Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings


Capstone design courses are common in engineering design programs, but they vary substantially across institution and department. The goal of the decennial capstone design survey initiative has been to capture data from capstone design courses every ten years to identify current practices and changes over time. The 1994, 2005, and 2015 surveys have focused almost exclusively on capstone programs within the United States. This paper documents an initial extension of the 2015 survey to Australia and New Zealand to identify how capstone courses are implemented outside the United States and what strategies can be shared across countries. As in their United States counterpart, the 2015 Australia and New Zealand surveys included quantitative, categorical, and open-ended questions on capstone course information, pedagogy, evaluation, faculty, students, projects and teams, expenses and funding, sponsors, and respondent experience and opinion. This paper presents highlights of the resulting data by country, drawing comparisons where possible across countries: Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Overall, the essence of capstone design courses in the three countries is quite similar; there are variations in implementation details, but these are often greater across programs or institutions than they are across nations. Collecting data about capstone design practices in different nations is an important step toward the larger goals of understanding and improving capstone design education globally.


© American Society for Engineering Education, 2017.


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