July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Design in Engineering Education
In a large engineering capstone course, it is important for the Engineering Directors to connect with each student team to ensure individual student success as well as overall project success. A way we have incorporated this into our curriculum is via a sequence of three internal design reviews: a Detailed Design Approval (DDA) review held near the end of the first semester, a Project Readiness Review (PRR) scheduled eight weeks before the end of the project, followed four weeks later by the presentation of a Mandatory First Prototype (MFP). During the DDA and PRR, each team meets individually with the Engineering Directors to present their project’s status. If a team is at risk of falling behind, this is an opportunity for the Engineering Directors to intervene and help them find a way to achieve a completed project at the conclusion of the course. Additionally, at the PRR, the team and Engineering Directors establish a set of measurable deliverables for the MFP. These deliverables are chosen to ensure that all required prototype features are at least functional a month before the end of the project. To understand the effect of the PRR/MFP process on project outcome, 41 mechanical and biomedical engineering students from three different semesters were surveyed. Overall, the students found the PRR/MFP process to be beneficial because they believed they received useful feedback from the Engineering Directors and that it helped their project outcome. We further validated the positive effects of the PRR/MFP process by examining the effect of the MFP grade on the technical evaluation of the team’s final project for 147 teams over 8 semesters. From these results, we believe the PRR/MFP process is useful to promote team preparedness and increase project success in engineering capstone courses. The process not only encourages mentorship from course Engineering Directors, but also allows students another opportunity to learn to present and defend their work.
Gravell, J., & Hart, R., & Polk, T. W. (2021, July), The Benefits of Internal Design Reviews in an Engineering Capstone Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37841
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