A capstone project is a culminating project or an opportunity to exhibit independent group research to solve a real-world problem. It has become an essential part of a degree curriculum to enhance students’ experience in the final year. The students will be asked to choose a topic and perform research on it, maintain a report of the findings, create a final report to demonstrate the use of their product, and give an oral presentation to the panelists, who will evaluate their quality.
This project is for final year students, preparing them for industries or companies. The practical application of such a project helps students to materialize their ideas.
The literal meaning of capstone is the stone placed on the top of the building to complete its structure. Similarly, a capstone project refers to all students’ learning throughout their course, culminating into a project.
This project was designed to assist students in solving challenging problems, increase communication skills, public speaking, planning, teamwork, etc. Basically, to prepare students for their work life. Students explore different concepts and use their skills while doing this project. It also helps students experience learning methods involving research, internships, etc.
Basic requirements for a capstone project
The foremost requirement is the choice of topic. Students must choose a topic of their interests that their professors will evaluate. The report should contain the project title and statistics and have a research report of about four to five pages containing all the information about the project.
Students can come up with their very own innovative ideas. However, those confused can browse through the online sites as there are multiple topics to choose between.
Talking about the length of the project, it will take about eight to twelve weeks to do a capstone project, depending on various factors. Then, it will be sent to the professors for evaluation which will take some more time. The time duration also depends on multiple institutions’ protocols to pass the project proposal and evaluate it.
Once the project is completed, a discussion will be arranged with the instructors to discuss the issues, solving methods, backgrounds, etc.
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The capstone project helps you to build both your academic and professional life. The activities associated with this project help you to hone your skills.
Prepares you for your work-life:
The capstone project help students build their career. It enriches their learning by providing hands-on experience to develop them into well-built employees. Students work together in a group which aids them in understanding teamwork better. They find solutions to real-world problems, which gives them insights into various issues around them. These activities, in turn, develop their problem-solving and management skills.
Adds glamour to your CV:
The industry wants hands-on experience, and such a project will help them evaluate your skills besides academic qualifications. Completing a capstone project signifies that you are hardworking, with work ethics and expertise.
Provides practical experience:
Many graduates have theoretical knowledge. However, real-world industry work demands hands-on practical experience to provide a job. Having only theoretical knowledge doesn’t suffice anymore to secure a job. In such a case, the capstone project will help you a lot, and it will help you research and learn about topics that interest you outside academic courses.
Materializes your thought:
The real-world working culture demands skills, eventually provided by completing a capstone project. It develops your creativity and communication skills, thinking ability, teamwork, problem-solving capability and many more, which ultimately helps you in your career.
Intentions of Capstone project
A capstone project has many forms, varying from one institution to another. However, let me mention some general conditions to understand the general intentions.
- Designing and building an app, computer program, any product, or robot.
- Scripting and directing any public service announcement aired as an ad on national television.
- Interning at any organization or law firm to understand social problems such as hunger, poverty, etc.
- Researching the industry market to create and propose a plan to the business leaders or companies.
Practical educational goals of capstone project:
Engaging the students:
High school students have a lighter course which reduces the capability of coping with the workload. A challenging senior year that will leverage students’ learning experience will help them remain engaged and prepare them for the real-world industry work pressure.
Increasing student motivation:
Students often get fed up with mundane academic courses, making them lose interest in their studies. The capstone project’s nature demands topics selected by the students themselves, which helps them increase their motivation and engage them in their studies.
Increasing career aspirations:
Some students get unfocused and fail to decide about their graduation or post-graduation plans. Involving students in long-term projects like capstone projects will help them remain focused, plan about their future, set goals, and explore a wide path of careers.
Improving student discipline:
Capstone projects require students to be self-disciplined, set goals, be self-directed, and follow commitments. Completing a capstone project will help them boost confidence, self-esteem, and experience achievements, and it will also cultivate leadership capabilities among them.
Process of doing a capstone project
- Select a topic that interests you and get approved by the instructor.
- Do a literature review.
- Conduct your broad research for the chosen topic.
- Present your results.
While different institutions may demand other requirements for a capstone project, a general design includes choosing a topic of student’s interest and then presenting it to the instructor for approval. Depending on the subject, the project may demand a video presentation, architectural model, an art exhibit or even a short film. However, papers demonstrating an introduction, theory, evaluation, research, issues, solution, and result are always included in this project.
The goal of the capstone project is to make the students ready to enter the professional world. While in other projects, students are guided throughout their topic, the capstone project teaches self-study and research.
Capstone project vs Thesis
Most people think that a capstone project and a thesis are the same, and however, it is not valid. The Thesis emphasizes more on a research-oriented approach for evaluating students’ understanding capabilities. On the other hand, a capstone project assesses students’ readiness and caliber.
There are also similarities between a capstone project and a Thesis that they require the collection of data, execution of the project, and providing the result.
In a thesis, students must contribute to new ideas and learnings. On the other hand, a capstone project requires students to collect data and provide results regarding topics of their interest or already been taught in their formal education.
Goals of a Capstone Project
After you complete the project, you will realize that you have developed a strong research capability and a sense of deep understanding of the topic. If asked about academic grades, getting a good grade on the project will also help you in your career. So, a capstone project will show your capabilities.
The capstone project will also increase your presentation skills. Many students can research, write, and present a good project, but they get stumbled when verbally presenting their project. So this is a necessary skill.
This project aims to make you ready for your professional life, which you will be after you complete the project.
The capstone project ultimately shows your skills, and its goal is to make students all-rounders who can pull up their work organized. The capstone project’s structure should be made to allow students to showcase their skills adapted throughout their degree.
With the right plan, you can develop a great project. Always choose a topic of your interest, and research thoroughly about it. However, you must create a project that will solve the problem of the selected issue. This way, your problem-solving skills will also be in the limelight.
Follow all the procedures to do a great project so that you can stand amongst your peers!