Ohio State School
for the Blind

This Ohio State School for the Blind collaborative project involved an inter-disciplinary team of visual communication, industrial, and interior designers, along with one computer science student.

 

Problem

OSSB, like many schools, has lack of staff, funding, and resources. Specifically, in the music department, there is one teacher and one aide for all music, choir, and band classes of all ages. We were tasked with finding core problems in the music teacher's classroom and finding helpful solutions that could be implemented in the current space and budget.

Solution

Our team worked directly with the music department staff at OSSB to create a fun, interactive, and inspiring music learning system that could be implemented at a low cost to the school.

Research Methods

Primary & Secondary Research

We conducted primary research by interviewing the school's music teacher, along with recording significant elements found in the physical classroom. Our secondary research comprised of researching technology used to teach individuals with visual disabilities.

Informal Conversations

Our informal conversations were conducted with teachers, students, and staff of the school. Our topics ranged from resources needed, experiences and opinions that students of all ages had, and what is currently working in the system so far.

Casual Class Observation

Our team visited two music classes during the school day. Two team members focused on filming and photographing the experience, and three took notes on tools used, student interaction, and pain points.

Classroom Video Analysis

During one of these classes, we used a GoPro to film the class from above. We used this footage to map how students and instructors move throughout the space during the course of a class. 

Problem Scoping

When scoping the overarching difficulties faced by OSSB's music teacher, we used journey maps, system analysis, and stakeholder analysis to find the key problems in the music education experience.

Insights

The main problems discovered in our research process included: 

  1. Space, Music, and Instrument Organization

  2. Difficult Software and Technology Integration

  3. Lack of Classroom Instructional Help

  4. Ability vs Age, or How to Organize Classes

  5. Students Facing Difficulties Holding Instruments

These key problems led us to three main focuses in our solution: utilization of space, music program awareness, and implementation of technology. 

Moving forward, our team focused on improving the music education experience for both students and staff by developing an interactive, supportive, efficient space through reorganizing storage and classroom materials, promoting outward awareness to draw in volunteers and interest, integrating effective technology to facilitate lessons and activities. All with the vision to create an extraordinary, engaging, and enriching music experience.

User Personas

Current Experience

Ideal Experience

Proposed Touchpoints:

1. Volunteer Program
2. Student Welcome Board
3. Wayfinding System
4. Independent Learning Modules
5. Sheet Music Organization System

My Role

Task Management & Organization

During the process of the project, I became the team member who would reach out to members of the group to check their progress, along with assigning any tasks that needed to be done. During the research phase, I organized our sources and analyzed our findings. I took the majority of notes during the observation process, and summarized them with the notes of the rest of the team for analysis.

Brand & Deliverables

As one of two visual designers on the team, we both worked together to create the brand identity for our space. I created the welcome board seen on the left, which begins the music class wayfinding system for the students. Finally, the other visual designer and myself worked together to create assets and animate our final proposal video, which can be viewed below.

The Proposal

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