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International Journal of Engineering Education


Students are a primary stakeholder in engineering Capstone Design courses, but the student voice risks being overlooked in discussions of Capstone Design pedagogy and development. While many engineering programs collect student feedback and performance data for accreditation purposes, the engineering education and engineering design literature provide few resources that capture student perspectives on Capstone Design, especially across multiple institutions. The 2012 Capstone Design Conference hosted two well-attended panel sessions called ‘‘Student Reflections on Capstone Design’’ specifically to highlight student experiences in Capstone Design courses with industry-sponsored projects. Each panel featured four different panelists who had recently completed their Capstone Design courses, had worked with different industrial sponsors, and represented different institutions and engineering disciplines. The facilitator of each panel asked the same initial questions of the respective panelists and then opened the conversation to questions from the audience. Although the trajectory of the two panels varied, content analysis of the transcribed discussions revealed similar themes from both groups. This paper addresses the analysis methodology, emerging themes, and sample reflections/suggestions from the student panelists. Discussion of the themes and student comments provides a foundation of student perspectives to aid faculty and industry liaisons in strengthening the Capstone Design experience.


Capstone Design, industry sponsored projects, capstone pedagogy, student reflection, workplace communication





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Published version. International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 30, No. 1 (2014): 39–47. © Tempus Publications 2014. Used with permission.


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