New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
The project-oriented capstone course has been required as an important criterion for international accreditation of engineering degree programs under Washington Accord. In addition to provide an opportunity for university students to apply what they have learned in their school years to actual engineering problems, the project-oriented capstone course also trains students how to work as a team. Although fundamental laboratories courses are provided to establish students’ hands-on experiences and consolidate connection between theoretical background and practical implementation, students still have difficulties to incorporate multidisciplinary knowledge into solving a real engineering problem in a more systematic way. Therefore, a one-year project-oriented capstone course, Special Topics in Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, has been available at the junior year for undergraduate students in the Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University (NSYSU), Taiwan.
In 2003, Ministry of Education (MOE) of Taiwan (Republic of China) revealed the White Paper on Creative Education. Since then, a series of projects led by MOE and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) aiming at rooting imagination and creativity in education contents were promoted on different educational levels. In order to fully understand the effect on creative thinking of students, the New Creativity Test (NCT) proposed by Wu et al. in 1988, consisting two parts: verbal and figural, was applied to participating students before and after taking this project-oriented capstone course. Measures in four dimensions, including fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration, were conducted based on paired t-tests. The NCT-Verbal has the first three dimensions; however, The NCT-Figural owns all four dimensions. There were 19 participants in total, 18 males and 1 female accepting the NCT. All of them were junior undergraduate students. For the NCT-Verbal, the results showed significant difference between pre-test and post-test on fluency, flexibility, and originality. Nevertheless, similar outcome was not reflected on the NCT-Figural. The paired t-test results for the NCT-Figural indicated no significant connection between pre-test and post-test in all four dimensions. As a result, it can be concluded in the preliminary study that the project-oriented capstone course has positive effect on creative thinking in verbal aspect despite of no significant influence on creative thinking in figural aspect.
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