My classes typically use project based learning to teach the core competencies. To support project based learning, I give all of the student teams the same opportunity area to explore and develop prototypes for by the end of the term.
Teams are typically composed of 3-4 members. They are curious, mature, and typically have 0-3 years of work experience. As electives, students choose to be in the class. Most students have background in engineering where they start design with the traditional tools of mechanical engineering (kinematics, mechanics, strength of materials, etc). In my classes, we starte with user experience.
Class projects typically involve:
- Human experience
- A relatively low cost, consumerish product/service
- A consumer market exists for the product/service but it is not completely mature
- Have a range of possible product and service solutions
- Can be prototyped to some extent using low fidelity methods
- Accessible users for conducting user research
Problems addressed in the past including improving mental health on campus, improving the waiting in line experience, improving the clothes laundering experience, improving the crowdfunding experience, and improving the baby monitoring experience.