TM356 hackathon events

On Saturday 17th Feb 2018, 22 students studying TM356 met at Walton Hall to take part in the first of two hackathon events. The Hackathon is a unique Open University one-day event that helps students understand what it means to build prototypes. It is also an opportunity for students to meet other members of the OU community - the hackathons are supported by the TM356 module team, ALs, PhD students and RAs from the School of Computing and Communications.

Under the theme of 'healthcare wearables', groups first brainstormed health-related problems they might want to address. As the day progressed, they then went through the process of design - creating personas, scenarios and storyboards before developing low-fidelity prototypes. 

The five groups developed prototypes for 1) assisting visually impaired users navigate signage, 2) reminding users to take their medication (2 groups), 3) reducing anxiety and 4) improving posture.

Towards the end of the day, the groups presented their work to the whole room where we were also joined by students online who used Adobe Connect to join the face-to-face session remotely. 

Feedback from the students and ALs was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees stating how much they had enjoyed the day and how it had made the intangible concept of prototyping more grounded in reality.

A retrospective of the event occurred online on the 1st March, using the many photos taken throughout the day to give students that couldn't attend a flavour of the event and to explain how the development of the prototypes helped capture design thinking.

Unfortunately, the ;second face-to-face session in Edinburgh was cancelled due to the snow. In total, around 10% of the TM356 student population took part in the hackathon-related activities.

Daniel Gooch, Clara Mancini, Christopher Douce, Simon Holland
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