University of Vermont CEMS – College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, uses EduSourced in their Civil and Mechanical Engineering capstones. The webinar delves into managing large capstone programs, the value of cross-department communications between faculty and client sourcing. The presentation covered using EduSourced and also included general insights and lessons learned from years of managing large capstone classes.
The following are some of the audience questions asked during the webinar:
Q: How do you ensure a reasonable quality of the final product for your projects, assuming that not all students are on top of things and really contribute? Has anyone failed the course?
A: I follow a strategy of reviewing frequent (bi-weekly) interim milestone submittals for project components, building toward a final project submittal, to ensure adequate quality. This gives students early notice on adequacy and shortcomings. Only one student failed the course in the past four years, and that was due to personal issues outside the course.
Q: Compared with your process before using EduSourced, what has been the biggest benefit of using EduSourced?
A: The biggest benefit has been the substantially reduced time spent organizing and processing communication to and from students, mentors and clients. I can reuse templates and students, advisors and clients can at a glance see milestones for the entire course laid out in one location. I can access all project work provided for review in the platform.
Q: How many meetings are project clients expected to participate in during the project?
A: A minimum of a kick-off, interim and final meeting are critical. I am learning that more client/student team meetings (provided there is a focused agenda) are probably needed in addition to these.
Q: How have the students reacted to EduSourced?
A: Favorable and improved over instructing the course without it.
Q: Has it been challenging finding communities to engage with for Civil Engineering Projects?
It is sometimes challenging to find enough projects in the sub-disciplines that students are most interested in, e.g. structural and certain environmental areas. Often, communities have multiple projects and in the process of meeting with nearby communities, we have identified additional projects.