July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
Most engineering programs teach professional skills early within their curriculum. By the time students undertake capstone projects, however, the emphasis is mostly on technical communication, public speaking, design, and research skills. Project and team management is at best a broad expectation and frequently an afterthought within capstone projects. Faculty members hold project outcomes at a premium over management. In this research, a survey was conducted to capture the prevalence of project and team management strategies within engineering capstone projects, particularly how students interpreted these requirements. Specifically, how student teams reported they organized themselves around the project goals, and which management strategies were frequently deployed. The survey solicited feedback from about 160 project teams with responses consisting of 186 multidisciplinary students within the College of Engineering. The survey results indicate that students feel they use the full spectrum of management strategies at their disposal. Students also claimed they exhibited strong team culture. A post-survey discussion of the responses revealed that teams frequently rely on a low-level and ad-hoc team management approach that rarely meets the expectations. The survey supports the existing notion that students do not naturally apply team management competencies given past exposure and the opportunity. Instead a more deliberate effort must be made for deep integration of project management within existing capstone projects. This way a more realistic simulation of professional practice can be expected from capstone projects.
El-Atky, N. E., & Bakrania, S. (2021, July), Student Perceptions of Project Management and Team Culture Within Capstone Projects Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37754
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