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Capstone Project

Also called a capstone experience , culminating project , or  senior exhibition , among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school or middle school, or at the end of an academic program or learning-pathway experience . While similar in some ways to a college thesis, capstone projects may take a wide variety of forms, but most are long-term investigative projects that culminate in a final product, presentation, or performance. For example, students may be asked to select a topic, profession, or social problem that interests them, conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating their learning acquisition or conclusions (a paper, short film, or multimedia presentation, for example), and give an oral presentation on the project to a panel of teachers, experts, and community members who collectively evaluate its quality.

Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Capstone projects also tend to encourage students to connect their projects to community issues or problems, and to integrate outside-of-school learning experiences, including activities such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships.

While capstone projects can take a wide variety of forms from school to school, a few examples will help to illustrate both the concept and the general educational intentions:

For related discussions, see authentic learning , portfolio ,  relevance , and 21st century skills .

As a school-reform strategy, capstone projects are often an extension of more systemic school-improvement models or certain teaching philosophies or strategies, such as 21st century skills, community-based learning , proficiency-based learning , project-based learning , or student-centered learning , to name just a few.

The following are a few representative educational goals of capstone projects:

In recent years, the capstone-project concept has also entered the domain of state policy. In Rhode Island, for example, the state’s high school graduation requirements stipulate that seniors must complete two out of three assessment options, one of which can be a capstone project. Several other states require students to complete some form of senior project, while in other states such projects may be optional, and students who complete a capstone project may receive special honors or diploma recognition.

Most criticism of or debate about capstone projects is not focused on the strategy itself, or its intrinsic or potential educational value, but rather on the quality of its execution—i.e., capstone projects tend to be criticized when they are poorly designed or reflect low academic standards, or when students are allowed to complete relatively superficial projects of low educational value. In addition, if teachers and students consider capstone projects to be a formality, lower-quality products typically result. And if the projects reflect consistently low standards, quality, and educational value year after year, educators, students, parents, and community members may come to view capstone projects as a waste of time or resources.

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Thomas Edison University

Donald Cucuzzella

What’s a Capstone Project? And Why Do I Have to Take It?

Over the years, I’ve frequently heard students grumble about taking a capstone course or project, that one last step before graduation as outlined by their degree requirements.

“Why do I have to take it?” “Do I really have to take this?” “What is the point of all this!”

This final course may seem daunting or frustrating, but once it’s completed, the Capstone often becomes one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences in a student’s college career.

The capstone course is the last class in a program of study. It’s called a capstone because it represents a crowning achievement as a capstone does in architecture. For some degree programs, a capstone course may require a project and subsequent presentation; for others, it may include an assessment exam to test interdisciplinary skills (like math, writing, critical thinking, etc.). A capstone may also involve a final research paper exploring a topic of interest, emerging from a student’s individualized program of study. Ultimately, a capstone project represents new work and ideas, and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have gained during your college career.

Not only does a capstone course allow us to substantiate if students are learning the necessary skills needed to continue onto success after graduation (and we’ve made changes to courses and degree requirements to better assist students in this manner), but the completion of a capstone project can be used for an employment portfolio. By integrating theory and practical experience, your project can set you apart from graduates of other institutions. Imagine walking into a potential employer’s office with an applied research project exploring solutions to an issue or problem the organization, or industry as a whole, has been grappling with?

A Capstone’s Purpose: Career Advancement

In the field of technology for example, one of the challenges is how rapidly it changes. Jordan Goldberg, mentor and developer of our APS-295 Associate Capstone  course, said it helps ensure students are prepared to handle these changes as they start their careers. “Today, it’s important to understand the trends early on in the process, and the tools available to develop and deploy new technology,” he says. “The Capstone course uniquely brings together students from all majors within the school [of Applied Science and Technology] in an interactive and collaborative fashion to discuss and examine opportunities, challenges and issues related to technology.”

Here, students are able to look at real world examples and situations, exchange their points of view based on experiences and discuss potential solutions to problems. “The concept of the capstone course is to provide the essential information to be able to ask the right questions and critically look at nontechnical issues that have the potential to negatively impact the deployment of a new emerging technology or application,” says Goldberg. “Ultimately, this will prepare the student for a technical leadership role in their area of study as they complete their degree.”

Thomas Edison State University offers Capstone courses in several of our degrees:  LIB-495 Liberal Arts Capstone is required for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and APS-401 Current Trends and Applications  is required for our Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology degree. Our newest course is the APS-295 Associate Capstone, required for the Associate in Applied Science and our Associate in Science in Applied Science and Technology degree programs. These courses have engaged students to pursue intriguing projects, indicative of their career pursuits, including:

On Your Own Terms

In any college degree, there are courses you have to take to fulfill the general education requirements for your degree or area of study. And a capstone project, while relative to your major, allows you to choose your own subject in that discipline. When I was a graduate student studying American History, my capstone project afforded me the opportunity to research a topic that I never solely focused on in any of my courses, but was fascinated by all my life, Abraham Lincoln. 

I delved into an intense study of how the narrative of President Lincoln’s life had changed throughout the course of history, depending on when and who was writing the biography. This was the most fun I’d ever had taking a college course because I was able to read and write about a topic I was passionate about. Meanwhile, I was able to show off the skills I’d gained during my years in college.

So if you are required to take a capstone course, I understand if you want to grumble about it a little while. But when it’s all done, get ready for the most exhilarating feeling ever. I promise.  

Are you currently working on a capstone project? Share your experience and advice in the comments below!

Written by Donald Cucuzzella

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help for assessment

Capstone Project: Definition, Types, Structure, and Examples

capstone project wiki

If you're reading this, chances are that you're in your final year of school and the words "capstone project" have come up somewhere in your first or second semester.

You're probably looking for a quick score on the topic - what it's about, a project template, or even a sample. If so, you're in the right place.

Before we get into it, you' need to know that you're in the hands of consummate capstone project experts.

Help for Assessment is composed of scholars at all levels of academic achievement including Masters and Ph.D., all inspired and motivated to help students like you achieve their academic goals. The expertise and experience we have spans years. Even better, this combined academic expertise is placed at your disposal. If your capstone research project is already giving you goosebumps, we will do it for you from scratch including the project proposal, research, write up, and final review before submission.

Remember, you can trust Help for Assessment to complete your capstone project successfully and earn you top grades. All you have to do is order the service here on our service page.

 In the meantime, let us explore the definition of the capstone project, types of projects for students, and a sample capstone project.

What Is a Capstone Project? 

capstone project wiki

A capstone project in college is a final independent project undertaken in a program of study designed to assess the skills, knowledge, and expertise acquired by the student.

As the name suggests, it is the capstone or crowning achievement of academic life and the last class taken before graduation. It gives you the final credits required to pass the course, which is why every student must take the project.

Since it is designed to assess knowledge and skills gained in a particular discipline, capstone projects vary from school to school and discipline to discipline.

Such a project might involve something as simple as research on a topic, an evaluation of a new technique or method, development of a health program, research into a historical figure or event, or even composing a skit or theatre presentation.

No matter what kind of project you choose to undertake, the result is the same. You get to showcase your understanding of the coursework material learned and display your readiness to enter the professional world to start your career. It is a rewarding experience if done right, but can mess up your final year and possibly your graduation if you manage to mess it up.

Do you know that a successful capstone project also helps to land you lucrative jobs? That’s right, capstone projects are one of the ways potential employers find out just how learned, resourceful, and talented you are. Think of it as a kind of thesis.

Capstone projects are also called culminating projects, experience, senior exhibition, or other similar names. The project is usually self-directed, and most students find it a challenge to even come up with the right capstone project topic. 

Capstone Project Vs. Thesis

capstone project wiki

A capstone project and a thesis are both very similar in that they represent a final effort from the student just before graduation.

They are done in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the course being undertaken. The comprehensive approach and assessment involved are very similar, and sometimes the structure and methodology might overlap.

Both also have to be reviewed and approved by the institution and will remain in the public domain after publishing.

However, there are some important differences.

