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Environmental Engineering Capstone Design Course Learning Outcomes Performance Perceived Through Multiple Lenses: Students, Faculty, and Professional Engineers

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Problem- Project- and Case-based Learning in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.678.1 - 26.678.20



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Paper Authors


Paula Ann Monaco Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16

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Pursuing Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering with a research focus in anti-fouling and scaling technology and pharmaceutical and personal care product transport through the subsurface contaminating groundwater supplies.

Actively involved with STEM outreach programs ranging from K-12 summer camp classes to one day hands-on-activities increasing interest of environmental engineering.

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Maeghan Marie Brundrett Texas Tech University

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Current PhD student at Texas Tech University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Main research focus is on the fate and occurrence of chlorate in the environment and its use as an alternative solution for remediation of the salt marshes impacted by the BP Horizon oil spill.

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Dylan Christenson Texas Tech University

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B.A. Liberal Studies and M.A. Education from Vanguard University of Southern California. M.S. Civil Engineering Texas Tech University. Currently pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with focus on the biological treatment of waste water for re-use applications. I am passionate about both engineering and education. I am specifically interested in student motivation, formative assessment, service learning, and the influence of the affective domain.

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Kevin A. Nguyen Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16

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Kevin Nguyen is currently a graduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Texas Tech University and is working towards a B.S. and M.Eng in Environmental Engineering. He has participated as an undergraduate researcher in the NSF REU Summer Experience in Engineering Education Research program at Franklin W. Olin College.

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Audra N. Morse Texas Tech University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Whitacre College of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas Tech University. She leads the Engineering Opportunities Center which provides retention, placement and academic support services to WCOE students. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems.

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Perception of Capstone Design Course Learning Outcomes Evaluated Through Multiple Lenses: Students, Faculty and Professional EngineersIntegration of a competition prompt into a capstone design course challenged students to applythe skills and content knowledge gained throughout their studies to address a complex problem. Motivation is fostered through competition with other regional universities at a technical waterconference which also provides valuable industry exposure and networking opportunities forstudents. The [University's] use of a prompt from [regional technical water conference] achievethe ABET specified program and student outcomes while also providing a real world designchallenge for the students. [The University's] course solicited advisement from two consultingprofessional environmental engineers, in addition to faculty guidance. Incorporating theseprofessional engineers into the class helped to bridge the gap between academics and practicalapplications as the engineers gave feedback to student teams throughout the design process. Thetwo semester course, promotes problem-based learning and allows students to enhance theirprofessional and communication skills such as group collaboration, problem solving andpresentation of technical designs. Self-evaluation by students in addition to professional engineerand faculty evaluations throughout the course provide similar and contrasting perceptions of howlearning outcomes are met. Learning outcomes are used to evaluate student work during thedesign course and responses from various views allow for assessment of student preparednessfollowing completion of the course. Mixed research methods were implemented to compare howlearning outcomes were perceived and evaluated between the three groups. Learning outcomeswere presented to students, professional engineers and faculty for evaluation using a Likert scale.The responses provided quantitative data of how the three groups perceived the relevance of thecourse outcomes to the students’ future careers. Qualitative responses to pre and post coursesurveys assessed the three groups perceptions of student weaknesses and strengths as related tothe learning outcomes. This study allowed for similarities and differences to be identifiedbetween the three groups of stakeholders: students, faculty, and professionals.

Monaco, P. A., & Brundrett, M. M., & Christenson, D., & Nguyen, K. A., & Morse, A. N. (2015, June), Environmental Engineering Capstone Design Course Learning Outcomes Performance Perceived Through Multiple Lenses: Students, Faculty, and Professional Engineers Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24015

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015