Academic and Administrative Issues for Implementation of Capstone Course in Civil Engineering programs: Case Study

Keywords: Technical writing, undergraduate, requirements, collaborative work, Capstone.

Abstract

A capstone course is a culminating academic experience designed to encourage teamwork among students by applying their five years of classroom knowledge to solve realistic engineering problems. This emerging capstone experience demands academic and administrative changes to guarantee a satisfactory result within the time spared for this purpose. The main objective of this research is to assess students’ perception regarding the capstone project as a culminating academic experience, and to use the analysis results to propose academic and administrative changes required to support and guarantee the successful achievement of this type of final degree project. To reach this goal, an assessment instrument was prepared and applied to 47 students enrolled in a capstone course. The instrument allowed collecting information regarding problem-based learning experience, teamwork experience, and self-perception concerning students’ own behaviors and attitude during teamworking. On this regard, 87.2% of students considered capstone as a suitable final degree experience; however, it is challenging because it is known that student’s participation during teamworking is uncommon and usually just two students are committed. In spite of this, 86.2% of students considered that teamwork was satisfactory and 95.2% of them recognized that their self-behavior and attitude during teamworking was good. Based on the results we recommend to strengthen teamwork strategies among students, and to instruct teachers about assessment strategies to evaluate individual and teamwork performance of students. It is expected that these findings can help improve the capstone curriculum related to courses and their administration. These findings are also supposed to serve as a previous experience to those universities committed to include capstone as a culminating degree experience.

Author Biographies

María Fernanda Serrano-Guzmán, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali-Colombia
Profesor Pontificia Universidad Javeriana CaliIngeniería CivilDoctor en Ingeniería Civil
Diego Darío Pérez-Ruiz, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali
Docente de Ingeniería Civil en la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Cali en Ingeniería Civil. Doctor en Ingeniería Civil de la Universidad de Texas en Arlington, Magister en Ingeniería de Tránsito y Transporte de la Universidad del Cauca. Magister en Ingeniería Civil énfasis en Recursos Hídricos de la Universidad de Puerto Rico Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez Ingeniero Civil de la Universidad del Cauca.
Luz Marina Torrado-Gómez, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana Seccional Bucaramanga
Docente de Ingeniería Civil en la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana Seccional Bucaramanga. Magister en Geotecnia de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Especialista en Gerencia e Interventoría de Obras Civiles e Ingeniera Civil de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana Seccional Bucaramanga. Tecnóloga en Obras Civiles en la Universidad Francisco de Paula Santander. Subgerente de la empresa INGEAS SAS.
Norma Cristina Solarte-Vanegas, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana Seccional Bucaramanga
Ingeniero Civil, M.Sc. en Tránsito y Transporte de la Universidad del Cauca, Especialista en Carreteras de la Universidad Nacional de San Juan Argentina. Docente de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana Seccional Bucaramanga. Directora de la Facultad de Ingeniería Civil.

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Published
2017-04-26
How to Cite
Serrano-Guzmán, M., Pérez-Ruiz, D., Torrado-Gómez, L., & Solarte-Vanegas, N. (2017). Academic and Administrative Issues for Implementation of Capstone Course in Civil Engineering programs: Case Study. Revista Electrónica Educare, 21(2), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.15359/ree.21-2.17
Section
Articles (Peer Reviewed Section)