Success strategies for capstone design courses with large classes, diverse project types, small to large student teams, and varied faculty interests and approac

Janis P. Terpenny, Clinton Dancey, Richard Goff, Doug Nelson, Michael Ellis, Dennis Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Capstone design courses are a core part of curricula across engineering disciplines. Such courses offer students the opportunity to bring together, assimilate and apply the knowledge they have acquired over their entire undergraduate academic program. Projects are often real world problems that are less well specified than those encountered in prior courses and may challenge student teams beyond familiar bounds required of less challenging projects. Identifying projects, recruiting faculty advisors for projects, and providing meaningful class lectures to seniors that will be both interesting and useful to successful projects are typical challenges of such courses. Numerous other challenges emerge when the class size is large. During the 2006/07 academic year, there are over 280 seniors enrolled in the 2-semester capstone design course sequence in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. This paper will convey the wide variety of challenges and provide specific strategies that have been used for success in an environment where 1) the types of projects are very diverse in terms of difficulty, application domain, and scope, 2) team sizes vary from 4 members to over 30 members, and 3) the interests and approaches of faculty advisors are quite varied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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