Winter Quarter 2017

          
Perspectives in Assistive Technology
ENGR110/210

          

David L. Jaffe, MS
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30pm to 5:50pm
Thornton Center Classroom 110

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Course Syllabus


Contents:


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Background Information on Assistive Technology:
Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes both the description of devices that benefits older adults and people with disabilities as well as the process that makes them available to this population. An AT device is one that has a diagnostic, functional, adaptive, or rehabilitative benefit. Engineers employ an AT process to design, develop, test, and bring to market new devices. Other professionals are involved in evaluating their need, prescribing them, supplying them, installing and setting them up, instructing their use, and assessing their benefit. These products promote greater independence, increased opportunities and participation, and an enhanced quality of life for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish (or had great difficulty accomplishing, or required assistance) through enhanced or alternate methods of interacting with the world.

There are an estimated 54 million Americans (20.6 percent of the population) with some level of disability which limits their ability to fully participate in society. As the nation ages, the number of people experiencing such limitations will certainly increase. New AT devices incorporating novel designs and emerging technologies have the potential to further improve the lives of people with disabilities and older adults.

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Suggested Assistive Technology Course Sequence:
Winter Quarter:
ENGR110/210: Perspectives in Assistive Technology (3 units)

Spring Quarter:
ME113: Mechanical Engineering Design (4 units)
or
CS194: Computer Science Senior Project (3 units)
or
Independent Study

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Suggested Assistive Technology Course Sequence Overview:
This suggested course sequence provides an opportunity for engineering students from all departments and interested students from other disciplines to learn about the engineering, medical, psychological, and social aspects of designing, developing, and employing assistive technology to improve the quality of life and independence of people with disabilities.

ENGR110/210 consists of semi-weekly lectures from experts in the field, including designers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, and users. Beyond these lectures, students engage in a team-based design project experience that includes need finding, project identification, and design. Teams interact with users of assistive technology, design coaches, and project partners.

ME113 is the Spring Quarter capstone course for the undergraduate Mechanical Engineering degree. Students pursue a quarter-long team-based project with the expectation that they will take their design concept as far towards a functioning device as possible by creating designs, models, and working prototypes of new mechanical devices. Mechanical design, teamwork, project management, and resource allocation are emphasized.

CS194 is the Spring Quarter capstone course for the undergraduate Computer Science degree. The goals for the course are as follows:

  • To provide a significant design experience, starting from a blank sheet
  • To provide a team software-building experience, where effective communication within the team is as important as coding ability
  • To provide experience in building a large system that requires integration of the skills and knowledge gained in the undergraduate program
  • To provide practice in public presentation of technical work, both in class and to faculty and industry guests at the end-of-quarter Software Faire
  • To provide practice in the written description of a technical project, satisfying the Writing in Major (WIM) requirement
  • To acquaint the students with current practices in software engineering

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Expectations for Students:
By taking this suggested two-quarter course sequence, students will:

  • Gain a full appreciation for and an understanding of the engineering, medical, and social aspects associated with the design, development, and use of assistive technology,

  • Learn about a wide variety of issues in technology development, including intellectual property rights and best practices in community engagement, and

  • Engage in a comprehensive design experience that includes working with users of assistive technology to identify needs, prototype solutions, perform user testing, practice iterative design, and communicate results.

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Overview:
The Winter Quarter ENGR110/210 explores technology that benefits people with disabilities and older adults.

The course consists of semi-weekly class session that features discussions, guest lectures, field trips, an assistive technology faire, a film screening, and student project presentations.

Enrollment is open to any student - undergrad or grad - from any discipline.

The course content in non-technical. There are no exams, quizzes, problem sets, or finals.

There is an opportunity to work on projects that address real problems experienced by individuals in the local community. These projects are pursued in teams of 1, 2, or 3. Students choose projects pitches by people from the community who would benefit from a device that would enhance their function, improve their independence, and / or increase their quality of life.

Students can also suggest their own projects - typically one that benefits themself (as a student with a disability) or a family member (or friend) with a disability. Such projects must be approved by the instructor.

The flexible course structure includes individual and team-based assistive technology design project options as well as a lectures-only option. The team project option is 3 units. A smaller individual project option is 1 unit with a letter grade. Taking the course as a seminar (no project) is 1 unit CR/NC.

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Course Description:
Perspectives in Assistive Technology is a one-quarter (10-week) course taught at Stanford during the Winter Quarter that explores the design, development, and use of technology that benefits people with disabilities and older adults. Students from diverse disciplines (mostly mechanical engineers) and from all academic years (approximately equally divided between upper class and graduate students) have enrolled in the course.

The course combines classroom discussions, presentations by guest lecturers, team and individual projects, site visits to medical and engineering facilities, an assistive technology faire, a film screening, and project presentations by students.

