I was introduced to the concept of encouraging Environmentally Conscious Behaviour (ECBs) in my Design for Innovative Products course. Towards this end, my team and I decided to tackle the problem of the disruptive and noisy environment that is prevalent in most university classrooms, an experience that quite a few of us will be familiar with.
In this project, we adopted the design process of Problem, Discover, Define and Design. We spent a good portion of our time identifying the root causes of this disruptive environment while trying to understand the needs of users - both instructors and students. This phase was followed by research into existing methods used by instructors to control classrooms, as well as the generation of new concepts to address this issue at a university level.
Our final concept involved having students connect to a secure lecture channel through the use of mobile app. This system, as explained in the diagram to the right, would enable students to listen to the instructor without auditory distractions from their classmates. We demoed this system in a live classroom using Google Hangouts to very positive reviews. Future implementations would include utilizing a dedicated wireless network to reduce lag and a version of the opensource platform MConf to handle the communication.
If you're curious about our design process and its outcomes, click the icon above for a look at our paper.