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Strengthening Senior Technology Capstone course experience for agricultural and industrial technology students
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting 152190004.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152190004)
Authors: Lloyd Snell, Jacek A Koziel
Keywords: Education, technology, management, course, practices
Abstract. The Technology Capstone I/II are required Agricultural Systems Technology and Industrial Technology courses at Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), Iowa State University to prepare students for workplace application of learned practices. Instructors are challenged to create a strong and rigorous learning experience in the final year of a typical degree program. Past experiences with Technology Capstone course weaknesses could be summarized as follows: (1) projects were often "made-up" problems, i.e., contrived to meet academic requirements, lacking real-world business client and associated professional/business-world expectations, (2) student engagement was low and affecting other team members, and (3) instructors lacked sufficient information for assessing performance and awarding final grades. This paper describes how the Technology Capstone course was strengthened to address these major weaknesses. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) overview the significant parts of Technology Capstone at ABE and how they contributed to course weakness; and to (2) share the experiences strengthening student experience and course outcomes through student based project selection process, team member accountability and weighted team member evaluations. Major improvements were made that focused on the following areas: (1) project identification, (2) team selection process, (3) team member evaluations, (4) written and oral communication, (5) facilities improvement and programming changes, and (6) faculty mentors. Several measures were put in place to strengthen team success, student accountability, and expected team member performance: (1) quality and quantity of work; (2) team meeting attendance, (3) preparation and participation; (4) team task deadlines; and (5) collaboration and effort.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)