Reasons for Adoption – PSU
- The Ecosystem helps the students prepare nice reports.
- Students tend to like the ability to automatically generate good reports.
- Capstone students tend to spend significant time on report generation.
- All the structure is there.
- I think I can put something together, based on the material in the testimonials (and material from the Powerpoint presentations).
Mechanical Engineering Capstone (2018 – 2019)
Starting Point: Ecosystem 1.12 SW
* SW with ability to (a) import SolidWorks assemblies, (b) conduct automatic assessment with regards to cost, weight and dimensions.
Students’ Impressions of the Ecosystem 1.12 SW
- Students considered the Ecosystem lacking in terms of team communications.
- Even though one person had taken on the role of a scribe, students wanted to be able to view the working drafts of the meeting notes during the meetings.
- Some student teams preferred to use Google Docs during the meetings and enter the Meeting Notes into the Ecosystem SW after the team meetings.
- [Add an image showing “before” conditions. >> Students reviewing Meeting Notes in Google Docs. >> From PSAS team meeting]
Towards the Ecosystem 1.15 SW
List the enhancements included (motivated by feedback from the ME capstone students):
- We added an image banner to the Meeting Notes tab.
- We expanded the image banners in the Meeting Notes tab, in the Problem Statement tab, the Narration for Detailed Design and Narration for Final design such as to support importing of Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and PDF.
- We added an interface from the images imported into the the Meeting Notes tab, the Problem Statement tab, the Narration for Detailed Design and Narration for Final Design: The students could open the Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations, etc. from within the Ecosystem.
- We expanded on the User Manual such as to highlight capabilities and weaknesses of the Ecosystem relative to Google Docs: Google Doc does not provide interfaces to Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat Reader or to SolidWorks.
Students’ Impressions of the Ecosystem 1.15 SW
- [Add an image showing “after” conditions. >> Students reviewing Meeting Notes in Ecosystem. >> From PSAS team meeting]
Further Learning Lessons: Arranging the Ecosystem Such that Students Want to Use It
- We are making the case it is easy to generate the project reports for ME 491, ME 492 and ME 493.
- We are making the case it is easy for students to see where they stand (which grade they are heading to).
You just press a button, and you have most of the report structure.
Further Learning Lessons: Working with Capstone Instructors and Customizing the Ecosystem to the Students’ and Instructor’s Liking
We work with one university dept. (capstone instructor) at a time and work to make them happy.
We create a customized template per university (department).
We add structures (skeletons for the instructor grading rubric) to the supervisor mode.
Students could separately download the templates and the Ecosystem SW.
In case of Formula or BAJA SAE, students could start with the e-design files for the tech inspection.
In case of capstone, the students could start with the e-design notebook files specific to their academic department.
We could make the starting templates available for downloading from Imagars’ website.
We could add a separate (restricted) access to the templates from Imagars’ website.
Or we could make the customized templates available to the capstone instructor.
Students could download the SW from Imagars’ website, but the template from the course website.
Imagars would include the customized templates in the quote to the academic department (capstone instructor).