Benchmarking Capstone Projects in UTS Faculty of Engineering
- Queensland University of Technology
- Publication Type:
- Conference Proceeding
- ATN EVALUATION AND ASSESSMENT Conference, 2007, pp. 45 - 57
- Issue Date:
UTS:Engineering Capstone Projects are undertaken in the final semester(s) of study and provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate a capacity to perform at the levels expected of a professional engineer. In many cases, students undertake projects in their workplace environment affording a rich context to integrate real-world problems and solutions with academic rigour. The existing subject requirements have remained relatively unchanged for over 10 years; there is negligible evidence of the impact of its introduction and only anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness as a âcapstoneâ subject. Further, project supervisors have expressed their concern regarding a drop in quality of project work â and its assessment. Some students opt for âsofterâ project topics, moderation of assessment criteria across Faculty staff is problematic, and there is a lack of adequate evaluation (feedback) data from students to inform improvement strategy. As changes to subject requirements are being introduced in Spring 2007, a benchmarking exercise is timely. This paper will present the pertinent outcomes from a detailed evaluation undertaken by 85 capstone project students in Autumn semester 2007. Students were asked to self-evaluate on a 0-5 scale the âapplicabilityâ and their âcapacity to demonstrate in their project work each of 61 competency indicators chosen from Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards. The outcomes will serve as a valuable guide for areas of improvement as well as a benchmark against which future change can be measured.
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