Utilizing new Devices to Improve student teacher interactions in the classroom.
Our class partnered with Intel and designers from Teague to test and redefine Intel’s Billboard application. Billboard was created for the Asus TaiChi, a small, dual-screened computer. In its current state, Billboard enables users to message and share images on the Taichi's outer screen. Intel wanted us to explore what is currently possible with their application, and then to propose alternatives or new directions for Billboard to move towards.
My team found the classroom to be a promising social situation for device intervention. We delivered an alternative application, named Billboard Student, to enhance interactions and communication between students and teachers in several different classroom environments.
Design Field Study
Chet Sangnil | Mason Catt
Team Leader | Research | Ideation | Story | Design Briefs | Acting
ASUS TaiChi | Illustrator | After Effects | Premiere
Our challenge was to create an application that utilizes the Asus Taichi and stays true to some of the design language already established in Intel's Billboard application. There are currently tools that help either the individual student or teacher, but they struggle to improve collaboration between both parties. Whiteboards, projectors, and smart boards display information to the entire class, but don’t elicit participation from everyone seated. We wanted all students engaged simultaneously.
At the University of Washington, the Catalyst web app enables teachers to track classes, assignments, and grades. We attempted to merge features from Catalyst with other useful classrooms activities, such as lecture hall clicker polls and art class group critiques. Our team pulled what we liked most into our application. Within Billboard Student, we consolidated clickers into a question/answer format and added a voting system to assignment critique sessions.
Over a period of ten weeks my team conducted research that included participant observation, task analysis, and interviews. The research informed our decision to pursue classroom interactions. The concept and design were iterated weekly until we had clearly defined what our user experience would look and feel like.
- Miscommunication in classrooms can be reduced with more standardized interactions
- Device restrictions, like limited mobility and quantity become less important in small spaces
- Groups are already highly communicative, and are quick to adopt and use new devices
- Social networks don’t enable the sort of physical response that using a common device in a classroom might
- Successful user testing with Billboard in a classroom makes it a viable solution
The result of our research and efforts is the Billboard Student application. It exists as a prototype demonstrated through our video and interface. The classroom is a location where devices like tablets and laptops are beginning to improve collaboration, but there’s still a need for something to fully connect students and teachers. We designed Billboard Student around three main classroom activities: lectures, group discussions, and group critiques. Our team both defined a new context for Billboard to be used in and tried to meet the needs of students and teachers. The following lists our product’s primary features:
- Share homework and assignments with their peers and respond to teacher questions or polls
- Let teachers know via color change on their screen that they’re having difficulty understanding the class lecture
- Critique and vote on each other’s work
- Ask questions and poll student responses to get a sense of how much their class is learning
- Guide class discussions and critiques
- Track student participation, grades, and assignments