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Highly Customizable Presentation Control
CTRL works to decrease cognitive load on educators during lectures by streamlining the flow of presented content through a handheld device. It is a versatile and intuitive remote control device that allow teachers to access any commands in a classroom with a simple click !
User Journey Map
Major Pain Points
Preparing Class Material:
Set up Zoom link
Create presentations and materials for demos
Set Up For Class
Open Zoom and configure audio / camera
Have digital material (browsers, presentations) ready to present
Beginning Of Class
Admit students from waiting room
Check Zoom to monitor student engagement
Check chat function
Call on Students
Check for raised hands
Write on paper and projector
Allow students to screenshare
Record zoom call
Reflect on student learning outcomes
Upload in class teaching contents
" Well, you can see I need a better solution for this. "
"Anything to reduce dead time in lecture, whether it be showing MitX or Slack, would be great "
Senior lecturer at MIT
Typically chalkboard lectures
Uses MitX, Slack, Piazza
"I'd love to be able to seamlessly switch between my PowerPoint and Google Slides, both in presenter mode already"
Lecturer at MIT
Typically PowerPoint lectures
Uses PowerPoint, Google Slides
Seamless sharing of written material and intuitive control with physical interfaces
Hassle-free mounting, seamless software
Software To Improve Engagement
Situational awareness of mood of classroom
Teaching Assistant Device
Offers a series of shortcut keys that allow teachers to access files and online programs during class.
The current Elgato SD stream deck is a tool catered specifically to gamers and online content creators. Though it is highly customizable, it lacks any specific functionality and are not as accessible to non-tech savvy users. However, if we cater this concept to
teachers and lecturers in a physical classroom and create an ecosystem where class preparation, button setup, real-time control directly corresponds to teachers' workflow, it will become a very competitive product in the education sector.
The working model assesses the feasibility of wired/wireless communication with the computer. The prototype allows users to interface with the LCD screens and execute computer interface commands. It also helped to narrow down compatible electronic components (LCD screens, buttons with different feedbacks, batteries, and etc..)
Preliminary Look-Like Models
The preliminary concepts explore several form factors , including stationary design on work surface, peripheral devices mounted on computers, and handheld designs that allow mobility around classroom. They also showcase different configurations of a rotary wheel and varying number of buttons.
User Testing on look-like models
We wanted to gain insights on the functionality and form factors of the physical features. Users we interviewed said that
Maximum of 4 buttons for a hand held device
Screens on the buttons provide clarity to their functions
One screen should communicate "mode"
The refined model aims to incorporate all available technical capabilities, functional needs, form considerations into an integrated model. The mechanical design aims to construct the chasis that houses the computing components and supports the interactions among LCD screens, a rotary encoder, and the switches.
The construction of the rotary encoder ensures static directionality of the circular LCD screen even while the rotary encoder is being rotated during the selection process. In addition, the housing is modular to support easy disassembly and effective troubleshooting.
User Flow Of The Rotary Encoder
In order to incorporate more functionalities and flexibility to our product, we introduced the screen-mounted rotary encoder into our design. As shown by the video on the left, the rotary encoder conveniently allows users to navigate through pages of features, folders, and subjects without sacrificing additional "next" and "back" buttons.
User Testing On Refined Model
We wanted to further validate our design decisions, such as whether the device should be stationary or hand-held, whether the displays should be colored or black and white; and how to seamlessly transition between computer UI and device UI.
Decreases cognitive load
Seamless transition between computer and device UI
Integrate into current teaching flow
Buttons organized by class
User Feedback On Refined Model
Users interacted with the model as part of the interview. Details from these feedback informed the changes made for the alpha model. Some highlights include:
Form Factors: All users agreed that the model was too chunky, it is better to be handheld.
Screens: Mixed opinions about the screen, they provide good visual aids, but it might become less useful during operation
Quantity of Touchpoints: Users converged on "no more than four" buttons, and "simpler is better".
Final Prototype sketch
Based on the user feedbacks and the concluded use cases, we arrived at a handheld smart control device with four customizable control buttons and a function category selection display that helps navigate between pages.
We experimented with several different button configurations to test out comfortability, accessibility to buttons, low cognitive load while operating, and visibility of button screens.
Indicator Color Lights
Additional handle for ergonomic support
We performed ergonomic testing on the 3d-printed model. Based on the user feedbacks we collected, we understood that :
the device can be shorter while supporting the hand
The buttons can be much larger
The LCD buttons can be moved up more
The device could be ambidextrous
Device UI Development
Device UI Development
Teachers map specific class activities, resources, control shortcuts onto the button panel. Buttons are designed based on the curriculum of the day. Each day a teacher may have a different button panel. For example, the teacher may plan the buttons in accordance with their daily plans on Canvas.
Course materials: powerpoints, videos, links...
Shortcut control, including zoom controls, connecting external devices
Preset controls for timers, polls, divide into breakout rooms or subgroups.
Default buttons are set up at the beginning and rarely changed, such as a set of commonly used zoom controls, folders, and recent opened file history.
The features are organized into a menu of feature categories and mapped onto the button panels.
Highly Customizable Presentation Control
The most versatile and intuitive remote control device that allows teachers to access any commands in a classroom with a simple click!
Better Control Over Your Lecture
User Flow: Set Up Button Features
Andy is a college professor. For a typical class, Andy usually prepares a Google Slides presentation, a video in mp4 format, and some reference websites. He also set up zoom for hybrid class mode.
Preset button features for the ctrl device
Button features mapped onto the device preview
User Flow: Upload Features On Deck
After setting up the buttons through the CTRL software, Andy can then upload the commands onto the device through the USB port.
Load Button Templates
Load a set of pre-programmed functions based on subjects and applications
Swap out functions based on needs; Organize button hierarchy within templates
Create custom macro functions from scratch
User Flow: Physical Device Interface
Choose Class Profile Through The Rotary Encoder
After uploading the commands, Andy is able to access a variety of commands through the rotary wheel and e-ink display.
Clicking Through Presentation
Trigger A Video
LCD Screen Cover
1.28 in Round LCD Screen
LED Color-Change Buttons
PCB Mounting Board
13 hours of continuous use
Required Onboard Processing
Minimal (processing on computer)
Windows +Mac OS
Additional Feature Specifications
Icon display through e-ink screens and LCDs rotary wheel through rotary encoder
MIT Sloan Business School | MIT Engineering School | RISD Industrial Design
Team Members: Adam Barber; Cole Maisonpierre; Danning Liang; Sophia Leon Guerrero; Ava LaRocca; Allan Law; Nishant Pandey
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