June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Capstone Design Experience (CDE) exposes students to real-world problem solving, and it is a requirement for ABET accredited engineering and technology programs. According to ABET 2016-17 General Criterion 5: Curriculum, Baccalaureate degree programs must provide a capstone or integrating experience that develops student competencies in applying both technical and non-technical skills in solving problems. Students complete this requirement before graduation usually in their senior year. The duration and nature of this experience vary between programs. Some programs use one semester while others use two semesters. Some programs may use team projects while others may use group projects. Some programs may use CDE to satisfy ABET requirements on teamwork and written and oral communication by requiring a report and oral presentation. Some programs may integrate student portfolios on student outcomes and comprehensive subject area examinations as part of CDE.
While CDE is easier to implement in traditional engineering and technology programs, its use in on-line programs is limited. This is because of the asynchronous nature of the on-line programs and the student demographics. In this paper, we will discuss our experiences with the use of CDE in an on-line Electrical Engineering Technology degree program at Excelsior College. Most of the students were adult learners already employed and seeking professional advancement. For their capstone projects, these students were formed into teams of 2-4. Students in each team collaborated from concept and ideation stages, managing the projects using project management techniques, and through developing preliminary designs for the solutions that were implemented with hardware circuits during the latter half duration of the term. Each team member then honed into one solution for a problem in his/her area of work, built the hardware, tested, and documented his/her work. Throughout the build and test stages, students recorded video evidence of their work. Near the end of the term, each student presented (defended) his/her work through an online seminar to other students and faculty. Each student's capstone project was assessed for integrative learning of the functional areas of electrical engineering technology, mastery of the science and technology fundamentals, experimentation, oral and written technical presentations, engineering ethics in design and practice, self-directed learning, and continuous improvement.
Swain, N., & Shastry, S., & Jian, S. (2017, June), Capstone Project Scheme, Implementation, and Results of an Online BS EET Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28009
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