Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
2013 18th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Mobile, Interactive Multimedia, Educational & Serious Games (CGAMES)
Capstone courses play a key role in many Computer Science/Software Engineering curricula. They offer a summative opportunity for SE students to apply their skills and knowledge in a single experience and prepare them for work in industry. Capstones have many attributes that make them a valuable high-impact practice, yet there are several challenges that can be associated with them. These challenges include the general nature of a capstone that prevents deeper applications of skills, not to mention the difficulty of creating an interesting and engaging design project upon which students can make meaningful contributions and engage in extensive team dynamics. This experience report outlines an innovative approach to a senior design capstone course that addresses common limitations of capstone courses. The SimSYS capstone course is unique in that it involved a mixed team organization involving a more senior design team who led a development team over the course of the semester, thereby leveraging the diverse experience of capstone students completing their CS/SE degree. The results point to solutions for continuing a capstone project successfully in subsequent semesters that could be of interest to other SE curriculum designers looking to develop effective capstone courses.