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The role of collaborative capstone projects - experiences from education, research and industry

: Hess, Anne

International Journal of Engineering Education 29 (2013), Nr.5, S.1088-1099
ISSN: 0949-149X
ISSN: 0742-0269
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software engineering education; capstone project; experience; lessons learned; challenge; collaborative project; industry-university collaboration

An integral part of software engineering curricula at universities are practical classes or projects that enable students to apply theoretical knowledge gained in lectures on concrete practical examples. Practical projects, in particular, defined as university-industry collaborations provide the potential of being very beneficial especially in graduate education: in such realistic project settings, students can experience real-life software engineering challenges and achieve learning objectives that go beyond typical learning objectives of practical assignments during classes or even practical projects defined by faculty members. However, such collaborative projects have to be planned carefully and also come with various challenges. In this article, authors from academia and industry share their experiences gained during a history of successfully conducted collaborative projects. These experiences comprise objectives, benefits, challenges and lessons learned both from an educational viewpoint (i.e., students, supervisors), research viewpoint (supervisors), and industry viewpoint (customer). The experiences summarized in this article could serve as motivation and valuable information for other universities and industry companies intending to plan and organize collaborative projects of this kind.