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Quantitative Assessment of All-Class Project-based Undergraduate Course on Graduates Career

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

The Nature of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Session 4

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1028.1 - 24.1028.18



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Paper Authors


Emil H. Salib James Madison University

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Professor in the Integrated Science & Technology Department at James Madison University. Current Teaching - Wire-line & Wireless Networking & Security and Cross Platform Mobile Application Development.
Current Research - Mobile IPv6 and Design for Motivation Curriculum

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Eric Vincent Walisko James Madison University

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All-class One-Project One-Semester Case Study Undergraduates for Innovative and Entrepreneurial Development EnvironmentDue to continuing advances in technology, there is an exponentially larger arsenal of resources and toolsavailable to innovators and entrepreneurs than there were in the recent past. This results in countlessopportunities for new products and services to be created as well as for existing products and processes tobe revolutionized. Not only have the tools changed, but so has the route to innovation, and with it,society’s ideal image of who the value creators are. In the early 1900s, large companies such as IBM andAT&T leveraged their resources to form research laboratories that invested millions of dollars intoinfrastructure, facilities, and personnel. Out of these investments, they were able to create structuredresearch groups who then brought about breakthrough enabling technologies such as the transistor andpersonal computer. These breakthroughs took significant resources and time to be rolled out and beaccessible at the masses. We now have stumbled into an era where these types of massive investmentsare not necessary to bring about something from scratch, such as, Facebook and Twitter. A single team ofdedicated and passionate entrepreneurs and developers are now able to rapidly build technology, designproducts, gain investment, and ship their creations to the world. These small, nimble and entrepreneurialstartups aggressively seek undergraduates who are well prepared to innovate and roll out creativeproducts and projects. An opportunity now lies in providing undergraduate students with preparation towork in this environment.At our university [name was held], we designed a course to mirror this type of rapid development bytaking a group of under-skilled junior and senior students, assigning them groups, and demanding a finalproduct over just one semester. A class of just 14 students was challenged to work together to identify anidea for a product or service that they all can stand behind. In this age of rapid introduction of newtechnologies, these small teams arm themselves with open source desktop operating systems (such asLinux), cross platform application development environments like PhoneGap and Titanium, and powerfulmobile computing devices, just to name a few. Given access to these same tools and tasked with theproduction of an end-to-end product or service, the all-class-one-project team has shown, throughexperience, that the ability to create value and innovate is already in reach. This class was able tosuccessfully apply the new generation of tools at hand to a specific field, without prior knowledge of howto operate them, and not only reimagined the world of disk jockeying (one project example) but alsoadded value to all included parties. We believe that this unique classroom setting provides students withan unparalleled level of preparation for producing results in challenging and dynamically changing worksettings.We have conducted this all-class-one-project-one-semester course over the last three years in the springsemesters. Based on a preliminary survey and feedback from alumni, we believe that the course hasachieved its objective of preparing our undergraduates for the ever changing and challenging product andservice development environment. In this paper, we will present in details the results of a thoroughsurvey of the graduated integrated science and Technology students. We will show quantitatively justhow effective and valuable the all-class-one-project-one-semester approach using a number of differentmetrics relating to these students entering the workforce. Some of these metrics include how importantgraduates rated the course in getting a job, if the course was mentioned and focused on at all during theinterview process, and how prepared graduates have felt in an intense group setting. The responses of thesurvey from the alumni will help quantify the strength and areas of improvement of this course inproviding the best springboard into post-graduation challenging workplace.

Salib, E. H., & Walisko, E. V. (2014, June), Quantitative Assessment of All-Class Project-based Undergraduate Course on Graduates Career Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22961

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