June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
All three engineering departments at Ohio Northern University, a small, private comprehensive university, have long required that students complete a capstone design project. Until this year, however, each department managed the course independently, resulting in substantial variation in requirements, course outcomes, schedules, and expectations. Over the past ten years, the college, which comprises a total of six majors, has increased the number of multi-disciplinary projects to better reflect the environment in which most engineers will ultimately be employed. Involving students and advisors from multiple departments on the same project, though, often resulted in uncertainty from the varied course schedules and expectations.
In the spring of 2016, the college faculty voted to create one college-wide capstone course to replace the departmental courses. This course governs only the project-based portion of capstone design; each department still retains complementary senior-level lecture-based courses tailored to its discipline that cover project management and design process topics. The 2016-17 academic year is the first offering for this new course. The goals, structure, and grading of the course are discussed, as well as challenges to its implementation. Those faculty who have advised multidisciplinary capstone teams in the past are already appreciating the new structure. For some others, the new course represents a significant departure from past routine and course content, and further work is required to better accommodate the interests of all departments.
Mikesell, D. R., & Yoder, J. S., & Estell, J. K., & Abdel-Mohti, A., & Hassan, F. (2017, June), Work in Progress: Merging Departmental Capstone Courses into a Single College-Wide Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29139
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