Winter Quarter 2019

Perspectives in Assistive Technology


David L. Jaffe, MS
Lathrop Library, Classroom 282
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:50pm

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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 and test a series of increasing refined functional prototypes. The embodiment of your chosen design should be in the form of detailed sketches, drawings, and a final functional prototype. Your team will present your design in class and submit a final comprehensive final project report that encompasses your work for the entire quarter.


  1. Tasks / Activities
  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


Tasks / Activities

For the remainder of the quarter, you are asked to pursue and report on the following tasks / activities. Note that these tasks / activities are not necessarily meant to be performed in chronological order.

Continue to:
  • Meet as a team with

    • the course instructor to communicate project progress (see Weekly Reports),

    • the person who suggested the project or an individual with a disability or older adult who would benefit from the project to test and discuss the merits of your developing design - what works well and what looks promising and what requires further analysis, thought, and redesign.

    • course resource people for feedback on your design concept

  • Fabricate a series of increasingly refined functional prototypes, testing them with the user, an individual with a disability or older adult.

  • Refine your prototypes to fully address and meet the project's goals.

  • Iterate the fabrication / testing / analysis / redesign cycle as time permits.

  • Participate fully in the class including attending lectures as required, listening actively, posing questions to the guest lecturers 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.

  • Present your team's design concept with PowerPoint slides and short videos in class on Tuesday, March 12th as described below.

  • Submit a final comprehensive team end-of-term project report that encompasses your team's work for the entire quarter as described below.

  • Submit an Individual Reflection as described below.


End-of-Term Project Presentation
Tuesday, March 12th

Your team's presentation will describe your project work in a seven-minute "podium-style" presentation using Powerpoint slides in the classroom.

One way to meet your team project presentation time limit is to enable PowerPoint's timed slide advance feature. (Each slide can have its own timing.) This was reported to increase the quality of a presentation.

Your team's 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. Future work and challenges for continuing the project, including technical feasibility, engineering difficulty, estimated cost of a commercial product, and market potential (as appropriate, depending on project choice)

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


End-of-Term Project Report
Due Monday - March 18th 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. Your team's end-of-term report should be submitted by email is due on Monday, March 18th by 5pm. The suggested format is:

    • Cover page - include course name & year, project title, team name, team member's names, and team members' photos (do not include a page number on the cover page)

    • 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 - background research, interviews with project suggestors and potential users, design specifications, brainstormed design alternatives (at least 3)

    • Methods - what did your team do and why - include any sketching, prototyping, model building, preliminary testing, analyses of design alternatives

    • Results - discuss specifics of your design alternatives such as features, benefits, aesthetics, cost, safety, reliability, usability, test results, feedback from users, etc.

    • Discussion - include engineering challenges and suggestions to further develop and fabricate a chosen design

    • 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 all individuals and facilities who helped your team

    • Appendices - detailed sketches, 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 (2019) from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) Team. One condition of this support is that abstracts from students' Final Team Project Reports be shared with them. (The content will be anonomized by redacting text that identifies the team members, the project partners, and users.)


Individual Reflection
Due Monday - March 18th 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 the course instructor, users, community members, guest lecturers, 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.

  6. Submit your report in Word or pdf format by email.

This course has received a Cardinal Course Grant Award (2019) from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) Team. One condition of this support is that students' Individual Reflections be shared with them. (The content will be anonomized by redacting text that identifies the team members, the project partners, and users.)



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


Cardinal Course Survey

This course has received a Cardinal Course Grant Award (2019) 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 - either online (preferred) or in class.

Updated 08/09/2018

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