This course consists of twice-weekly presentations by guest lecturers who are experts in the greater assistive technology field, including product designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, clinicians, and assistive technology users. Lectures are open to all students and community members (local individuals without a Stanford affiliation), including non-enrolled students interested in a particular lecture and individuals with disabilities. Guest lecturers address a wide variety of issues in assistive technology such as disability and rehabilitation, research and development, service learning, brainstorming and needfinding, design software, intellectual property, technology licensing, personal perspectives, and human subjects in research.

Tours of local medical facilities and engineering laboratories (VA Spinal Cord Injury and Brain Injury Services and Stanford Motion and Gait Analysis Laboratory) as well as the Magical Bridge Playground (a facility designed to be accessible and inclusive for kids and parents with disabilities) are scheduled during the quarter. They provide an off-campus learning experience.

The Assistive Technology Faire provides an opportunity for students and community members to get an up-close look at a variety of commercial devices. Users of assistive technology products as well as small companies and agencies serving individuals with disabilities and older adults bring assistive technology devices to display and demonstrate.

Beyond these lectures and tours, students can participate in an individual or team-based design project experience that addresses problems faced by users of assistive technology.

The course is taught by David L. Jaffe who holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Prior to coming to Stanford, he was a Research Biomedical Engineer at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's Rehabilitation Research and Development Center. At the VA his interests were designing, developing, testing, and bringing to market microcomputer-based devices for veterans with disabilities including communication, mobility, and information systems.

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Teaching Team:
David L. Jaffe, MS - dljaffe -at- stanford.edu
      Course Lecturer

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Credentials:
The course:

  • Has no prerequisites.

  • Is a designated Service-Learning Course, certified by the Haas Center for Public Service.

  • Has been designated as a Cardinal Course by the Haas Center for Public Service. Cardinal Courses apply classroom knowledge to pressing social and environmental problems through reciprocal community partnerships. The units received through this course can be used towards the 12-unit requirement for the Cardinal Service Transcript Notation.
  • Is approved for the Program in Science, Technology & Society (STS) - included on the BS Major STS Core list in Social Scientific Perspectives area of the Disciplinary Analyses section (3 credit option)

  • Satisfies the optional course requirement for the BS degree in Mechanical Engineering (3 credit option)

  • Can be approved as an elective for the MS degree in Mechanical Engineering by a faculty advisor

  • Is an approved Design Processes Course for the Learning, Design and Technology Program in the Graduate School of Education

  • Is an approved course for the Bio-Science Area of Concentration in The Program in Human Biology.

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Objectives:

  • Expose students to the engineering, medical, and social issues facing engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, older adults, and individuals with disabilities in the design, development, and use of assistive technology

  • Engage students in a team-based project experience that exercises team working skills (leadership & organization) and applies an engineering design process to address difficulties experienced by individuals with disabilities and older adults

  • Provide an opportunity for students to interact with users of assistive technology in the local community along with health care professionals, coaches, and project partners

  • Enhance students' critical thinking and communication skills, with specific emphasis on in-class discussions, report writing, and project presentations

  • Encourage students to use their engineering skills and design expertise to help individuals with disabilities and older adults increase their independence and improve their quality of life

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Course Laptop Policy:
To encourage learning, discussion, and respectful interaction between students, the teaching team, and guest lecturers, the use of digital devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. is only permitted before and after class and during the short class session break.

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In-class Discussions:
Each class session typically begins with a ten to fifteen minute interactive discussion that promotes critical thinking, analysis, and questioning.

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Lectures:
Presentations are given by guest lecturers who address a wide variety of issues in assistive technology such as disability and rehabilitation, research and development, service learning, brainstorming and need-finding, design software, intellectual property, technology licensing, personal perspectives, and human subjects in research.

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Tours:
Tours of local medical facilities and engineering laboratories are scheduled during the quarter.

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Projects:
The description of the student project options are given below.

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Project Carryover to Spring Quarter:
Team-based design projects in ENGR110/210 serve as a foundation for continuing development, testing, and fabrication of an improved working prototype in the Spring Quarter. Teams of undergraduate students enroll in ME113 or CS194 (or a comparable senior design project course) while individual or graduate students can pursue independent study for credit with the approval of their faculty advisor. The Spring Quarter effort focuses on developing and testing a more refined, functional prototype. As with ENGR110/210, students continue to work closely with persons with disabilities throughout the design process.

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Lecture-only Option:
For students whose schedule does not permit working on a team-based project in ENGR110/210, a one-unit lecture-only option is offered. As there are no assignments or exams, the grading is Credit / No Credit - no letter grades are given for this option. Students enrolled with this option must attend at least 10 lectures, including the first lecture, Introduction to Assistive Technology.

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One Credit Letter Grade Option:
For students whose schedule does not permit working on a team-based project in ENGR110/210, but wish to receive a letter grade, a one-credit letter grade option is offered.

