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Entrepreneurial Engineering Capstone Course With Research Based Outcomes Assessment

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Assessing Entrepreneurship Programs

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.679.1 - 12.679.12



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Paper Authors


Denny Davis Washington State University

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Denny Davis is Professor of Bioengineering and Co-director of the Engineering Education Research Center at Washington State University.

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Jerman Rose Washington State University

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Jerman Rose is Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Associate Dean of the College of Business at Washington State University.

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

Entrepreneurial Engineering Capstone Course with Research-Based Outcomes Assessment

Abstract Capstone engineering design courses play pivotal roles in development of engineering students’ professional skills needed for innovation in a globally-competitive technological world. This paper describes a two-semester course sequence, jointly taught by faculty in engineering and entrepreneurial studies, that integrates engineering design and business development. Course outcomes are defined based on research that established four performance areas addressing student and solution development in capstone design courses: personal capacity, team processes, solution requirements, and solution assets. Performance criteria for each area establish definitions of desired student achievement in each area and form the basis for assessment of outcomes for the capstone engineering design course.

Course outcomes are assessed using two or more exercises for each of the four areas of performance. Each exercise is accompanied by a scoring rubric based on factors associated with that performance. Each is also aligned with ABET outcomes to provide useful performance data for program assessment. Assessment exercises are recommended for formative and/or summative use in capstone design courses. Assessment exercises for personal capacity, team processes, and solution requirements are being pilot tested, while those for solution assets are under development. This assessment system offers rubric-based direct measures for student performance, which is important for course or program assessment and improvement.

Results of the jointly-taught entrepreneurial engineering capstone course have been encouraging. Students have demonstrated impressive growth in professional skills and have produced solutions that have significant business potential. Project sponsors, industry advisors, and business plan judges note admirable achievements of student teams. This course model is offered to stimulate transformation of capstone design courses to outcomes-driven student learning experiences that can better prepare graduates for global challenges of the future.

Introduction National leaders are sounding the alarm: The United States is losing its competitive edge in the global marketplace1. Some perceive that the nation is not preparing adequate numbers of people in technological fields, such as the engineering disciplines. Additionally, they contend that many graduates are not sufficiently prepared to address technological challenges they will face under global competition. Many business leaders declare that innovation is absolutely critical for our nation to survive economically and militarily. If our nation is to prosper, our educational system must be transformed to produce technology and business innovators2.

A common context for preparing engineering students for professional practice is the capstone engineering design course, found in nearly all baccalaureate engineering degree programs in the US. These courses typically engage senior-level undergraduates in team-based project experiences simulating selected aspects of professional practice. In this project context, students’ design, problem solving, and professional skills are developed and tested. Students’ projects

Davis, D., & Rose, J. (2007, June), Entrepreneurial Engineering Capstone Course With Research Based Outcomes Assessment Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1879

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