Types of Capstone Projects

capstone project wiki

Capstone projects vary not just in the type of project, also in the level at which they are done.

There are projects for juniors and seniors in college as well as for postgraduate students.

Here are some examples of the forms of projects depending on the academic level.

Capstone projects can be conducted either individually or in a group.

However, the key thing is to make sure that the project proposal has been reviewed and approved by the instructor/panel/institution in charge before proceeding.

Senior Capstone Project

Senior projects are so called because they are done by high school students in their senior year.

Just like other projects, they represent a culmination of the coursework with an interdisciplinary application of knowledge and skills gained so far.

The project usually takes the better part of the final academic year and will have different parts to it, depending on the type of project chosen.

It will also require a presentation where the student(s) explain and describe the project to an audience, including their classmates.

Sample Capstone Project Outline

The write up for a project consists of several parts. However, even before starting the write-up, you need to do a few things:

Using this information, you will then write a capstone project proposal for your project. It informs your instructor or review panel exactly what you intend to present so that they can approve or reject it.

Once approved, you can go on to the next stage. The final write-up has the following parts.

Note that the project is carried out in stages. Once approved, you will need to be submitting weekly or monthly status reports to your supervisor. After the project report is submitted, you will also have to make a presentation about the whole project.

This brief outline is only meant to be a rough guide. We have a much more detailed article detailing how you can do your capstone project, including a project template. 

Capstone Project Examples

Help for Assessment has extensive experience when it comes to capstone projects of all kinds.

Whether it’s a high school project, a college capstone, or a senior capstone project, you can trust us to carry it out successfully for you.

As proof, you can check out various capstone project samples here . (hyperlink to be inserted.)

Get Help With Your Capstone Project

Capstone projects in every level of school are a make or break it deal. Given that they complete the graduation credits required, it makes sense to leave this important part of your coursework to experts.

We are proud to offer you a guide on how to write a capstone project here . If you need help, you can take advantage of our capstone project writing service at affordable, student-friendly rates with amazing discounts. 

Check it out here and make your order to experience excellence, peace of mind, and success thanks to our stellar services.

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

capstone project wiki

Capstone disassembly/disassembler framework for ARM, ARM64 (ARMv8), BPF, Ethereum VM, M68K, M680X, Mips, MOS65XX, PPC, RISC-V(rv32G/rv64G), SH, Sparc, SystemZ, TMS320C64X, TriCore, Webassembly, XCore and X86.


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Capstone Engine

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Capstone is a disassembly framework with the target of becoming the ultimate disasm engine for binary analysis and reversing in the security community.

Created by Nguyen Anh Quynh, then developed and maintained by a small community, Capstone offers some unparalleled features:

Support multiple hardware architectures: ARM, ARM64 (ARMv8), BPF, Ethereum VM, M68K, M680X, Mips, MOS65XX, PPC, RISC-V(rv32G/rv64G), SH, Sparc, SystemZ, TMS320C64X, TriCore, Webassembly, XCore and X86 (16, 32, 64).

Having clean/simple/lightweight/intuitive architecture-neutral API.

Provide details on disassembled instruction (called “decomposer” by others).

Provide semantics of the disassembled instruction, such as list of implicit registers read & written.

Implemented in pure C language, with lightweight bindings for Swift, D, Clojure, F#, Common Lisp, Visual Basic, PHP, PowerShell, Emacs, Haskell, Perl, Python, Ruby, C#, NodeJS, Java, GO, C++, OCaml, Lua, Rust, Delphi, Free Pascal & Vala ready either in main code, or provided externally by the community).

Native support for all popular platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Linux, *BSD, Solaris, etc.

Thread-safe by design.

Special support for embedding into firmware or OS kernel.

High performance & suitable for malware analysis (capable of handling various X86 malware tricks).

Distributed under the open source BSD license.

Further information is available at

See COMPILE.TXT file for how to compile and install Capstone.


See docs/README for how to customize & program your own tools with Capstone.

See HACK.TXT file for the structure of the source code.

See suite/fuzz/ for more information.

This project is released under the BSD license. If you redistribute the binary or source code of Capstone, please attach file LICENSE.TXT with your products.

Releases 25

Contributors 241.

Mobile Manipulation Capstone

This page describes the Capstone Project for the Coursera "Modern Robotics" Specialization. This project forms the sixth and final course: "Modern Robotics, Course 6: Capstone Project, Mobile Manipulation." This project draws on pieces of Courses 1 to 5.

A video summary of this project is given in this YouTube video .

Depending on your programming experience, this project should take approximately 20 hours, broken down into three intermediate milestones and your final submission.

You should use the Modern Robotics code library to help you complete this project.

Introduction, and the CSV Mobile Manipulation youBot CoppeliaSim Scene

In your capstone project, you will write software that plans a trajectory for the end-effector of the youBot mobile manipulator (a mobile base with four mecanum wheels and a 5R robot arm), performs odometry as the chassis moves, and performs feedback control to drive the youBot to pick up a block at a specified location, carry it to a desired location, and put it down.

The final output of your software will be a comma-separated values (csv) text file that specifies the configurations of the chassis and the arm, the angles of the four wheels, and the state of the gripper (open or closed) as a function of time. This specification of the position-controlled youBot will then be "played" on the CoppeliaSim simulator to see if your trajectory succeeds in solving the task. This page has information on writing csv files in Python, MATLAB, and Mathematica.

{\displaystyle (x,y,\theta )=(1~{\text{m}},0~{\text{m}},0~{\text{rad}})}

Unlike previous projects, where we used CoppeliaSim to simply animate the robot's motion, in this project CoppeliaSim will use a physics simulator to simulate the interaction of the youBot with the block. In other words, if the gripper closes on the block in the wrong position or orientation, the block may simply slide out of the grasp. The interaction between the robot and the block is governed by a physics simulator, often called a "physics engine," which approximately accounts for friction, mass, inertial, and other properties. CoppeliaSim has different physics engines which you can select, including Bullet and ODE, but ODE is the default for Scene 6.

The time between each successive configuration in your csv file is 0.01 seconds (10 milliseconds). This is an important bit of information, since, unlike the previous visualization scenes which simply animated a csv file with no particular notion of time, the notion of time is critical in a dynamic simulation.

A typical line of your csv file would be something like

i.e., thirteen values separated by commas, representing

where J1 to J5 are the arm joint angles and W1 to W4 are the four wheel angles.

Wheels 1 to 4 are numbered as shown in the image to the right. The ten angles (phi for the chassis, five arm joint angles, and four wheel angles) are in radians and the two chassis position coordinates (x,y) are in meters. A gripper state of 0 indicates that you want the gripper to be open, and a gripper state of 1 indicates that you want the gripper to be closed. In practice, the transition from open to closed (or from closed to open) takes up to 0.625 seconds, so any transition from 0 to 1, or 1 to 0, on successive lines in your csv file initiates an action (opening or closing) that will take some time to complete. You should keep the gripper state at the same value for 63 consecutive lines if you want to ensure that the opening/closing operation completes. An opening/closing operation terminates when a force limit is reached (e.g., an object is grasped) or the gripper has fully opened or closed.

Your program will take as input:

{\displaystyle T_{se}}

The output of your program will be:

Your solution must employ automated planning and control techniques from Modern Robotics . It should not simply be a manually coded trajectory of the robot. Your solution should automatically go from the input to the output, with no other human intervention. In other words, it should automatically produce a working csv file even if the input conditions are changed.

In your software, you should piece together a reference trajectory for the gripper of the robot, which the robot is then controlled to follow. A typical reference trajectory would consist of the following eight segments, as illustrated in the eight images to the right (click on any image to make it larger):

Segments 3 and 7 each keep the end-effector fixed in space but, at the beginning of the segment, change the state of the gripper from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0, waiting for the gripper closing to complete. In other words, each of these segments would consist of at least 63 identical lines of the csv file (i.e., 630 milliseconds, as described above), where the first line of the sequence of identical lines has a gripper state different from the previous line in the csv file, to initiate the opening or closing.

