Capstone Design Projects in Engineering Curriculum: Present and Future
Proceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
Students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Victoria enrolled in Computer, Electrical or Software Engineering programs are required to take a compulsory capstone Design Project course in their final year. The objective is to have engineering students go through the exercise of integrating their knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work and co-op work terms in a design focused project to meet multiple criteria. The team members' work is
... ted based on their problem solving capability, project execution competence, oral and written communication skills, as illustrated in their progress and final reports, a public demonstration and competition of their project prototype, and a web site designed to promote their project. As the Design Project Coordinators for many years, the authors share many valuable observations. Short-term and long-term plans to improve the outcome-based learning experience of the students, and the organization, structure and execution of the course, will be described. The desirability of a multidisciplinary approach and industrial cooperation, and the feasibility of international collaboration, will be discussed. Ways to encourage faculty to be actively involved in the Design Project course will be explored with respect to training of highly qualified personnel, promotion and tenure criteria, and potential for industrial consultancy. The role of co-op placements in the development of creative skills, teamwork and project management proficiency will be suggested.