Summary of Week 3 of Technology Evaluation for Global Development(edX – MITx)
CITE considers technology evaluation through the lenses of suitability (how well a product performs), scalability (how well a product reaches a customer) and sustainability (how a user and a product interact over time).
Developing a set of evaluation metrics
Metrics guides decision-making and focuses the evaluation effort. Good metrics are measurable, relevant, apply broadly across the product family, understandable, and reliable. It is recommended to have 7-12 metrics.
Lab or field?
Lab tests are usually more precise and repeatable, and more objective. The lecture recommends using lab tests when fine discrimination among alternatives are needed, and using field tests is unbiased estimates of actual performance in a particular setting are needed.
Low-cost sensors, such as thermometers, can provide valuable information. Sensors are beneficial because of its persistence and long duration of observation, allowing for high sampling frequencies. Ethical considerations include privacy and possible harm to the user. The user might also alter their behaviour if they are aware of the presence of the sensor. Note that sensors may not always be appropriate depending on the circumstances.