Segments 2, 4, 6, and 8 are simple up or down translations of the gripper of a fixed distance. Good trajectory segments would be cubic or quintic polynomials taking a reasonable amount of time (e.g., one second).

Trajectory segments 1 and 5 are longer motions requiring motion of the chassis. Segment 1 is calculated from the desired initial configuration of the gripper to the first standoff configuration, and segment 5 is calculated from the first standoff configuration to the second standoff configuration. The gripper trajectories could correspond to constant screw motion paths or decoupled Cartesian straight-line motion plus rotational motion, time scaled by third- or fifth-order polynomials (Chapter 9).

Once the entire gripper reference trajectory has been pieced together from the 8 segments, the actual trajectory of the youBot is obtained by using a Jacobian pseudoinverse position controller as described in Chapter 13.5. Starting from the actual initial robot configuration (which has some error from the beginning of reference segment 1), your controller drives the gripper to converge to the reference trajectory. Your feedback controller should eliminate initial error before the gripper attempts to grasp the block, to avoid failure.

To simulate the effect of feedback control, you must write your own motion simulator. For each timestep, you take the initial configuration of the robot and the wheel and joint speeds calculated by your controller and numerically integrate the effect of these speeds over a timestep to get the new robot configuration. To calculate the new configuration of the chassis due to the wheel motions, you must implement an odometry step (Chapter 13.4).

Kinematics of the youBot

The images to the right illustrate the youBot. Click on them to make them bigger. The description below is consistent with Exercise 13.33 from the book, if you prefer to see the information there. All distances are in meters and all angles are in radians.

{\displaystyle 2l=0.47}

The fixed offset from the chassis frame {b} to the base frame of the arm {0} is

{\displaystyle T_{b0}=\left[{\begin{array}{cccc}1&0&0&0.1662\\0&1&0&0\\0&0&1&0.0026\\0&0&0&1\end{array}}\right].}

When the arm is at its home configuration (all joint angles zero, as shown in the figure), the end-effector frame {e} relative to the arm base frame {0} is

{\displaystyle M_{0e}=\left[{\begin{array}{cccc}1&0&0&0.033\\0&1&0&0\\0&0&1&0.6546\\0&0&0&1\end{array}}\right].}

In this project, for simplicity we assume no joint limits on the five joints of the robot arm. It is recommended, however, that you choose limits on the wheel and joint velocities. We will come back to this issue later.

{\displaystyle -\pi /2}

Some Background on Dynamic Simulations in CoppeliaSim

This section contains more information about how the CoppeliaSim simulation works. It contains more details than you need for the final project. You may skip this section and go directly to Milestones and Details .

The CoppeliaSim scene used for the capstone project (Scene 6, CSV Mobile Manipulation youBot) is the first scene in which we've used CoppeliaSim's ability to simulate bodies in contact. A "physics engine" (sometimes called a "game engine," since such simulators are often used in video games) simulates the motions of bodies when forces are applied to them, and when they make contact or collide with each other. Physics engines also handle articulated bodies with joints and other constraints.

CoppeliaSim does not have its own physics engine; instead, it bundles and makes available several different physics engines, including Bullet, ODE, Vortex, and Newton. While these simulators have many features in common, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and none is perfect. A simulator must detect collisions and contacts, simulate restitution ("bounciness") and friction, employ numerical integration to take timesteps to advance the simulation, etc. All of these are approximate operations with a variety of "magic numbers" and error tolerances, with the goal of making the simulations physically realistic without consuming too much CPU time.

As a result of these approximations, you can often observe bizarre behavior, such as an object spontaneously beginning to bounce on the floor. In this capstone project, the unexpected behavior may be the object slipping out of the grasp. These are just realities of dynamic simulation, and it is beyond the scope of this project to delve into the details of dynamic simulation. If you would like to learn more, you can check out the documentation for ODE and Bullet .

For block grasping, we have found ODE to give the best results, so that is the default physics engine when you open Scene 6.

Rigid Bodies in Scene 6

In CoppeliaSim, each rigid body is classified as either respondable or non-respondable :

Thus if a respondable body and a non-respondable body overlap, or if two non-respondable bodies overlap, there is no collision. If two respondable bodies make contact, however, forces will keep them from penetrating each other.

In Scene 6, only the floor, the gripper fingers, and the cube are respondable. All other bodies are non-respondable. This means, for example, that the robot can drive over the cube, and the cube will never move. (The chassis and wheels do not interact with the cube.) This also means that the youBot's arm can intersect the mobile base, or arm links can intersect each other. This is unrealistic, of course, but we are focusing on the interaction of the cube with the gripper and the floor.

In addition, each rigid body can be classified as dynamic or non-dynamic :

In Scene 6, only the gripper fingers and the cube are dynamic. In other words, the motions of the fingers and the cube are computed according to the physics engine; other bodies are not part of the dynamic simulation.

Joints in Scene 6

In Scene 6, each joint is either in torque/force mode or passive mode :

In Scene 6, all joints are in passive mode, except for the two joints controlling the gripper motion. All passive joints kinematically follow the motions commanded in the csv file.

All joint limits for the youBot's 5R arm are disabled in Scene 6. This is unrealistic, but respecting joint limits is not part of this capstone project.

The gripper fingers have joint limits: each finger of the gripper can travel 2.5 cm. At maximum opening, the distance between the fingers is 7 cm, and at maximum closing the distance is 2 cm. The gripper fingers are controlled to always be opening (until force limits are reached or the maximum inter-finger distance is obtained) or always closing (until force limits are reached, as when closed on the cube, or the minimum inter-finger distance is obtained).

Running Your Solution in Scene 6

When you load your csv file into Scene 6 for the first time and press "Play File," the robot will jump to its starting configuration, pause for a second, and then begin executing your csv file. When it jumps like this, the "passive mode" joints are repositioned immediately, but the "torque/force mode" joints (for the gripper fingers) take time to be repositioned. So you may see some weird behavior as the gripper fingers reposition themselves in the initial fraction of a second when you run your csv file the first time. If you don't like this, then just run the csv file a second time. The robot will have been repositioned to the starting point of the csv file before you press "Play File," so the gripper will not have to reposition itself.

Milestones and Details

Your solution to this project will be a fairly complex piece of software. To help you structure the project, and to allow you to test individual pieces of your solution, the project has three milestones before you finally complete the project. You do not turn in your solutions to these milestone subprojects; you only turn in your final project.

Milestone 1: youBot Kinematics Simulator and csv Output

You will write a simulator for the kinematics of the youBot. The main function in the simulator, let's call it NextState , is specified by the following inputs and outputs (you may modify these inputs and outputs if you wish):

{\displaystyle u}

The function NextState is based on a simple first-order Euler step, i.e.,

{\displaystyle (u,{\dot {\theta }})}

This page has information on writing csv files in Python, MATLAB, and Mathematica.

Sample controls to try: Simulate the following controls for 1 second and watch the results in the CoppeliaSim capstone scene (Scene 6). The controls below are only for the wheels; you can choose the arm joint speeds as you wish.

{\displaystyle u=(10,10,10,10)}

If the chassis motion is not what is described, then something is wrong with your implementation of odometry. If you are uncertain if your wheel motions and chassis motions correspond to each other, you can check out the five basic mobile base motions shown in a .zip file in the CSV Animation youBot scene .

You should also check that your wheel angles and arm joint angles are being updated properly, too, but this should be easy.

You should also try specifying a speed limit of 5 for the joints and wheels, then try the same tests above. Since your commanded controls exceed the speed limit, your function should properly restrict the actual speeds executed by the wheels and joints to the range [-5, 5]. As a result, the chassis should only move half the distance in these tests.

Review material: This capstone project builds on material throughout the textbook "Modern Robotics: Mechanics, Planning, and Control." Click here for links to the preprint version of the textbook and the videos. Particularly relevant to this milestone are the following chapters and their associated videos:

Milestone 2: Reference Trajectory Generation

For this milestone you will write a function TrajectoryGenerator to generate the reference trajectory for the end-effector frame {e}. This trajectory consists of eight concatenated trajectory segments, as described above. Each trajectory segment begins and ends at rest. Below are suggested inputs and outputs; you may modify these if you wish.

