The Use of an Iterative Industry Project in a One Semester Capstone Course
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Capstone projects provide students the opportunity to use the combined knowledge and skills gained throughout their educational curriculum to address a relevant (frequently industry sponsored) problem. While capstone courses are often two semesters and allow students significant time to design and advance a project, in some curricula these courses are limited to one semester. In such instances, the scope of prospective projects needs to be refined to meet the sponsor needs while also providing students with a worthwhile, yet tractable capstone experience. This work will describe the process used in one engineering technology program where students work on a certain aspect of a multi-semester industry-sponsored project. This paper will detail the key documentation and scoping procedures that are necessary to facilitate these types of iterative multi-semester industry projects when multiple student groups are involved. An illustrative case is used to highlight how this has been implemented for one industry project that has spanned three semesters. Examples of student work and findings are presented to highlight the key scoping and documentation challenges of an iterative project necessary to meet the sponsor's expectations over the long term. Lessons that can broadly be applied to capstone projects and key lessons gleaned from these projects are also be presented. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2014.
author list (cited authors)
Johnson, M., & Alvarado, J.