It is an academic project I proposed when I was a research assistant in the children’s developmental lab at NTU. The project was to create an e-learning platform on interactive techniques for the families of children with developmental disorders, such as Autism, global developmental delay, and speech impairment.
I had been with the lab for almost two years, researching on the language development of children with autism, and participating in the early assessment and treatment sessions for the family in need.
Identify the Problem
Observing from my sessions with toddlers, their care-takers, and social workers, there is a great unbalance on the needs and supple. The sessions are usually overwhelmingly over-booked, there are not enough clinicians to provide more sessions to meet the needs.
The families were looking for more assistance and resources on how to help their children with developmental difficulties. It was extremely frustrating not knowing how to interact and help with your own child. The caretakers play the most crucial roles, whom could provide the most instant and regular assistance to the children, especially during the critical developmental stage.
The question raised, how do we efficiently “train” the care-takers, so that it doesn’t fall behind the critical development?
We interviewed some parents, social workers, and the therapists on their teaching and learning experiences, and tested how they react to video demos.
1) Clear Examples and Instructions, the care-takers appreciated the visualized examples, like videos, to help demonstrate the concept. It gives them a clearer starting point to practice in life.
2) Am I doing it right? The care-takers relied on the clinicians to guide them through the learning, to help identify where and how to improve.
3) Emotional Support. There is pressure and there are worries from being a parent. They’re often in groups to offer support and exchange information with one another.
Flexibility is a key point we’re considering for the care-takers, that they can jump around the chapters, accordingly to the needs for their child, and at any time of the day.
Feedback has been the most important and irreplaceable part for the sessions. It is important for the care-takers to have a way to examine the effectiveness of their practice, and feel the support.
A e-learning responsive website, featuring the learning chapters in articles, demo videos, and a place to exchange feedback between the care-takers and clinicians.
Initiation & Plans
I organized a team of 8 with needed abilities for this project. The final product was to be a e-learning website, visualizing the tutorial materials in clear structures, 25 scripts for demonstration videos. In addition to the scripts, I was to produced 3 tutorial videos as proves of concept before I left.
It was a long-term project, which I couldn’t finish the whole production because I had to leave for the master program in late summer that year. I initialized the project and worked closely with the fellow undergrads in the lab for them to continue the project after I left.
My responsibilities as a project manager were:
- Planning & Design
- Monitoring the Progress
- Handing over to the next PM
Due to the project is still in development, and being tested in controlled research design, I can’t put up the details in public. You can see the demo video on top of the page, as a proof of concept of what we were doing.