{\displaystyle T_{se,{\text{initial}}}}

and the 13th entry is the gripper state: 0 = open, 1 = closed. Keep in mind that opening and closing the gripper takes up to 0.625 seconds (initiated when the gripper state transitions from 0 to 1, or 1 to 0, in your csv file), so the trajectories involving opening and closing the gripper should keep the {e} frame stationary while the gripper completes its motion.

It is up to you to determine the duration of each trajectory segment, but it is recommended that each segment's duration be an integer multiple of 0.01 seconds. You could automatically choose the duration of each trajectory segment to be equal to the maximum of: the distance the origin of the {e} frame has to travel divided by some reasonable maximum linear velocity of the end-effector, and the angle the {e} frame must rotate divided by some reasonable maximum angular velocity of the end-effector. The duration of each trajectory should not be so short as to require unreasonable joint and wheel speeds.

Your TrajectoryGenerator function is likely to use either ScrewTrajectory or CartesianTrajectory , from the Modern Robotics code library, to generate the individual trajectory segments.

Testing your function: We have created a CoppeliaSim scene (Scene 8) to help you test your TrajectoryGenerator function. This scene reads in your csv file and animates it, showing how the end-effector frame moves as a function of time. You should verify that your TrajectoryGenerator works as you expect before moving on with the project. This video shows an example of a typical output of your trajectory generator function, as animated by CoppeliaSim Scene 8 .

Milestone 3: Feedforward Control

Now that you are able to simulate the motion of the robot and generate a reference trajectory for the end-effector, you are ready to begin experimenting with feedback control of the mobile manipulator. You will write the function FeedbackControl to calculate the kinematic task-space feedforward plus feedback control law, written both as Equation (11.16) and (13.37) in the textbook:

{\displaystyle {\mathcal {V}}(t)=[{\text{Ad}}_{X^{-1}X_{d}}]{\mathcal {V}}_{d}(t)+K_{p}X_{\text{err}}(t)+K_{i}\int _{0}^{t}X_{\text{err}}({\text{t}})d{\text{t}}.}

Below are suggested inputs and outputs; you may modify these if you wish.

{\displaystyle X}

With these inputs, your program should give you

{\displaystyle {\mathcal {V}}_{d}=(0,0,0,20,0,10)}

If you don't get these results, you should correct your program before moving on.

{\displaystyle J_{e}}

(You may find it better to use an even larger tolerance than 1e-4, e.g., 1e-3 or 1e-2. Experiment!) In any case, you should always place "reasonable" limits on the maximum speeds for the robot joints and wheels, to mimic the limitations of a real robot and to prevent the simulated robot from moving wildly. Other methods have been proposed in the robotics literature to deal with the nearly-singular-Jacobian issue. Feel free to experiment with other methods if you wish.

{\displaystyle x=A^{\dagger }b}

Implementing joint limits to avoid self-collisions and singularities (optional, but recommended): Until now, we have not implemented joint limits, so you can easily command robot configurations that result in self-collision, i.e., the arm links intersect each other or the mobile base. You can also command the robot arm to come close to a singularity, e.g., by making the angles of joints 3 and 4 zero (or nearly zero). Singularities like this can cause a problem when you are tracking trajectories specified in terms of the motion of the end-effector (see the discussion above).

{\displaystyle -0.2}

This method is simple, but there are other ways to avoid joint limits. If you use a different approach, be sure to document it in your final README file.

Tip from a Coursera student! "Try making a version that avoids joint limits and self-collisions! I recommend making a new function other than testJointLimits to see the difference between your original code and the enhanced code. Use the original code to find a trajectory which causes the robot to self collide and then use the enhanced one. It's pretty easy and fun to watch."

The full program: Now write your full program, according to the input specifications at the top of this page. Your program should first generate a reference trajectory using TrajectoryGenerator and set the initial robot configuration, a 13-vector as described earlier on this page:

{\displaystyle N-1}

Each time through the loop, you

{\displaystyle J_{e}^{\dagger }(\theta )}

{\displaystyle K_{p}=K_{i}=0}

You should also try starting the end-effector with some initial error from the reference trajectory, but still only use feedforward control. See how the end-effector moves under these circumstances. Does it make sense to you?

Do not move on with the project until your feedforward control works as you expect. Otherwise the effects of PI feedback control will only further confuse the situation.

The physics engine in CoppeliaSim: By default, Scene 6 (the capstone mobile manipulation scene) uses a simulation timestep of dt = 10 ms and the physics engine ODE. You should keep the timestep at 10 ms for simulated time to be correct, and we have found ODE to yield more easily understood results than Bullet for Scene 6. But you are welcome to try different physics engines if you'd like; specify your choice in the CoppeliaSim GUI. Keep in mind that simulation of bodies in contact is computationally intensive, and approximate solution methods could lead to unexpected behavior, like the block slipping in the grasp. We don't have a suggested "fix" for this; if you want to learn about how physics engines work, and the various approximations they make, you are encouraged to consult the documentation for ODE and Bullet .

Final Step: Completing the Project and Your Submission

{\displaystyle T_{se}=\left[{\begin{array}{cccc}0&0&1&0\\0&1&0&0\\-1&0&0&0.5\\0&0&0&1\end{array}}\right]}

Eventually you will have to design a controller so that essentially all initial error is driven to zero by the end of the first trajectory segment; otherwise, your grasp operation may fail.

Once you get good behavior with feedforward-plus-P control, try experimenting with other variants: P control only; PI control only; and feedforward-plus-PI control.

What to submit: You will submit a single .zip file of a directory with the following contents:

Project grading. Your project will be graded on the clarity and correctness of your README files and your code. Your "results" directories will be graded on their correctness, including the quality of your videos and whether your error plots show reasonable convergence to zero.

If you succeed in this project, congratulations! You have integrated concepts from all five previous Modern Robotics courses in a fairly sophisticated piece of software.

Other Things to Try

You could imagine other approaches to solving the mobile manipulator pick-and-place problem, instead of just planning a trajectory for the end-effector and using feedback control to track it. For example, you could use an obstacle-avoiding motion planner to plan a reference trajectory for the entire robot, not just the end-effector. You could incorporate joint limits for the robot arm. You could use a weighted pseudoinverse, instead of the standard pseudoinverse, to indicate a preference to use wheel or joint motions. You could actively avoid singularities of the arm. You could decide to keep the mobile base stationary during trajectory segments 2, 4, 6, and 8.

If you have other ideas on better ways to approach the mobile manipulation problem, feel free to mention them in a discussion prompt or your main README file.

If you are interested, you could delve more deeply into CoppeliaSim, for example by changing the respondability or dynamic properties of rigid bodies. If you make the youBot chassis respondable, the youBot's chassis can push the block around.

For fun: See if you can plan and execute a trajectory for the robot arm that causes the gripper to throw the block to a desired landing point!

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Capstone Projects for Nursing Programs

NurseJournal Staff

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated December 2, 2022 · 3 Min Read

Reviewed by

Theresa Granger

Contributing Reviewer

Our Integrity Network is committed to delivering content that is objective and actionable. To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers.

Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

Integrity Network members typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for as a side project. All Integrity Network members are paid members of the Red Ventures Education Integrity Network.

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Capstone courses function as a bridge between the end of school and the beginning of a career, allowing nursing students to put what they've learned into practice. As the name suggests, students complete capstones toward the end of their nursing training. Not every nursing program requires a capstone, but those that do generally culminate in a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

Each nursing program sets their own requirements. While capstone formats differ between programs, they typically consist of an evidence-based practice formal paper or presentation. Students might complete their capstone projects as team leaders, and BSN candidates may present their papers to a faculty panel. Projects could include case studies, program evaluations, and policy analyses.

The focus on evidence-based practice allows students to apply research and experiential evidence toward solving a healthcare problem. For example, candidates may develop intervention strategies that promote health, improve outcomes, enhance quality of life, and foster safe practices for patients.

