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Keywords:

  • capstone design;
  • group size;
  • course duration

Abstract

This paper discusses how group size and project duration impact capstone design in terms of learning objectives for the student, value to industry sponsors, and faculty resources. The analysis is based on survey results and an external faculty evaluation comparing a one-semester offering with a two-semester offering of capstone design in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, we examine whether the stated learning objectives (technical writing skills, presentation skills, and technical analysis) for the course provide value to sponsors. Our findings suggest that the one-semester offering was preferred by both students and industry sponsors and required fewer resources. We also found that although students prefer smaller group sizes, sponsors do not have a definitive preference. Finally, we found that although technical analysis is significantly correlated with dollar value to the sponsor, technical writing skills and presentation skills were not.