Group Presentation: Design Brief

The best way to learn is to teach.
Frank Oppenheimer, founder of the Exploratorium



From Weeks 5 to 8, you will work in groups of 3-4 to teach us about a particular physical computing topic. You will choose groups in the second week and work together to develop a lesson on your topic. Once you have your topic, I will give each group a design brief with a list of topics to include and helpful resources. You can email/Slack me at any point to get feedback or brainstorm your lesson.

As a starting place, think about what you want to learn or ask your peers what they would like to learn. A good way to approach this exercise is to create a project around the topic that we can all make together.

If students will need any extra materials other than what is on the class list, please let me know as soon as possible.


These groups will become the class experts about their particular topic. As a group and as an individual member, you are expected to:

  • Create an engaging lesson with hands-on activities. A three hour lecture will result in a low grade.
  • Contribute actively to the planning, development, and implementation of your lesson.
  • Submit full documentation on time. Groups will submit a draft to me two weeks prior to their class and must upload all class materials (e.g. slides, worksheets, links, assignment, etc) immediately after their class ends.
  • Be the resident experts. Each group will have a Slack channel that they are expected to maintain for fellow students who have questions about your lesson or topic.
  • Have fun with this! Get weird, take risks, be playful.
  • Write a short reflection.


Two weeks before your lesson: Submit a detailed outline of your lesson that includes the following. Please use this lesson template.

  • Specific learning goals. What will your students be able to do by the end of the class? What knowledge will they have gained?
  • Materials or tools needed for the lesson.
  • Learning activities with rough time allotments. What does the format of your lesson look like? How will you introduce the topic? Do you plan to spend time lecturing? Will you have a class discussion or reflection? What hands-on activities do you plan to do with the class?
  • Group member roles. Who will be doing what? Who is responsible for what? Get detailed.
  • Homework assignment. Design a 2-3 hour assignment for students to complete that will reinforce your lesson.

Monday before your lesson: Send me a progress update in Slack. Include the latest draft of your slide deck.



WEEK 5: Sensing the physical world

2/12 – Outline due
2/19 – Progress update
2/22 – Your presentation

WEEK 6: Displaying Information

2/19 – Outline due
2/26 – Progress update
3/1 – Your presentation

WEEK 7: Wireless

2/26 – Outline due
3/5 – Progress update
3/8 – Your presentation

WEEK 8: Mechanics of Movement

3/5 – Outline due
3/12 – Progress update
3/15 – Your presentation