June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Electrical and Computer
A novel and transportable approach to integrating research methods, professional conference activities, and technical current topics has been innovated at a large state university, integrated within a required undergraduate Computer Engineering course, and refined across five consecutive semesters. The Learner Capstone Panel (LCP) approach extends traditional laboratory projects towards a student-driven culminating technical panelist activity offering multiple modes for student participation. The written component of LCP consists of creating of a capstone technical report using recent technologies that extend the topics and content covered in the course. The verbal component of LCP uses those student-authored reports to conduct a conference-style activity as a peer learning forum of student panelists convened during the last day of class.
LCP motivates learners to become immersed in mechanisms of creating technical reports in IEEE format that connect the content of the course to the state-of-the-art advances in the field. Students then participate in double-blind technical review processes to select panelists who will answer questions asked by other students. To facilitate technical topic debate, the panel is conducted using real-time collaboration tools and professional protocols. Thus, undergraduate students become immersed in mechanisms associated with technical research while becoming more aware of options that they could pursue during graduate studies in topics of their interest that also refresh content within the course. Students increase preparation for their future career in academia or industry, including the development of soft skills and increased confidence to articulate their technical ideas and knowledge. This approach can be further extended to all STEM fields to enhance learner engagement in research-based tasks and increase learning outcomes relating to creative and professional activities. Our results based on an IRB-approved survey indicate that 81% of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that attending the panel discussions increased their understanding of research topics related to the course materials. Furthermore, 94% of the survey responders strongly agreed or agreed that working on a capstone report helped them better understand the process of creating a research paper, while 75% of the responders strongly agreed or agreed that the LCP method motivated them to explore beyond the course materials. Overall, the LCP approach can offer an effective mechanism to advances students’ professional development via simulated participation in a professional technical conference panel environment, which is typically unattainable for undergraduate students.
Salehi, S., & Zand, R., & DeMara, R. F. (2019, June), Learner Capstone Panels for Immersing Undergraduates in Mechanisms of Engineering Research Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33048
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