Individual Project Assignment
Students are asked to interview an individual with a disability or an older adult, choose and pursue a specific project activity, present their work, submit a final comprehensive final project report that encompasses their efforts for the entire quarter, and reflect on their experiences.

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Team Project Option (3 credit option):
Students work in teams of no more than three to address problems faced by individuals with disabilities and older adults in the local community with the goal of fabricating, testing, and presenting a functional prototype device or software application. Team project activities include selecting team members; considering project choices; selecting a project; meeting with project partners, assistive technology users, design coaches, and the course instructor; understanding the problem; identifying the need; searching for existing commercial products; brainstorming and identifying appropriate project design alternatives; selecting a project design to pursue; fabricating a prototype; testing and analyzing the performance of the prototype; iterating the fabrication and testing steps; presenting and demonstrating the project; writing a report; and reflecting on the course and team project experience.

Mid-term Team Project Assignment
In the first half of the quarter, students form into teams, select a team project, contact the individual who suggested the project, interview an individual with a disability or an older adult who would benefit from the project, gather information on existing products and research, determine the magnitude of the need, brainstorm and evaluate potential solutions, present their findings, and submit a report of the team's progress.

End-of-term Team Project Assignment
During the second half of the quarter, teams choose a specific design concept and fabricate / test a functional prototype. The embodiment of the chosen design will be in the form of detailed sketches, drawings, and a functional prototype. Teams present their design in class and submit a final comprehensive final project report that encompasses their work for the entire quarter and individually reflect on their course and team project experience.

Project ideas come from various public and private sources in the community, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System's Spinal Cord Injury Center, local assistive living facilities, senior centers, as well as from foundations like the Muscular Dystrophy Association, or from individuals.

Funding to support the course and student projects come from Stanford sources, company partners, foundations, etc.

Students who wish to work on a team project and have a limitation in the total number of units they can take in the Winter Quarter may enroll for one or two credits, but are expected to complete all the 3-unit course requirements.

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Assignment Dues Dates:

Assignment Date
Team Mid-term Presentation Thursday, February 16th
Team Mid-term Report Tuesday, February 21st
Individual Presentation Week of March 6th
Team Final Presentation Tuesday, March 14th
Individual and Team Final Report Monday, March 20th
Individual Reflection Monday March 20th

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Over-enrollment:

The course enrollment is capped at 27 students taking the course for 3 credit units which equates to 9 three-student teams. (There is no cap on the 1 credit unit options.)

In the event that the cap is reached, students can choose to be added to a Wait List. If a previously enrolled student who enrolled for 3 credit units drops the course, his/her spot is given to the first individual on the Wait List (with priority given to graduating seniors). Please note that there is no guarantee that any students already enrolled for 3 credit units will indeed drop the course although 11 students have done so last year.

Here are all the enrollment options for students to consider:

  1. Wait List Option - As described above, students can take their chances with the Wait List. If a spot opens up, I will notify the student. If no spots open up, students will be required to choose one of the following options.

  2. Individual Project Option - Students may enroll in the course for 1 credit unit and work on an individual project for a letter grade and are required to attend at least 10 lectures.

  3. Seminar Option - Students may enroll in the course for 1 credit unit and are required to attend at least 10 lectures for CR/NC with no project participation.

  4. Taking the Course Twice Option - Please note that students may enroll in the course (as ENGR110) for either of these 1 credit unit options in the current year and take the course (as ENGR210) for 3 credit units in a subsequent year with credit given for lectures already attended. This option would not apply to graduating seniors. (Three students have exercised this option.)

  5. Independent Study Option - Students may enroll in ME191 (Independent Study) in a subsequent quarter and work on an individual project for a letter grade and a negotiated number of credit units.

  6. Next Year Option - Students who will be around next year may sit in (without enrolling) on lectures they find interesting and enroll in the course the following year with credit given for the lectures already attended.

  7. Sit in on Lectures Option - Students may choose not to enroll in the course, but are most welcome to sit in on any lectures that interest them.

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Excuses:

A student who has missed a course event (lecture, field trip, or deadline) or has knowledge he/she will miss a course event should not provide a reason for his/her absence as this requires the instructor to make a judgment on the validity of his/her reason. Instead, the student should ask how to make up the missed event.

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Missed Lecture Policy:

  • All enrolled students are encouraged to attend all ENGR110/210 lectures.

  • Enrolled students taking the course for 1 unit must attend at least 10 lectures including the first lecture, Introduction to Assistive Technology.

  • One Excused Lecture for Student Project Teams

    • Student project teams (taking the course for 3 units) may be excused from attending one lecture (after Week 6) to work on their team projects. The instructor may designate which lecture can be missed.

