Nifty ideas and surprising flops in capstone design education


Journal Article

Following good design practice, capstone design instructors often try out new teaching strategies and activities in their capstone courses, hoping to find useful tools to support student learning. Some of these ideas are a riotous success; others fall completely flat. The "Nifty Ideas and Surprising Flops" panel session at the 2010 Capstone Design Conference featured eight such ideas-some of them nifty, some of them floppy, and some with aspects of both-presented in a rapidfire manner with rich discussion. Several of the ideas addressed oral presentations in capstone courses: scoring rubrics utilizing engineering executive input, voice-over narratives, and elevator pitches. Two of the ideas focused on mentoring: graduate student mentors for capstone teams, and vertical mentoring. The other three ideas covered a design "boot camp", broader impacts essays, and back-of-the-envelope calculations. This paper provides additional detail about the eight different ideas, including how they were implemented, to what extent they were successes or flops, and how they have been modified as a result. Capstone instructors are encouraged to try out their own versions of these ideas, leveraging the successes and learning from the flops presented here. © 2011 TEMPUS Publications.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Howe, S; Caves, K; Kleiner, C; Livesay, G; Norback, JS; Rogge, R; Turner, C; Utschig, T

Published Date

  • November 18, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 27 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1174 - 1185

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0949-149X

Citation Source

  • Scopus