Capstone goals center on the application of knowledge gained during nursing training programs, including topics related to leadership , management, research, theories, and evidence-based practice, along with the strategies needed to transition from students to baccalaureate-level nurses.

Choosing Your Nursing Capstone Topic

When selecting a capstone topic, students should evaluate their interests, strengths, and weaknesses, along with their chosen nursing specialty area. Luther College recommends that students with lower GPAs and weaker nursing skills consider a basic medical-surgical topic. Those with strong clinical skills and high GPAs might choose emergency or intensive care medicine, although some students might prefer outpatient topics, such as clinical services, long-term care, or public health. However, this is simply an example of one school's approach, and readers should keep in mind that each school sets its own policies and recommendations.

Asking for guidance from faculty, supervisors, preceptors, and fellow students also helps narrow down capstone topics. Advisors can also provide assistance in choosing an appropriate capstone site, helping with questions of geographical location, facility size, patient population, and care delivery model.

Students develop and learn the skills needed to complete their capstones throughout their training. These include organization and time management, knowledge of evidence-based practice, writing, and critical thinking. They also learn to conduct literature searches, identify research designs, and evaluate evidence.

Completing Your Nursing Capstone

Capstone formats and completion times widely vary between programs. Students at Luther College and Purdue University Northwest complete their capstones in 4-5 weeks, while Ferris State University specifies a timeframe of 30 hours of online classes and 90 hours of applied project work. Case Western Reserve University's capstone spans 10 weeks.

Regardless of the program, most students follow a PICO format for project proposal questions of inquiry: population, intervention, comparison or condition, and outcome.

Some universities allow capstone projects to be completed in teams, in which students develop and implement the project. Capstone components may include defining the project and the team leader's role, selecting team members, and formulating the project plan.

In addition to the skills previously referenced, such as knowledge of evidence-based care, critical thinking, and effective writing, capstone courses hone leadership and management abilities These include mastering therapeutic communication, applying leadership and management concepts, and developing collaborative relationships and working on multidisciplinary teams.

Presenting Your Nursing Capstone

The capstone process culminates in a paper or presentation that measures students' skills in communication, information dissemination, and application of evidence-based practice skills. Members of the public may attend.

Utilizing the poster format, students commonly use three panels to illustrate: (1) the background, problem, and purpose; (2) methodology; and (3) 2-3 key findings and implications. Students who present using PowerPoint on a laptop or other device should pay attention to time limits, planning for one slide per minute, and verify that equipment and internet connectivity are available.

Visuals like graphs, figures, and bullet points are more effective than large blocks of text . Students should practice presenting in front of others to ensure that they thoroughly know their content and can answer questions. Backing up a copy of a PowerPoint presentation and printing out copies or transparencies guards against last-minute glitches.

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How is a nursing capstone graded.

Capstone grading methods differ between programs, with some issuing letter grades and others using a pass/no pass system. Grades typically hinge on a percentage basis of the project's written sections, the final proposal, and the presentation. Faculty evaluate how students execute the capstone course objectives, which may include the following:

Problem identification related to nursing practice, administration, policy, or education

Theoretical research and literature review, critical analysis and synthesis of literature and research findings, recommendations for evidence-based practice, discussion of implications regarding nursing roles, research, policy, and education, professional and civil collaboration and communication, use of the nursing process: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, compliance with the nursing code of ethics, including ethical use of technology.

Students' presentation skill evaluation criteria include exhibiting thorough preparation and knowledge of the subject matter, clear and concise communication, adherence to any time limits, ability to answer questions and cite references, and persuasiveness.

What is the Difference Between a Nursing Capstone and a Thesis?

Students complete capstones individually or in groups, while thesis projects must be done alone. Capstone project time lengths span between four and 12 weeks, while graduate students work on their thesis projects throughout their 2- to 3-year programs. Graduate thesis courses generally take place over 1-2 semesters to keep students on track.

Finally, capstone topics evaluate current issues and theories; thesis students incorporate existing case studies and literature while exploring and arguing for their own original research. Some schools require students to publish their thesis papers in a healthcare journal.

Reviewed By:

Theresa Granger

Theresa Granger, Ph.D., MN, NP-C With over two decades of teaching and clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner, Dr. Granger is an expert in nursing education and clinical practice at all levels of education (associate, baccalaureate, and graduate). She has published and lectured extensively on nursing education and clinical practice-related content. Her expertise ranges from student advising and mentoring to curricular and content design (both on ground and online) to teaching and formal course delivery. Dr. Granger is one of the founding faculty members of the University of Southern California’s first ever fully online graduate family nurse practitioner program . is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

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A Capstone Wiki Knowledge Base: A Case Study of an Online Tool Designed to Promote Life-Long Learning through Engineering Literature Research

James B. Clarke Engineering Librarian Brill Science Library Miami University Libraries [email protected]

James R. Coyle Assistant Professor of Marketing/Interactive Media Studies Farmer School of Business [email protected]

This article reports the results of a case study in which an experimental wiki knowledge base was designed, developed, and tested by the Brill Science Library at Miami University for an undergraduate engineering senior capstone project. The wiki knowledge base was created to determine if the science library could enhance the engineering literature research experience of a senior capstone class in an innovative manner. In doing so a precedent was set for supporting all of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences accreditation efforts to promote the life-long learning outcome. The results of a usability test are also reported. Wiki development is discussed, test results are analyzed, and design modification needs are identified. User feedback indicates the library-generated online research tool offers a dynamic and practical means for engineering librarians to promote their collections and the value of life-long learning. Implications for technology librarians and related research are discussed.


Engineering educators must achieve the demanding objective of preparing undergraduate students to become professionals within just four years of full-time study. Faculty are compelled to focus their respective curricula on the learning of basic technical knowledge. As a consequence, engineering literature research is at risk of always playing a secondary role in the undergraduate learning experience ( Chanson 2007 ; Oxnam 2003 ). One study indicates that undergraduate students fail to appreciate the importance of using library resources for design project research ( Nerz & Bullard 2006 .) Despite the many efforts academic librarians have made to integrate information literacy content into the curriculum, the challenge of developing strong literature research skills among undergraduate engineering students remains a substantial struggle.

Information literacy is defined by the American Library Association as "a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information (ALA 1989.) Preparing young engineers with strong information literacy skills remains vital for their acquiring the best scholarly literature and technical data required for optimal product development. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) recognized and supported this general need by revising program outcomes in 2000 to include "the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning." This outcome is identified within ABET as Criterion 3, section i ( Engineering Accreditation Commission 2010 ). If students are to be prepared to keep studying as professional engineers their undergraduate education must go beyond instructor presentations of subject matter ( Milne & Thomas 2008 ).

As both subject research experts and information literacy instructors, university engineering librarians are in a unique position to assist engineering faculty in their efforts to achieve the ABET Criterion 3i outcome. The engineering literature research skills they impart to undergraduate students should be invaluable for all design projects and serve as the cornerstone of life-long learning. Young engineers ought to graduate with strong library skills they can leverage for product development research throughout their careers. The aim of this project is to develop and test an innovative tool, a wiki knowledge base, that engineering librarians may use to further promote life-long learning practices within the educational experience of undergraduate students.

Literature Review

Despite the philosophical connection that exists between information literacy and life-long learning, engineering educators have not inherently regarded library support as a decisive means of fulfilling the ABET Criterion 3i outcome. As an example, Felder and Brent ( 2003 ) identify potential solutions for all ABET Criterion 3 outcomes primarily from an engineering curriculum standpoint. They endorse problem-based learning and cooperative learning assignments as effective opportunities for meeting the life-long learning outcome. In both types of assignments, student groups work in teams to achieve a common goal. Felder and Brent ( 2003 ) argue these two types of assignments separate student learning from dependence on their instructors and class lectures. Engineering 101 classes, laboratory projects, design projects, and capstone projects all serve as a potential means of meeting the ABET Criterion 3i outcome.

