Time and date