June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.252.1 - 24.252.7
Capstone = Team Teaching + Team Learning + IndustryThe capstone course in construction engineering and management curricula should provide theopportunity for students to integrate their prior coursework into a comprehensive demonstrationof their learning in a realistic, challenging construction scenario. This paper provides the processused by one program as a case study for the use of other construction engineering programs thatare considering enhancing or revising their own capstone courses. The three major distinctivefeatures of the program under examination include the following: team teaching, team learning,and significant industry involvement.The first component, team teaching, reviews the approach used to involve the entire programfaculty team, rather than a single instructor, throughout the capstone course. The advantage ofthis approach includes the ability to bring the breadth and depth of all faculty members directlyinto a single course, but it also clearly models to the students the “team” approach that has beenemphasized as being necessary after graduation. However, this approach also brings significantchallenges, including faculty loading, scheduling, coordination, evaluation, and assessment.Just as the faculty teaches as a team, the students engineer their solutions as members of a team.This accurately replicates how real construction challenges are solved by teams and also is onemethod available to put students into controlled leadership and managerial positions within aconstruction scenario. This approach also poses additional hurdles including team formation,balance, grading, and scheduling, among others.The program also relies heavily on industry involvement within the capstone course framework.Projects selected for the course are typically actual jobs the industry advisory board members areworking on and provide access to, both physical (site access) and virtual (documents, models,etc.). Additionally, every student team is required to engage an industry mentor (or mentors) forassisting them throughout the semester. When properly utilized, these industry mentors providerealistic perspectives on students’ approaches, work, and solutions. Finally, industry mentorsparticipate as evaluators for student teams’ final presentations, providing feedback and input onassessment and grading. These collaborative methods and their implementation are covered,including industry participant recruitment, expectations and agreements, and best practices andpotential concerns.Construction engineering educators will have the opportunity to examine the ____ ____University’s capstone in construction course and its integration of team teaching, team learning,and industry involvement, with the objective of learning potential new approaches to beintegrated into their own capstone classes.
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