Oxnam ( 2003 ) indicated a collaborative opportunity exists for librarians and engineering professors to fulfill all of the ABET Criterion 3 outcomes, and identified how the ABET outcomes correlate with the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Specifically, the five ACRL standards all support the ABET Criterion 3i life-long learning outcome. She concluded that librarians and professors should collaborate to integrate information literacy within course content via independent library research. Such collaboration offers potential improvements in preparing undergraduate engineers as researchers, and the partnership also provides an opportunity for librarians to proactively support engineering departments as they earn and maintain ABET accreditation.

Oxnam's view on collaboration between librarians and engineering professors is insightful, but the need for such an educational partnership has been identified by other library scholars. Erdman ( 1991 ) professed the need for librarians to collaborate with professors regarding undergraduate engineering design assignments long before ABET established Criterion 3i. Poland ( 1991 ) expressed a similar need and also indicated that undergraduate engineering students experience anxiety when attempting to use library resources because they lack strong information literacy skills. Leckie and Fullerton ( 1999 ) indicated that, although engineering professors endorse the value of information literacy skills for their students, many acknowledge that students probably avoid library work until their third or four year of study when they start design projects. Maynard ( 1990 ) indicated that faculty attitudes towards library instruction lack consistency. Some engineering faculty members accept librarians as active contributors in the educational process while others regard them as passive supporters. The need for assertive initiatives led by librarians to develop strong educational partnerships is universally recognized among science and technology librarians. Atkinson, Peachy, and Woodall ( 2006 ) endorse a proactive role for liaison librarians as learning facilitators.

Librarians have also addressed the ABET Criterion 3i life-long learning outcome as a means of developing stronger educational partnerships with engineering faculty. Milne and Thomas ( 2008 ) argue that engineering programs cannot generate holistic engineers without blending information literacy learning into an engineering curriculum. They contend that isolated library instruction sessions are not effective enough by themselves. Instead, they endorse solutions such as lecture development collaboration and online tutorial deployment. Trussell ( 2004 ) argues for a similar level of proactive support from engineering librarians and encourages online innovations as a means of advanced collaboration with engineering faculty. Engineering librarians ought to pursue innovative and collaborative online projects to discover best practices for achieving the ABET Criterion 3i life-long learning outcomes.

Wikis, web-based collaboration tools, have been previously applied to undergraduate engineering courses and studied by both librarians and professors as online educational tools. A number of scholars have endorsed wikis as educational collaboration tools, ( Engstom & Jewett 2005 ; Frumkin 2005 ; Parker & Chao 2007 ; Wagner 2004 ). Hamer ( 2006 ), Boutin and Lax ( 2010 ), L�er ( 2008 ), and Heys ( 2007 ) stressed that wiki-enabled collaboration improves the extent of communication, teamwork, and fairness for engineering students engaged in group projects. Al-Yahya ( 2009 ) surveyed a class of software engineering students who used a wiki as a part of the design process and determined that online collaboration tools can improve student teamwork with enhanced participation, communication, progress tracking, and other factors. Ras and Rech ( 2009 ) conducted an experiment with an engineering capstone class by testing a control group that worked without a wiki tool and an experimental group that did use one. The written test results indicated the students working with the wiki tool learned more than double the amount of information in comparison with the control group. Bhatt, Chandra, and Denick ( 2008 ) have acknowledged that engineering students have the potential to learn more with wikis and other Web 2.0 technologies because of direct access to relevant online library resources. Saleh and McKinnon ( 2009 ) collaborated as a librarian/professor team to develop a wiki for a mine engineering capstone course, and class observations indicated the students learned more than normally expected. Most of the studies performed by engineering librarians and professors indicate that wikis can have a positive impact on capstone learning experiences. Our case study builds on this solid foundation by exploring the possibility that a wiki can be designed to specifically improve the engineering literature research conducted by students for capstone design projects.

At Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the Brill Science Library routinely pursues a dynamic collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) to enhance the undergraduate learning experience. By connecting information literacy education directly to the ABET accreditation Criterion 3i initiatives of all four SEAS departments, the Brill Science Library intends to maximize the value of the engineering collection for promoting life-long learning skills. The Library is developing a strategy to support the ABET Criterion 3i life-long learning outcome with three tools that will be deployed on an incremental basis. Once engineering faculty volunteers are recruited, three tools can be developed and deployed in the form of online information literacy portals: course guides, subject guides, and wiki knowledge bases. The course guides and subject guides will be developed for all SEAS departments, and may be used for any SEAS courses. The wikis, on the other hand, are intended to be built and deployed by the Brill Science Library for capstone courses that require specialized information for design projects.

The concept for a library-generated wiki evolved from observing both positive and negative student behaviors during several class sessions of a senior capstone course. Class observations indicated the students perform the design process in an organized and systematic manner. Data produced by the student team was stored within a shared drive accessible within lab desk top computers. The regular use of journal articles, technical reports, or handbooks for the decision making process was not a consistent practice of the team. The team operated in relative isolation by spending several hours of the day within the confines of the SEAS mechanical engineering lab. Physical library visits for research purposes were rare among the student team members despite the extremely close proximity of the Brill Library to the SEAS building. Consequently, the development of a wiki that students could use to freely explore relevant information together appeared to be an opportunity worth exploring.

The senior capstone course being observed, Mechanical and Materials Engineering MME 448/449, is a two-semester senior design project focused on the annual, off-road racing competition known as Baja SAE, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers ( SAE 2009 ). The class typically involves a group of less than ten seniors who lead teams, such as the drive train team, and the suspension team, of underclassmen volunteers in the process of designing, building, and racing an off-road vehicle against other university teams from around the world. The routine participation of underclassmen volunteers makes this particular capstone distinctive for SEAS because senior participants start their race car design project with as much as six semesters of prior experience while seniors in other capstone classes begin their design project for the first time in the fall semester of their final year. Two SEAS faculty members advise the students as they pursue the project over the course of two semesters. Based on a semester of class observations during the prior academic year, the Brill Science Library decided to develop an online race car engineering hub, a wiki knowledge base that students could access during the following fall semester for research purposes while they work together without having to leave the lab facility.

Wiki Knowledge Base Prototype

The two senior course instructors agreed to serve as faculty volunteers by allowing the Brill Science Library to pursue the development of an online race car engineering research tool, but they recommended the prototype should also serve as a portal for information created by the student team. Consequently, a collaborative online technology was required for students to contribute data easily to the hub. The Brill Science Library decided to develop a wiki knowledge base as a practical opportunity because a number of scholars have endorsed wikis as educational collaboration tools ( Engstom & Jewett 2005 ; Frumkin 2005 ; Hawker, Weber, Starenko, & Parry-Hill 2008 ; Parker & Chao 2007 ; Racicot & Pezeshki 2006 ; Silverstein 2009 ; Wagner 2004 ). Academic Blackboard Suite serves as a standard online communication platform across Miami University, and the professors of MME 448/449 already used Blackboard to share class information with students. The Blackboard wiki tool provided a logical choice for generating a prototype for the class. In regard to design requirements, the wiki needed to serve three key services for the student researchers: to house specialized secondary source information gathered from the engineering collection, to provide links to external online information resources, and to store student-generated data.

The Brill Science Library developed the wiki prototype during the summer of 2009 after receiving agreement from the SEAS faculty volunteers. Content development involved race car engineering research mostly related to off-road racing vehicles. The Blackboard wiki tool provided password protection so that articles acquired from literature databases, such as IEEE Explore, could be housed within the wiki without copyright violations. The database content navigation menu was organized alphabetically by subject to reflect the organization of student teams. As an example, a powertrain subject category was developed to house information most relevant to the powertrain team. The database organized information gathered from literature databases, mostly in the form of PDF files, as "Secondary Powertrain" information while student-generated information was organized under the subject, "Primary Powertrain."

