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Practical Methods For Keeping Project Courses On Track

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.787.1 - 6.787.11



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Paper Authors

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Donna Summers

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

Session # 1475

Practical Methods for Keeping Project Courses on Track Donna C.S. Summers University of Dayton


“The term project, clear milestones and objectives, the course was well thought-out and presented.” A major project, I learned a lot of information and skills without stress or loads of pointless homework.” “Previous professors were not as good at communicating and teaching the course objectives.” “The plan the professor used and followed made the class easily understandable and conducive to learning.”

We all would like to have student evaluations positively reflect our sincere efforts in keeping both technical learning and skill acquisition on track in project courses, wouldn’t we? We’ve all struggled with organizing and encouraging such learning in a project- oriented course. Sometimes the efforts required to juggle technical learning with general skill enhancement while keeping a project-oriented course on track seem enormous.

Industries that hire our graduates expect our students to have enhanced communication, teamwork, interpersonal and project management skills in addition to their technical learning in project courses. From some students’ perspective in project courses, the completion of a project dominates their view of the course. For others, the teamwork itself is the complicating factor in the course.

Though the expectations of our customers are great, and we, as teachers, are encouraged to furnish our students with projects providing hands-on, real-world experiences, few practical guidelines exist to help us manage the process. This paper intends to provide guidelines for teachers interested in taking the kinks out of teaching a project-oriented course. Example formats will be provided to show you how to:

-identify the learning objectives to the student -improve achievement of those learning objectives -communicate assignment requirements

Readers of this paper will gain insight into how to focus on the skills the students need to learn, how to plan to achieve learning, and how to assess the learning that occurred. The following information is applicable to project management courses as well as courses requiring a term project.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Summers, D. (2001, June), Practical Methods For Keeping Project Courses On Track Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9656

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