Solutions Lab 36: Exhibiting and Assessing Capstone Projects Online, at Scale

One of the good outcomes from the pandemic has been the emergence of more imaginative, inclusive and accessible academic forums. Without having to factor in travel, accommodation and scheduling, it means that work can be showcased in multi-media formats and shared to a much wider audience, offering flexibility and new opportunities for knowledge exchange and communication. As we look ahead to 2021 and plan to further strengthen our blended approaches, how can we harness these new scholarly/professional experiences to enhance student learning?

In the last few years, the School of Engineering have been hosting an exhibition of undergraduate capstone projects at an end-of-year event called EnGenius. Hosted over one day at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, EnGenius brings together students, staff and industry leaders from 11 engineering disciplines to share the work of more than 350 project groups. Importantly, EnGenius is more than just a showcase and celebration – it is a unique environment for conducting assessments and an opportunity for students to engage in authentic career development activities.

Of course, all plans to host the 2020 Engenius face-to-face were dashed by the pandemic restrictions. So, the team swiftly turned their minds to finding online alternatives and produced Virtual EnGenius! In this session, Sara Eagle and Majid Nazem explain how they have successfully transformed this huge event, creating an online forum for more than 1000 students using Flipgrid. Through a tour of the online spaces and exploring examples of student exhibits, they reflect on the challenges they have encountered and overcome and offer tips and ideas for anyone wanting to try a similar approach. They explain how the students were supported to prepare their presentations and how modifications were made to assessment to ensure an authentic, compliant and feedback-rich process.

If you would like to see some of the student presentations please follow this link (available until November 30).

The video below is an edited version of the webinar, Q&A and technical glitches removed.

Additional Resources:

Solutions Labs

The following Solutions Lab presentations provide examples of how you can use FlipGrid in your learning and teaching:

Technical

Readings

  • Brennan-Pierce, E. P., Stanton, S. G., & Dunn, J. A. (2020). Clinical Immersion for Biomedical Engineers: Pivoting to a Virtual Format. Biomedical Engineering Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43683-020-00032-x
  • Devine, Jessica L, Bourgault, Kristen S, & Schwartz, Ruth N. (2020). Using the Online Capstone Experience to Support Authentic Learning. TechTrends, 64(4), 606–615. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-020-00516-1
  • Holdsworth, A., Watty, K., Davies, M., University of Melbourne, & Centre for the Study of Higher Education. (2009). Developing capstone experiences. Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne.
  • Ward, T. A. (2013). Common elements of capstone projects in the world’s top-ranked engineering universities. European Journal of Engineering Education, 38(2), 211–218. https://doi.org/10.1080/03043797.2013.766676