The same organizational approach was taken for subjects such as chassis, electronics, frame, handling, and suspension. In addition to the secondary source information generated from the literature databases, race car engineering books were selected, listed within the wiki, and then placed on reserve within the SEAS mechanical engineering lab. The student-generated data was extracted from the SEAS share drive and posted within the wiki under primary subject categories such as "Primary Powertrain." The wiki listed the subjects alphabetically as clickable buttons within a side-navigation frame. When a user clicked the subject buttons, new screens with related folders and files became available for the user to explore. Abstracts were included to help the user evaluate the potential value of the secondary materials to address reference questions.

After reviewing the wiki with the MME 448/449 instructors at the end of the summer session, a librarian demonstrated the knowledge base to the student racing team during the second week of September, an early time within the fall semester. The students discovered how to access the wiki via Blackboard, how to navigate through the content, and how to upload new information to it. Following the demonstration, the student team was provided with an opportunity to use the wiki without interruption. A screen shot of the homepage can be found in Figure 1. Access to a few engineering literature databases may be viewed in Figure 2, chassis-related scholarly literature files are displayed in Figure 3, and student-generated suspension data folders and files are displayed in Figure 4.

Usability Test

Usability tests serve as a practical method of evaluating human-computer interaction, and they offer a means of empirical performance measurement for wiki developers. Manzari and Trinidad-Christensen ( 2006 ) assert that the assessment of educational tool performance with user input provides an advantage for prototype redesign to achieve optimal user success. Nielsen ( 1993 ), Virzi ( 1990 ) and Rubin ( 1994 ) stress that usability tests performed with as few as five user subjects can reveal 80% of site design errors. Conducting a usability test on the first online tool iteration provided an insightful way to make design modifications for increased learning outcomes during the second semester and in following academic years.

An evaluation of the wiki's potential impact on the student learning experience during the senior capstone class involved a usability study during the first semester of deployment. A month after deploying the wiki prototype, the two MME 448/449 instructors and six senior level student team members engaged in a usability test to evaluate ease of use, overall navigation, and initial impressions. Such an evaluation offered potential insight for design improvements and maximum customer satisfaction. We used Morae software by Techsmith to monitor and measure the testing. Subjects were tested on an individual basis, and each test was conducted during an average time period of fifteen minutes per subject. The testing experience involved a four-part process. First, the subjects were given an overview of the Morae software. Second, we demonstrated a think-aloud protocol that we then used to capture the thoughts and feelings of subjects as they explored the web site to identify specific information. The think-aloud protocol is a standard usability testing technique that allows designers to uncover many design problems ( Jorgensen 1989 ; Monk et al. 1993 ). Third, after the demonstration, the subjects were asked to log on to the wiki knowledge base via their Blackboard accounts, and then to describe their first impressions of the user interface to indicate whether or not the tool made sense to them. Fourth, subjects completed seven information retrieval tasks. These tasks can be found in Table 1. The subjects received oral instructions for one task at a time, and spoke out loud as they conducted the tasks to articulate their stream of consciousness during the process. In addition to the subject's vocal input, the Morae software recorded the user's interaction with the wiki knowledge base interface. During instances when subjects failed to achieve a task, the solution was demonstrated to them before the next task was explained to them.

Task example #5 involves one of the tasks in which the test subject needed to access externally produced information:

You have been given an assignment of exploring whether or not active suspension system information might be useful for the new race car. Use the Knowledge Base to discover an article about active suspension design. When you have such an article on the screen, recite the name of the article.

Task example #3 involves accessing team-generated information:

You have been given an assignment that involves comparing the weight break down of the new race car with earlier team vehicles. Use the Knowledge Base to identify the 08-09 vehicle weight break down located within an excel file. When you find and open a file, recite the name of the file and the total weight.

When the student subjects completed the seven tasks, they indicated their agreement or disagreement with the following statements by circling a number from 1 to 10, where 1 indicated strongest disagreement with the statement and 10 indicated strongest agreement:

  • The wiki knowledge base is easy for me to use for finding relevant information related to my senior capstone course.
  • The wiki knowledge base contains relevant information for my senior capstone course.
  • The wiki knowledge base test impresses me with the value of the Science Libraries engineering collection.

The instructor subjects, on the other hand, were asked the following three open-ended questions to capture the details of their thoughts regarding the wiki knowledge base:

  • In what ways does the wiki Knowledge Base potentially support the Life-Long Learning outcome specified in ABET Criterion 3i?
  • In what ways do you think the wiki knowledge base can potentially serve as an educational asset for the student racing team?
  • Do you think wiki knowledge bases can be beneficial to other senior capstone courses?

After the subject testing concluded, the videos and the survey data were analyzed to identify common features of the user experience.

Results and Discussion

All student and instructor subjects were able to log on to the wiki via the Blackboard course page. Once the main interface appeared on the screen, all of the student and instructor subjects were able to describe the wiki knowledge base without confusion. As the subjects performed the tasks, they all indicated an understanding of the site as being an information resource they could use to store and access information. Five of the six student subjects indicated the list of button links in the navigation frame was too long. Three of the six subjects indicated the prefix abbreviations for the terms "primary" and "secondary" were confusing and that they could not remember the significance of those two terms from the initial presentation. The two instructor subjects also indicated the list of labeled buttons in the navigation frame was too long and confusing.

Despite the critical feedback regarding the navigation frame, most of the student subjects could complete five of the seven tasks without any assistance. The "primary" and "secondary" categories created confusion at least once for each student as they completed the seven tasks. Errors typically resulted when users failed to click on the appropriate subject button at the start of the task. A simple example involves a user who attempted to perform the following task, "Use the Wiki Knowledge Base to discover an article about active suspension design." When the user started to perform the task, the person clicked on the "Primary Suspension" button within the navigation frame. As a consequence, the user began browsing through lab-generated data rather than journal articles and became confused. No specific task, however, seemed the most confusing for the student subjects. When errors did occur and the students could not complete the tasks, the solution was demonstrated for them before moving on. The two instructors shared a similar task performance experience by completing five of the seven tasks without the need of assistance. When task errors did occur, the errors resulted from initial choices made by the instructors as they began their tasks. Similar to the students, the instructors did not share a common struggle with any one specific task.

When the students finished the seven tasks, they all strongly agreed with the three survey statements. Means for answers to the survey statements can be found in Table 2.

Table 2: Mean responses to student survey statements

The students reacted to the wiki knowledge base positively, but they identified a need for more simple navigation. When the two instructors finished the seven tasks, they were first asked the question, "In what ways do you think the wiki knowledge base can potentially serve as an educational asset for the student racing team?" Both of them stressed the value of having a single online repository for research and information related to the class. They stressed that the wiki has the advantage of being accessible remotely while the previous use of a shared drive limited the time and location of information access. Then the instructors were asked, "In what ways do you think the wiki knowledge base supports ABET Criterion 3i?" Both instructors agreed that the central access point of the literature databases provided students with an opportunity to explore topics for the capstone beyond the information learned in the lab. One of the instructors noted the importance of making certain students understand the external information can be readily accessed after the students graduate and begin their careers. The instructor expressed a concern that, without a clear understanding, the students may perceive the externally- produced content of the wiki as being information they can access without university resources after graduation. Lastly, the two instructors were asked the question, "Do you think wiki knowledge bases can be beneficial to other senior capstone courses?" Both instructors agreed that other library-produced wikis could be useful as central information repositories and as a hub for useful literature databases.

The usability test indicated an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the wiki knowledge base prototype from both the students and Instructors of MME 448/449. As in the study conducted by Ras and Rech ( 2009 ), students recognized the value of the new online information resource and appreciated access to a single space where separate student teams could collect their work in one location. And as in the Bhatt, Denick, Chandra ( 2008 ) study, students recognized the advantage of using an online hub for access to library information. The two instructors in our study acknowledged the value of a library-generated wiki knowledge base as being a valuable tool to promote the ABET life-long learning outcome. Like the Silverstein ( 2009 ) study, instructors believed that one of the greatest advantages of the wiki involved the ability for students to access the information while they were off campus. Despite the positive reactions, design errors were clearly identified by the usability testing, and the prototype will be improved based on the recommendations of the usability test subjects. These design changes will include a more concise list of subjects within the navigation frame, a change in navigation terminology, and a clearer indication of which information resources of the engineering collection are literature databases. Once these changes are made, the site will be re-deployed during the spring semester, and more usability tests will be conducted over time.


