Thursday, 10 May 2012

Meeting 10/5

Topics covered:

  • IDATER content
  • Learning, teaching and the 2 decades of technology darkness 
  • The focus and purpose of prototyping for FYDP
  • Resource and Prototype matrices
  • Curriculum summary report
IDATER content:
Interviews happening next week, Wednesday. Prepare questions for then, run them past Tom.

Podcast - Not compulsory because not many people use them, but a good idea to encourage people to submit various types of media. Peter talking about recording it, really it can be done in our own time because of the basic technology that it needs. 
- Best done with two people discussing the subject and covering key points? Casual, very much like a friendly discussion, ad hoc.

Paper to be submitted to be my final year report. 

Trip to Limerick for the main event. Instead of a conference booklet, hand out CD's memory sticks. Alternatively, create an app (iOS, Android) that mimics the website, presents all the content inc. videos, picture galleries, etc.  No point creating it ourselves, can you get app templates? Similar to Wordpress templates but in app form? We pick a theme then add the content. Maybe several apps/volumes based on the subject area; reduces size and download time of each app.

Learning and teaching electronics- Discussion with Nigel:
Much of electronic teaching in design starts with learning the components first and then building up to the systems. Much of what Arduino and Sparkfun is about is only providing small subsystems that go together - no need to teach the individual component part.

Looking at it from a top down approach rather than bottom up. Grounded Theory.
Teach systems first > identify the system > what subsystems are required > what components make that subsystem.

Upside it is more efficient - more time is spent learning the system that is required for the project.
Downside is that the systems are understood but how they work is not.

2 Decades of Darkness:

During the 80's programming was taught on BBC computers, programming, creating games, devising problems. Papert, LOGO.
Then the 90's and 00's brought Microsoft based computers going into schools with word processing and spreadsheet programs - The idea of computing became to write reports and organise data. 
Only now with the introduction of Arduino and Raspberry Pi into schools are people realising what computing really is. Chance to properly implement Papert's ideas?
-Nigel is writing a paper on this.

Investigate Deep and Surface learning
- Link to that paper by that guy pulling apart PBL stating that it only works surface/shallow memory.

The purpose of prototyping in FYDP:
Shouldn't students be focusing their prototypes on delivering relevant user data, rather than focusing on making it at close to the proposed design as possible?

The FYDP prototype fulfils many roles:
Aesthetic, representative & showcasing lboro design
User testing
Representative of its functions
Demonstration of what has been learnt from many modules and disciplines.

A student might get more marks creating a prototype that has embedded electronics but still offers good potential for user testing, rather than a prototype that 'cuts corners' in regards to embedded technology but still has good potential for high quality user testing results.

Prototyping can't be reduced down to be purely user testing focused, but more focus can go on to user testing. More consideration at the start of each project the purpose of the prototype, embedded system based upon that while other criteria still met?

Resource and Prototype matrices:
Two matrices proposed:
  1. Resources Matrix - a subjective representation of the relations between resources suitable for classroom teaching of electronics, prototyping and interace design. Ordered by skill level / ability.
  2. Prototype Matrix - a graph used to mark the efficiency of any given prototype based upon the fidelity (overall finish, inc. cost and time spent on it) vs. the quality of the data drawn from user testing. 

Prototype matrix looks effective, could possibly be used in FYDP or form a basis of a paper. 
Resources matrix is a fine way of putting resources in context of one another. Subjective and some explanation for the boundary choices may be required.

Curriculum Summary Report:
Report to be written up summarising the collected curriculums from the selected universities and also from the FE subjects identified. This will make a portion of the final year report.

Jon Rogers contacted for module information, possibly visiting lboro soon, worth sitting down and discussing some of this.

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