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Capstone Experiences

Please cite as follows: Chan, CKY (2015). "Capstone Experiences", Engineering Education Enhancement and Research Asia (E3R Asia).

Guidelines for a Capstone Experience

  1. The developed capstone experience should emphasize the importance of integrating and applying knowledge and skills instead of acquiring only new knowledge and skills.

  2. The developed capstone experience should focus on the “student-centered” aspect, where students have to be responsible for their own learning within the capstone.

  3. Capstone experience should be organized in the final or senior year(s) of the students’ studies as students are generally better equipped since they already have the solid foundation necessary for conducting the complex tasks within the capstone. 

  4. Ensure that the learning outcomes of the capstone courses are in parallel with the engineering programme and the learning outcomes set forth by the institution and accreditation bodies. That includes hard core and soft skills.

  5. The teaching faculty of the programme should be involved in the responsibilities in structuring, coordinating, and/or supervising a capstone experience.

  6. The department and faculty offering the degree programme should be responsible in the decision making of a capstone experience such as deciding the form and credits offered for the capstone based on the aims of the degree programme and students’ needs.

  7. Students should be given a wider selection of capstone experiences that targets their needs (e.g. for engineering students it might be in the form of a design project; for social science students it might be in the form of field work projects).

  8. Authentic experience should be integrated into the capstone experience to allow students to experience real-world contexts. Multi- and inter-disciplinary experience should also be encouraged.

  9. Clear assessment guidelines and proper supervision of the capstone experience should be established.