This usability test effectively demonstrates the wiki prototype as a progressive tool for engineering librarians to increase the effectiveness of their involvement in senior capstone classes. Wiki knowledge bases developed and deployed by librarians that are then managed by students for capstone courses can showcase the breadth of information resources within an engineering collection for specific design projects. Furthermore, wikis have the potential to increase information literacy skills among students, and will maximize their success as professionals in product development research. Engineering faculty ought to continue collaborating with engineering librarians to incorporate wiki knowledge bases into their broader strategies for promoting engineering literature research as a life-long learning skill.

Future research

A new usability test will measure the impact of the wiki knowledge base on the capstone class and to gather further modification recommendations for maximizing increased learning outcomes for future MME 448/449 senior capstone classes. New iterations of the wiki knowledge base will be developed and deployed for other senior capstone classes.

It is recommended that university engineering librarians should follow this precedent by creating similar online tools to promote their respective collections for literature research . Further development of wiki knowledge bases for a variety of senior capstone projects will gauge the versatility of this online tool and identify practical enhancements for design and content. Capstone design projects that involve seniors who have no direct prior experience with the objective, unlike the Baja SAE project with undergraduate volunteers, would increase the ability of educators to assess the full impact of wiki knowledge bases on the learning experience. To do this, professors and students will need to be surveyed about how wiki knowledge bases affect specific aspects of the engineering literature research process, and about the particular aspects of wiki knowledge bases that professors and students find especially useful in facilitating such research. In general, researchers should also continue to explore ways in which wiki knowledge bases may support all ABET outcomes.


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  1. Importance Of Capstone Project In Academics

    capstone project wiki

  2. What is the Capstone Project

    capstone project wiki

  3. Understanding The Capstone Project and Getting Started

    capstone project wiki

  4. Capstone project wikipedia

    capstone project wiki

  5. Capstone Project Stage 2

    capstone project wiki

  6. Importance Of Capstone Project In Academics

    capstone project wiki


  1. Capstone Topic


  3. Capstone Project Video

  4. capstone video assignment

  5. Capstone 2.0 Round 5

  6. Project wiki


  1. Capstone course

    A capstone course, also known as a synthesis and capstone project, senior synthesis, among other terms, is a project that serves as the culminating and usually integrative praxis experience of an educational program mostly found in American-style pedagogy. Although somewhat different from an industry-oriented capstone project, case study, case ...


    CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) is a lunar orbiter that will test and verify the calculated orbital stability planned for the Lunar Gateway space station. The spacecraft is a 12-unit CubeSat that will also test a navigation system that will measure its position relative to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) without ...

  3. Capstone Project Wiki [Capstone Project Wiki]

    Capstone Project Wiki. This document provides information about succeeding in the Capstone class and on your Capstone project. Class-specific information is found here. In addition to this document, there are two books to help you learn about product development: Product Development: Principles and Tools for Creating Desirable and Transferable ...

  4. Capstone Project Definition

    Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life.

  5. Capstone (cryptography)

    Capstone is a United States government long-term project to develop cryptography standards for public and government use. Capstone was authorized by the Computer Security Act of 1987, driven by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Security Agency (NSA); the project began in 1993.

  6. Syllabus [Capstone Project Wiki]

    Engineering projects are complex and have many moving parts. At times, you may find it hard to keep up with all that is going on in Capstone. To make it easier for you to succeed with your project and this course, we have created a dashboard for each student at dashboard is customized for each individual student, and has links to individual and team assignments ...

  7. What is a capstone project? And why is it important?

    The capstone project is usually the final assignment and plays a vital role in preparing students for the world of work thanks to its practical applications and ability to help hone students' professional knowledge and skills. At York University in Toronto, Canada, things are a little different. In 2019, the university revised the traditional ...

  8. System Refinement Review and Final Design Report [Capstone Project Wiki]

    Ask them what they would like. If they would like a printed version, use your CAEDM group account to print it, and use the spiral binding system in the Capstone office to bind the report. NOTE: No reimbursements will be given for printing or binding charges. You should use CAEDM and the Capstone office to accomplish these functions.

  9. Project Schedule [Capstone Project Wiki]

    The overall project schedule is as follows: Opportunity Development (first four weeks of class): Teams will learn about the design decision process, be introduced to product development artifacts, and develop the desired outcomes for the Opportunity Development stage. Each team will prepare for the Opportunity Development Review, which lays an effective foundation for the remaining stages of ...

  10. Artifact Formatting [Capstone Project Wiki]

    If your sponsor has asked Capstone to provide a bound, printed copy of your final report, you must format your artifacts as described in Formatting Printed Reports.. Your External Relations Manager (either Lisa or Allyson) will work with your sponsor during September to determine whether or not your sponsor expects a bound, printed copy of the final report.

  11. What's a Capstone Project? And Why Do I Have to Take It?

    The capstone course is the last class in a program of study. It's called a capstone because it represents a crowning achievement as a capstone does in architecture. For some degree programs, a capstone course may require a project and subsequent presentation; for others, it may include an assessment exam to test interdisciplinary skills (like ...

  12. Website Help [Capstone Project Wiki]

    To help you get a project that will be interesting to you, we allow you to rate at least 10 projects and to bid on up to 3 projects that are your favorites. Please rate at least 10 projects. Rating fewer than 10 makes it more likely that you will be assigned to a project you have not rated, and thus that you will not be a good match for.

  13. Capstone Project: Definition, Types, Structure, and Examples

    A capstone project in college is a final independent project undertaken in a program of study designed to assess the skills, knowledge, and expertise acquired by the student. As the name suggests, it is the capstone or crowning achievement of academic life and the last class taken before graduation. It gives you the final credits required to ...

  14. GitHub

    Capstone Engine. Capstone is a disassembly framework with the target of becoming the ultimate disasm engine for binary analysis and reversing in the security community. Created by Nguyen Anh Quynh, then developed and maintained by a small community, Capstone offers some unparalleled features:

  15. Capstone Military Leadership Program

    CAPSTONE is a joint service professional military education courses for newly promoted brigadier generals and rear admirals serving in the United States military.The National Defense University conducts the CAPSTONE course at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC.The course objective is to ensure senior military leaders understand how military forces and other elements of national power are ...

  16. Architecture Review and Fall Semester Design Report

    The Project Success Agreement (PSA) is a three- to six-page document that documents the expectations of the team, the sponsor, and the Capstone administration about what constitutes success on the project. The Agreement includes information on the project scope, the product requirements, and the key success measures for the product.

  17. Mobile Manipulation Capstone

    Introduction, and the CSV Mobile Manipulation youBot CoppeliaSim Scene. In your capstone project, you will write software that plans a trajectory for the end-effector of the youBot mobile manipulator (a mobile base with four mecanum wheels and a 5R robot arm), performs odometry as the chassis moves, and performs feedback control to drive the youBot to pick up a block at a specified location ...

  18. Capstone Projects For Nursing Programs

    Capstone formats and completion times widely vary between programs. Students at Luther College and Purdue University Northwest complete their capstones in 4-5 weeks, while Ferris State University specifies a timeframe of 30 hours of online classes and 90 hours of applied project work. Case Western Reserve University's capstone spans 10 weeks.

  19. A Capstone Wiki Knowledge Base

    This article reports the results of a case study in which an experimental wiki knowledge base was designed, developed, and tested by the Brill Science Library at Miami University for an undergraduate engineering senior capstone project. The wiki knowledge base was created to determine if the science library could enhance the engineering ...

  20. Capstone Program

    The Capstone Program was a United States government-funded aviation safety program for the state of Alaska, primarily focusing on rural areas of the state.This joint effort - between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Alaska Pilot's Association, commercial operators, the University of Alaska, MITRE Corporation, some avionics manufacturers and individual pilots - cut the ...