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Capstone Design Experiences Across National And Cultural Borders: Course Development

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Inter. collaboratory efforts in engr edu

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.279.1 - 7.279.13



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Paper Authors

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William Kisaalita

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Thomas Reeves

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Session 2660

Capstone Design Experiences Across National and Cultural Borders: Course Development

William S. Kisaalita

Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department University of Georgia Driftmier Engineering Center Athens, Georgia 30602 E-mail:


It is well recognized that the world is becoming a global village. Today's undergraduates will occupy workplaces and communities that have been transformed by globalization; they must learn to make connections across disciplinary, national, and cultural borders. To address the challenge of providing exposure to global/international dimensions without sacrificing technical content, we have previously proposed to use case studies in sophomore engineering science classes. In this paper, we extend the concept to capstone engineering design courses by focusing on solutions to global/international problems. Additionally, a Web-based instructional tool (WebCT) is used to enhance global/international awareness as well as intercultural communication skills. WebCT is also used to “take students there,” through movie clips.


Afonso (1994) has described three points that underpin the "internalization" of American higher education. First, the ability of our students to live and perform in an increasingly international context will greatly determine the extent to which the United States will prosper in the future. Second, although no clear-cut definition exists for concepts such as "global competence" and ''international awareness," educators and administrators largely agree that these are the types of characteristics for success in a global economy. Third, colleges and universities have a responsibility to provide workers, scholars and leaders with these characteristics. It is a challenge to provide meaningful experiences to students in technical and professional disciplines like engineering that are highly content-driven (Vas, 2000). Study abroad programs do not seem be attractive to these students. Based on data collected by the Institute of International Education, the so-called average study-abroad

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society of Engineering Education

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Kisaalita, W., & Reeves, T. (2002, June), Capstone Design Experiences Across National And Cultural Borders: Course Development Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11192

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