Sensei

An Intelligent System

The objective of this team project was to create a connected experience for users in Pittsburgh. My partner, Catherine Shen, and I achieved this by identifying a problem area in Pittsburgh education, interviewing stakeholders, and determining the needs of users based on qualitative feedback. In the end, we designed and prototyped an intelligent system to help teachers document, find and share creative teaching strategies. 

The idea is that teachers could use Sensei as a documentation platform to organize their reflections about teaching. Sensei helps them curate their thoughts and add them to a strategy database. When teachers need help with strategy ideas, Sensei will send them relevant strategies from the database. If those don’t specifically fit the teacher’s needs, Sensei will request ideas from other teachers who have experience in that area. Through this process, teachers can organize ideas, search for new ideas, and even receive ideas that are specifically catered to their needs. 

My role in this project included user research, designing the concept, wire framing, illustration, storyboarding, and presenting.


Process

Discovering the Problem Space

This project started quite open ended. Catherine and I were both interested in exploring social innovation and found ourselves focusing on how to help at-risk youth in Pittsburgh become more successful, learn how to advocate for themselves, or set goals to achieve their dreams. We began interviewing at-risk youth, teachers, and youth advocates and found that quality teachers make a great impact on the future success of children. Teachers in Pittsburgh, however, are dealing with teacher burnout and need help coming up with effective teaching strategies. 

We spent time observing children at school and took note of the teaching methods the teachers used with the children. Next we scheduled an afternoon with a group of young and found that it would be helpful to have a resource that gave us some of the tried and true teaching ideas of experienced teachers. 

We spent time observing children at school and took note of the teaching methods the teachers used with the children. Next we scheduled an afternoon with a group of young and found that it would be helpful to have a resource that gave us some of the tried and true teaching ideas of experienced teachers. 

In the end, we decided to come up with an app that allows teachers to document their innovations and methods and then share those methods with other teachers in need of ideas. 

We did some user testing on the prototype and got positive feedback from users.