Intervening to improve the dissertation of final year engineering research projects

Goh, Steven and Ku, Harry (2011) Intervening to improve the dissertation of final year engineering research projects. In: 41st ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2011): Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations From Around the World , 12-15 Oct 2011, Rapid City, SD. United States.


This paper presents preliminary results of an investigative study into the final-year engineering research project. Final year students completing engineering research projects were surveyed pre- and post-intervention regarding their perception and ability to undertake a literature review in their research project. The pre-intervention survey provided an insight into the students’ initial disorientation in starting the projects but also acted as an awareness mechanism for the student participants to consolidate or improve their literature review skills. A series of intervention workshops were devised based on the pre-intervention survey. A post-intervention survey was then conducted along with a focus group. The paper discusses the results of these two surveys and then compares them with the ‘actual’ literature review skills demonstrated in progress reports (contain the literature review section). From the pre and post intervention surveys, it can be seen that the intervention workshops were successful in increasing awareness and understanding of the literature reviews. However, the intervention was regarded as not so successful if the knowledge of literature reviews was based on the progress report artifacts. This is somewhat a contradiction. The literature review skills demonstrated in their final dissertations were compared with those in their progress reports. It was evidenced that their literature review skills have improved significantly in their final dissertations but were not displayed in the progress report artifacts submitted earlier in the project.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. © 2011 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from IEEE.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2012 06:01
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2017 23:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: literature review, capstone project, final year project, undergraduate research.
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development

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