Winter Quarter 2016

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


David L. Jaffe, MS
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 4:30pm - 5:50pm
Classroom 110 in Thornton Center

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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
  6. Cardinal Course Survey



  1. Continue to meet as a team with course instructor, the person who suggested the project, an individual with a disability or older adult 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 older adult. Iterate the fabrication / testing / analysis cycle as time permist.

  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 8th

Your team will describe your project work in an 5-minute "podium-style" presentation using Powerpoint slides in the classroom. Your presentation should include the following elements:

  1. Introduction of team, its members, and project
  2. Background: statement of problem, its magnitude, and user population
  3. Interactions with project suggestors and individuals who would benefit from a solution
  4. Identification and determination of need
  5. Research of existing products and discussion of their limitations
  6. Description and visualization of design concepts considered and prototypes built
  7. Discussion of selected design: technical and engineering elements, estimated cost, user acceptance functionality, performance, safety considerations, tradeoffs, etc.
  8. Visualization of final prototype: photographs and/or video of operation with a user
  9. Plans for the future: improvements and challenges for continuing the project

Your team will be judged on the overall quality of the presentation, the effectiveness of your design process, and your design solution using the following metrics:

  • Delivery: (How the team presented) - professionalism, enthusiasm, conviction, confidence, energy, volume
  • Process: (How the team addressed the problem) - problem information, background research, design concepts brainstormed & prototyped, testing & evaluation
  • Presentation: (What the team presented) - clarity, organization, and completeness of the information presented
  • Design: (What the team fabricated) - creativity, originality, functionality of the design concept and the likelihood it will meet the user's needs
  • Overall: (Overall score) - combined impression of presentation and project

Final Project Presentation Logistics and Suggestions


Team Project Report
Due Monday - March 14th 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.

  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:
    • 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 commercialization including technical feasibility, engineering difficulties, safety considerations, potential manufacturing, cost of materials, mass production, marketing, advertising, distribution, sales, licensing, etc
    • Images - embed photographs, drawings, graphs, and sketches documenting your design process and activities throughout the body of the document, not at the end
    • 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. Please submit your report in Word or PDF format by email. (The course instructor can print your final version on a high quality color laser printer if you desire a printed copy.)

This course has received a Cardinal Course Grant Award (2016) from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) Team. One condition of this support is that students' Final Team Project Reports be shared with them.


Individual Reflection
Due Monday - March 14th 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:

This course has received a Cardinal Course Grant Award (2016) from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) Team. One condition of this support is that excerpts from students' Individual Reflections be shared with them.

  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 submitting Weekly Individual Reports.


Cardinal Course Survey

This course has received a Cardinal Course Grant Award (2016) from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) Team. One condition of this support is that students are required to complete the Cardinal Course Survey.

Updated 03/07/2016

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