    • The following guidelines must be followed:

      1. The entire team must arrange to work on their project together during the missed lecture time.

      2. The team must inform the instructor of their desire to work on their project prior to the lecture that will be missed.

      3. All team members must be up to date on all lectures - ie, any missed lectures must have been made up.
  • Making Up Missed Lectures

    • Missed lectures may be made up by first reviewing the material from the missed lecture: view the video (take notes), follow along with the PowerPoint slides, read any handout material, view any photos and other videos, and browse any weblinks posted on the lecture webpage.

    • Next arrange to meet with the instructor to discuss the missed lecture. Be prepared to lead the conversation on the lecture's content with questions, comments, observations, thoughts, and reflections. Consider "What one item did you hear, see, or learn that was new, surprising, interesting, or provided a new perspective?" The meeting should take about 20 minutes.

    • After the meeting, the student will be credited with "attending" the lecture.

    • Missed lectures should be made up at the earliest earliest opportunity (ideally within a week) as it may be more difficult to find the time to review the material and meet near the end of the quarter.

  • Grade Impact for Missed Lectures

    If one or more required lectures are missed and are not made up by the deadline for grade submission, the student's grade will be affected as follows:

    • For students taking the course as Credit / No Credit, the following options are available for student who have not attended at least 10 lectures:

      • Receive No Credit for the course.
      • Request to receive Incomplete for the course. If subsequently the missed lectures are made up, the grade will be changed to Credit.
    • For students taking the course for a Letter Grade, the following options are available for students who have missed one or more lectures:

      • Deduct one incremental letter grade (ie "A" becomes "A-", etc) for each missed lecture not made up.
      • Request to receive Incomplete for the course. If subsequently the missed lecture(s) are made up, a letter grade reflecting the student's performance will be recorded.

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Grading:

1 Credit Option 3 Credit Option

Final Report
Final Presentation
Individual Reflection
Participation *

30%
30%
10%
30%
Mid-term Report and Presentation
Final Report
Final Presentation
Individual Reflection
Participation *
20%
30%
30%
10%
10%
* 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.

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Letters of Recomendations and Employment References:

Please note that a student's individual project contributions may not be evident if he / she is working on a team project.
    Letters of Recommendation:
  • Be aware that the course instructor is not a professor, nor does he have a PhD. Make sure this is ok with the agency or institution to which the Letter of Recommendation is being sent.

  • For Mechanical Engineering students seeking a Coterminal Degree, a cummulative grade point average of 3.7 is highly desireable. If this average is met, a Letter of Recommendation is a simple formality for the instructor to complete. The student must waive his / her right to inspect the contents of the Recommendation. Submit a filled-out, signed, and dated Recommendation Form (Coterminal Application for ME Program - page 6) to the instructor - no envelope is needed.

  • A student must declare - at the start of the quarter - that she / he will be requesting a Letter of Recommendation. This gives the instructor an opportunity to follow the student's progress throughout the course.

  • Requests for a Letter of Recommendation must be made at least a month in advance of the due date.

  • Please review this webpage, "Getting a Letter of Recommendation" by Scott D. Anderson, a Lecturer in the Computer Science Department of Wellesley College.

    Employment References:
  • The instructor must be made aware of a request for a telephone-based employment reference.

  • The student must specify what project tasks he / she has engaged in.

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Students with Disabilities:
Creating and enhancing a supportive educational environment is one of the University's highest priorities. Ensuring that students with disabilities have full access to all instructional settings is part of the University's efforts.

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk; phone: 650/723-1066.

If you require a disability-related accommodation to participate in the course, please contact the course instructor. Requests should be made at least two weeks in advance.

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ENGR110/210 Lecture Schedule - 2017

Week

Lecture Date

Description

Assignments

Deliverables

1

Jan 10th

Course Overview & Introduction to Assistive Technology
David L. Jaffe, MS

Assignment One - Mid-term Report & Presentation handed out

 
 

Jan 12th

Project Pitches & Team Formation


   

2

Jan 17th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Jan 19th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

 

Team Formation and Project Selection due Friday, January 20th

3

Jan 24th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Jan 26th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

4

Jan 31st

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Feb 2nd

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

5

Feb 7th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Feb 9th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

6

Feb 14th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Feb 16th

Team Project Mid-term Presentations

Assignment Two - Final Report & Presentation handed out

Team Project Mid-term Report due Tuesday, February 21st

7

Feb 21st

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Feb 23rd

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

8

Feb 28th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   
 

Mar 2nd

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

9

Mar 7th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

 

Individual Project Final Presentations this week

 

Mar 9th

Class Discussion
Guest Lecture

   

10

Mar 8th

Team Project Final Presentations


   
 

Mar 14th

Course Evaluation & Celebration


  Individual and Team Project Final Report
and
End-Quarter Reflection due Monday, March 20th

11

Mar 16th

Final exam week - no class

   

Updated 01/25/2017

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