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Capstone Models & Approaches for Student Success

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  • “Our experiences convinced us that the cooperative learning approach both enhanced our students’ understanding of these topics and encouraged ... them to incorporate the associated skills into their working skill set. Including team exercises that dealt with various steps in the design process provided a “jump-start” on these unfamiliar activities in a structured, short duration exercise environment in class. Listening to presentations by other teams and reviewing and discussing another team’s results as a part of the team exercises provided an opportunity to see and think about different formulations of the problem they just considered.” (p.413)

  • “The approach relies on providing the students the freedom to choose their own project area as well as the utilized technology...Data collected, ... over five consecutive course offerings, shows that this approach is an effective method to prepare engineering students for their senior design capstone courses.” (p.91) “Results show that around 54.17% of the students have demonstrated better performances in their capstone projects.” (p.98)

  • “A team process known as the meetings-flow (MF) approach has recently been introduced in software capstone projects in engineering programs various institutions...The results revealed that MF significantly enhances a team's communication and coordination and balances members' contributions by giving mutual support and effort. It has relatively less influence, however, on student team cohesion.” (p.201)

  • “Overall, the results indicate that simulations can be an effective learning method to increase students’ satisfaction and enhance university ...course quality in higher education.” (p.39) “Improved decision-making skills were identified as a key outcome in students’ evaluation of the simulation and its impact on student satisfaction. The simulation provided an opportunity for students to evaluate the consequences of their decision making, which improved their problem-solving skills over time.” (p.44)

  • This study analyzes the results of this learning strategy by using a follow-up survey that rates the student on 20 categories of character using the ... Service Learning Benefits (SELEB) scale (Toncar et al. Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice, 14(3), 223-238, 2006). Business and economic majors at colleges and universities are being challenged to create learning experiences outside the classroom. This allows the student to participate in experiences that may be used as "resume builders" and networking opportunities....Results indicate that students rate personal responsibility, communication skills and leadership skills highest in this service learning experience. Additionally, students’ perceptions of the learning experience have improved since the program’s inception.” (p.467)

  • “This article reviews the experiences of a flipped classroom approach in a marketing capstone course...Preliminary results suggest that student ... learning improved using the flipped approach. However, students have strong, diverse opinions about its value and need training to excel in the flipped environment.” (p.51) “From the student's perspective, sample unfavorable comments in Table 4 suggest they were challenged by the out-of-class workload and complained that the instructor wasn't teaching them.” (p.55)

  • “Wikis were set up for teams of engineering students from different disciplinary backgrounds and years...Wikis were considered a potentially useful ... tool to track engagement for Capstone design projects in engineering subjects.” (p.247) “Overall, the first cohort of students perceived the wiki to be a useful tool, with 62% of the cohort agreeing or strongly agreeing that it enhanced collaboration...This connection between activity and perceived usefulness implies either those who use a wiki regularly are more likely to perceive it as useful for collaboration, or that those who perceive it as useful are more likely to regularly contribute.” (p.258)

  • “A service-learning project provides a coherent theme for a modeling capstone course, motivating many aspects of the modeling process and ... bringing together skills from various parts of a student’s background.” (p.516) “Since students bring different viewpoints and backgrounds to their problem, the group may be able to perform various analyses beyond what any individual member can do. On the other hand, group dynamics can be difficult, and everyone may not contribute equally to a solution. Potential inequity can be addressed by having oral presentations, which encourage students to work together, and to require each student to submit his or her own written solution.” (p.513)

  • “Business planning provides students the opportunity to engage in practice based learning, applying theoretical knowledge to practice.” (p.791) ... “Group work is critical to the value added from completing the business plan as a capstone project. Students recognize that it provides them with an avenue to present their own ideas, and work collaboratively with others to describe program options to address a specific issue, and discuss the implications of potential solutions.” (p.796)

  • “ICap experiential courses gradually introduce challenging and open-ended assignments that foster cognitive learning. Consequently, those higher ... level skills important in the capstone course are strengthened: critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, teamwork, communications, information literacy, and design process.” (p.6) “In our experience, ICap yields the following transformational benefits to students, instructors, experiential courses, and the curriculum: (1) students self-monitor, reflect and assume greater responsibility; (2) instructors move from being overseers to mentors; (3) liberal education and design process skills are strengthened and integrated; (4) knowledge across topical areas is synthesized; and (5) the quality and rigor of capstone performance improves.” (p.9)

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