San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering
25.98.1 - 25.98.10
A REVIEW OF CAPSTONE COURSE DESIGNS USED IN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMSAbstractWithin engineering curricula, capstone courses are an essential element of the undergraduateexperience. In capstone (or senior design) courses, seniors are able to use the knowledge gainedthroughout their studies to analyze a design problem. The capstone course is critical in ensuringthat students have the requisite knowledge and can integrate it effectively before embarking intothe field as engineering professionals. As such, the course also serves as an importantbenchmarking tool for engineering programs to ensure they are meeting program outcomes. Notonly are capstone courses important for the profession and the academic programs, they are alsocritical to student success. The design experience they complete in the course has the potentialto influence their career trajectory, satisfaction with the academic program, and self-efficacy.The challenge then becomes determining the best capstone model to maximize this potential. Acomprehensive understanding of various capstone course models will help determine if there isone best model or if it may depend on characteristics of the program such as geographic location,student body size, and faculty size.This paper will present results of a review of current capstone courses used in industrialengineering programs. The review included industrial engineering programs in the UnitedStates. Data was gathered via internet searches, email inquiries, and reviews of course syllabi.Specific results to be presented include: Course design – Courses will be categorized and compared based on course format and design. Example designs include industry sponsored project, company simulation, and independent (non-industry) project. Course structure – Data regarding the number of credit hours in capstone course, number of semesters, and grading structure will be presented. Teams and disciplines – Data regarding the use of teams and other (non-industrial engineering) disciplines in the course will be presented. A description of mechanisms used in inter-disciplinary courses will be included. Topics covered – The intent of a capstone course is to present a summative learning experience that utilizes knowledge gained during the curriculum. Results will include details on the topic areas included in capstone courses. Relevance to IE profession – The topic areas will be compared to those included on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams to measure relevance to what is expected of new IE professionals.Future work, including an exploration of the connection between capstone course design andstudent career efficacy, will be discussed.
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