Week 6: The Road to Halves

Team Puppamatics had a busy week! This week we had a meeting with the student-teachers at West Liberty, a playtest with middle school students and dry-runs of our Halves presentation. We spend most of our time this week wrapping up the first iterations of our key deliverables and preparing the meetings to come.

Feedback from West Liberty Student Teachers

On Tuesday February 20th, we met with our client Lou Karas and her class of student teachers. Student teachers are college students that are studying to become teachers. Their classes are more about building lesson plans and engaging young students. We wanted to meet with them to get feedback on just that; our lesson plan and engagement.

We introduced ourselves and the tool, then asked them about the structure. How would you design a lesson plan around this activity? After the kids make a puppet, what would you have them do with it? What would you use it to teach? Below is their main feedback:

  • Consider more printing options so the teachers can play with the software on their own
  • Restructure the audience/setting
    • Multiple age groups
    • Mixed age groups
    • Before and After school programs
  • Teach material like
    • Reading comprehension
    • Vocabulary
    • Geometric measurements

Taking this feedback into consideration, we want to expand our printing capabilities and customizations to the puppet. Printing would help teachers practice and prepare for the activity, while customization to the puppet will enhance thier use after assembly.

Middle School Playtest

Several middle school students were invited to tour ETC’s building. Our team had the pleasure of hosting a playtest while the children were here. The purpose of this playtest was to collect feedback on our software. First, we introduced ourselves and the activity. Then we played our tutorial video for the students. Next we told them to start using the software without our instructions. After 5 minutes we gave them a quick demo and had them try again. Finally, we asked for more feedback directly. What bugs were found? How long is this program holding the children’s attention? Do they understand the UI? These are their findings:

  • The middle schoolers ended up making 2-4 puppets in the 30 minutes
  • They were able to flip the puppets limbs out of the screen
  • They zoomed very far away from the camera and broke the camera function
  • Student wanted more customization for the puppets
  • Students naturally worked in pairs
  • There was a vanishing text bug
  • Most of the students didn’t realize they could rotate the camera until we showed them

Preparing for Halves

Beyond the meeting with the student teachers and the playtest this wee, we have been preparing for our halves presentation. Halves in an opportunity to show the progress and direction of your project. Our team was focused on giving background for project and the progress of our deliverables; a tutorial video, web application and printed templates.

To prepare for halves, we made an outline of our presentation and met with Ruth Comley our project instructor. She gave us feedback about presentation structure and key points. We then finalized our presentation and practiced it multiple times, together and individually.

Next Steps

We hope to crush our Halves presentation and start setting goals for after spring break. As we approach the end of the semester, we also want to be mindful of documentation and our reach goals

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