June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Community Engagement Division
Engineering students have taken the service learning course Service Design and Field Applications for 9 years. The objective of the course is to develop professional skills in electrical and computer engineering by developing training technology for children of special education schools. Partnering with two special education schools, three groups of students designed three training games in the spring semester of 2016. In this paper, we reported the design of a bathing training game for children with autism who have not been able to take a bath independently. Bathing training at special education schools is difficult due to lack of staff and bathing facility. A group of four juniors helped the special education teacher prepare the task analysis steps of bathing training and designed a bathing training game using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Six 10-year-old children with autism participated in the design process of the prototype. They had very limited verbal skills but still used expressions to give feedback which made the iterative design possible. The Kinect-based bathing training game was completed as a result of 6-month collaboration. With parental participation, the six children with autism joined a six-week training program that aimed to help children develop independent bathing skills. The program had three phases which were baseline (week 1), intervention (week 2~ week 4), and maintenance (week 5~week 6). In the baseline phase, parents bathed their children as usual. In the intervention phase, engineering students helped each child play the game at school for 15 min every day. The child was encouraged to take a bath independently at home monitored by a parent. In the maintenance phase, children did not play the game at school but they kept taking a bath independently at home monitored by a parent. All the six children maintained their bathing skills after the training program. Through service learning the engineering students experienced the partnership building, project design and execution, and how technology improved the quality of life of children with special needs.
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