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Characteristics Of Capstone Design Projects At Universities In Us And China: An Analysis

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone Projects and Experiential Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

12.353.1 - 12.353.6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2454

Download Count

501

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Paper Authors

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Tianrui Bai Southwest Jiaotong University

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Jinwen Zhu Missouri Western State University

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Virendra Varma Missouri Western State University

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Characteristics of Capstone Design Projects at Universities in US and China: An Analysis

Abstract

The objectives of the capstone or other integrating experiences in the engineering and technology curriculums are to: 1. Pull together the various diverse elements of the curriculum, and 2. Develop student competencies in problem-solving utilizing both technical and soft skills, such as communications and working in teams, etc. A capstone design project or other integrating experience is a major design component in engineering and technology curricula. The Technology and Engineering criteria (TAC and EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) emphasize the importance of a capstone experience in the curriculum. The capstone design projects require students to use fundamental scientific concepts and basic technical skills learned in the classroom to solve ‘real-world’ problems instead of answering end-of-the chapter questions from the textbook. The capstone projects provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate critical thinking skills. It prepares them better to assume the professional roles in the engineering and technology community. In addition, the capstone projects are widely regarded as an excellent mechanism for assessing the outcomes of engineering and technology programs. They are a direct measure of the quality of graduates of a program. Since we are living in a global economy, and graduates from universities from different countries are communicating and working on multi-national teams and projects, it is essential to investigate educational methodologies of different countries, especially the fast developing countries, like China and India. There is an increased evidence of collaborations and cooperation among universities in the world to meet the engineering work force needs in the light of rapid development of technology. Firstly, this paper discusses the different aspects of the capstone design projects in universities in China. Secondly, it addresses some of the characteristics of the capstone design projects in universities in the United States. Thirdly, differences and similarities of capstone project courses between universities in China and US are analyzed, and strengths and weaknesses of these two systems are addressed. Finally, suggestions for improving the effectiveness and quality of capstone design project courses are presented.

Introduction

The capstone project course is an intrinsic part of the undergraduate education. The capstone projects are widely regarded as an excellent mechanism for assessing the outcomes of engineering and technology programs. They are a direct measure of the quality of graduates from engineering and technology programs. The capstone design projects require students to use fundamental scientific concepts and basic technical skills learned in the classroom to solve ‘real-world’ problems instead of answering end-of-the chapter questions from the textbook. The capstone course focuses on planning, development, and implementation of an engineering design project which often includes project documentation, project demonstrations, and presentations. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate critical thinking skills, communication skills, and

Bai, T., & Zhu, J., & Varma, V. (2007, June), Characteristics Of Capstone Design Projects At Universities In Us And China: An Analysis Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2454

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