Winter Quarter 2012

 Perspectives in Assistive Technology 

David L. Jaffe, MS and Professor Drew Nelson
Tuesdays & Thursdays   4:15pm - 5:30pm
Building 530 - Classroom 127

home icon

End-of-term Team Assignment

This is the end-of-term assignment for students working on team projects for three credits.

For your end-of-term assignment your team is asked to choose a specific design concept and fabricate/test a functional prototype. The embodiment of your chosen design should be in the form of detailed sketches, drawings, and a functional prototype. Your team will present this design in class and submit a final comprehensive final project report that encompasses your work for the entire quarter.


  1. Tasks
  2. End-of-term Team Project Presentation
  3. End-of-term Team Project Report
  4. End-of-term Individual Reflection
  5. Grading



  1. Continue to meet as a team with course instructor, the person who suggested the project, an individual with a disability or senior who would benefit from the project, and course resource people.

  2. Participate fully in the class including attending lectures as required, listening actively, posing questions to the guest speakers and the course instructor, engaging in class discussions, verbalizing thoughts and analyses, reading and responding to emails from the course instructor, and communicating team project progress.

  3. Choose a specific design concept from the ones your team has brainstormed and evaluated.

  4. Fabricate a series of increasingly functional prototypes, testing them with an individual with a disability or senior. Iterate the fabrication / testing cycle as necessary.

  5. Present your team's design in class including prototype demonstration, PowerPoint slides, and short videos as described below.

  6. Submit a final comprehensive team final project report that encompasses your team's work for the entire quarter as described below.

  7. Submit an Individual Reflection as described below.


Team Project Presentations
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Your team will describe your project work in a 15-minute "podium-style" presentation using Powerpoint slides in the classroom. Your presentation should include the following elements:

  1. Introduction of team members
  2. One sentence project description
  3. Statement of problem and user population affected
  4. Discussion of interviews with project suggestors and users
  5. Statement of need
  6. Identification and limitations of existing solutions
  7. Magnitude of problem addressed by this project
  8. Description and analysis of all design concepts considered
  9. Description of and rationale for selected design including its key benefits, comparative advantages over existing solutions, performance, user testing and acceptance, safety considerations, etc
  10. Project visualizations: photographs, videos, sketches, drawings, models, prototypes
  11. Device demonstration
  12. Future work and challenges for continuing the project, including technical feasibility, engineering difficulty, and estimated cost of a commercial product

Course staff, your classmates, and others in attendance will judge your project on its overall design solution and your presentation on its overall quality and the following metrics:

  1. Content - what was overall quality of the information you presented?
  2. Clarity - did the audience understand your presentation's content?
  3. Conciseness - was your presentation short and to the point?
  4. Completeness - did you include all major elements?
  5. Convincing - did you provide a good reason for your decisions?
  6. Creativity - how inventive / innovative was your design?

Final Project Presentation Logistics and Suggestions


Team Project Report
Due Monday - March 19, 2012 at 5pm

  1. Your report should include all your team's efforts for the quarter including background research, user interaction, evolution of ideas, etc. Your team's report should be at least 10 pages in length. (The course instructor can print your final version on a high quality color laser printer.)

  2. Provide a concise and accurate overview of preliminary design concepts (at least 3) your team considered to address the identified problem. Describe the general design objectives, the rationale for the design concepts selected, how these concepts address a specific project problem, and features / potential benefits of each of the specific design concepts. Include a description of the prototypes you fabricated, mechanical engineering analyses, calculations, drawings, and sketches you have developed as well as any feedback from potential users and coaches.

  3. Describe the project responsibilities and how they were divided among team members.

  4. Suggested format for your team's Final Project Report:
    • Report cover - use the supplied translucent report cover, do not staple pages
    • Cover page - include course name & year, project title, team name, team member's names, and team member's photos
    • Abstract - one paragraph summary of objectives, approach taken, and results of the project
    • Introduction - problem to be addressed, problem background
    • Objectives - project goals and rationale
    • Design criteria - project background research, interviews with project suggestors and potential users, project specifications
    • Methods - what did your team do and why - include prototyping, model building, preliminary testing, analyses
    • Results - discuss specifics of your design solution such as features, benefits, aesthetics, cost, safety, reliability, usability, test results, feedback from users, etc.
    • Discussion - include challenges and suggestions to further develop and refine the project
    • Next steps - assuming this project will be pursued in ME113 or as directed study, identify future challenges and include a timetable of major tasks to produce and test a functional prototype
    • Additional - optionally address issues relating to commercial product product including technical feasibility, engineering difficulties, safety considerations, potential manufacturing, cost of materials, mass production, marketing, advertising, distribution, sales, licensing, etc
    • Images - add photographs, drawings, and sketches documenting your design process and activities throughout the document
    • References - bibliographic and web citations
    • Acknowledgements - mention individuals and facilities who helped you
    • Appendices - detailed calculations, testing notes, relevant vendor information, etc. that are referenced in the main body of the report

  5. In addition to a printed final report, please submit an electronic copy.


Individual Reflection
Due Monday - March 19, 2012 at 5pm

Reflect on your class and team experiences. Each project team member will provide a discussion (two pages minimum) of the design process, what you learned, and what was most valuable to you individually. Here are some items to consider and address:

  1. Review Learning through Structured Reflection article

  2. You have spent the past quarter hearing from different professionals and users, interviewing community members, brainstorming with your team, doing background research, looking at prior art, fabricating and testing a prototype device, etc. Please comment on the relative value of the different parts of this process toward your design.

  3. How did the different interactions in the class (with users, community members, speakers, professionals, etc.) contribute to the results of your design? Was any particular interaction especially rewarding or helpful? Why?

  4. If you were to go through this process again, what would you do differently? Was there support from the teaching staff or course content that was helpful or that you felt was missing? What advice would you give to future students?

  5. Additional questions to be considered for your reflection can be found here.



Mid-term Report and Presentation
Final Report
Final Presentation
Individual Reflection
Participation *
* Participation includes meeting with instructor, actively listening, posing questions to the guest speakers and the course instructor, engaging in class discussions, verbalizing thoughts and analyses, and communicating project progress.


Updated 10/06/2011

Back to Homepage

back to homepage