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Feasibility of Developing a Sustainable Multidisciplinary Senior Capstone Experience

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Capstone Courses

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/p.26897

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26897

Download Count

159

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Paper Authors

biography

Jacqulyn Baughman Iowa State University

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Dr. Jacqulyn Baughman
Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering
Director of Graduate Education (DOGE), BRT Graduate Program
Faculty-in-Charge, ADM Biorenewables Education Labs
Iowa State University

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biography

Gretchen A. Mosher Iowa State University

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Dr. Gretchen Mosher is an assistant professor in the department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University. Teaching responsibilities include undergraduate courses in total quality management and senior capstone. Research interests include human elements of safety and quality in food and agricultural systems and best practices for introducing new and complex information to learners.

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biography

Ann M Gansemer-Topf Iowa State University

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Ann Gansemer-Topf is an Assistant Professor in Higher Education and Student Affairs. She teaches courses in program evaluation and assessment, student affairs and higher education. Her research interests focus on examining the micro (student) and macro (institutional, state, federal) factors that impact student success and student learning. She has presented at several regional and national conferences and her research has been published in journals such as Research in Higher Education, Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, and Journal of Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness. She received her doctoral and master’s degree from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and her bachelor’s degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

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biography

Tejas Dhadphale Ph.D. Iowa State University

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Tejas Dhadphale is an Assistant Professor in Industrial Design at Iowa State University. He received his doctoral degree in Industrial Design from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. His research critically examines the role of design research in design education and practice. He has taught classes in design research methods, design thinking, multidisciplinary innovation, and human-centered design. Trained as a design researcher, he is passionate about developing new methods for investigating cross-disciplinary collaboration among faculty, students and academic units.

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Abstract

Feasibility of Developing a Sustainable Multidisciplinary Senior Capstone Experience

Today’s undergraduate engineering students will enter a workforce requiring a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving. Although both academic and industry professionals agree on the importance of providing students the opportunity to work on multidisciplinary teams, many institutions struggle to create these opportunities within their curriculum. This paper will examine the challenges of creating a multidisciplinary senior capstone course from the perspective of engineering faculty. Currently the senior capstone design course is a requirement for most engineering degree program. Most capstone courses are departmental and discipline-specific, but the integrative problem-solving required in such courses provide an opportunity to increase the multidisciplinary nature of the capstone experience. Team members from academic areas in engineering, design, agriculture, education, and business met to determine the challenges of developing a multidisciplinary senior capstone course. Because of the experience of College of Engineering faculty, they were given the opportunity to provide input to the team on potential obstacles to the development of a multidisciplinary capstone experience. A feasibility study, supported by funds from the College of Engineering, was conducted during the Summer of 2015 to assess the potential for developing and sustaining a multidisciplinary capstone experience. Seventeen faculty members representing 10 programs in the College of Engineering were interviewed to gather their insight on benefits and challenges of creating a multidisciplinary capstone design course. Participants included department chairs, program coordinators, members of the college accreditation task force, curriculum task force members and faculty who coordinate or teach engineering capstone courses. This paper presents the findings from this study. These findings and implications will include themes from the following areas: 1.) Obstacles and benefits of creating and offering a sustainable multidisciplinary capstone course, 2.) Considerations in the development of a multidisciplinary capstone course, and 3.) Challenges from past efforts on multidisciplinary projects. The paper will conclude with recommendations for working with faculty to create a more multidisciplinary learning environment for students and initial thoughts on the next steps in the development process.

Baughman, J., & Mosher, G. A., & Gansemer-Topf, A. M., & Dhadphale, T. (2016, June), Feasibility of Developing a Sustainable Multidisciplinary Senior Capstone Experience Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26897

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