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ISECON 2011 A Decade Review of a Masters-Level Real-World-Projects Capstone Course Charles Tappert and Allen Stix Pace University, New York.

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Presentation on theme: "ISECON 2011 A Decade Review of a Masters-Level Real-World-Projects Capstone Course Charles Tappert and Allen Stix Pace University, New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 ISECON 2011 A Decade Review of a Masters-Level Real-World-Projects Capstone Course Charles Tappert and Allen Stix Pace University, New York

2 ISECON 2011 Real-World Student Projects Conducted in capstone courses for 10 years Student teams build real-world computer information systems for actual customers Project systems serve the community internal university community at Pace greater university community external non-profit local community

3 ISECON 2011 Real-World Student Projects (cont) Real-world projects are a stellar learning experience for students Win-win situation for all Students Customers Instructors and other involved faculty School of CSIS University

4 ISECON 2011 Migrate to Online Format Migrated from traditional face-to-face format to online format in Fall 2006 To be progressive Technology for online courses adequate Online preferred by employed students – no scheduling conflicts & no commuting To expand the population of students beyond the greater NYC area

5 ISECON 2011 Challenges of Online Format Uncertainties of how traditional course methods port to the online environment and what new methods might be required Teams lacking co-presence require higher level of organizational and process skills No weekly classroom meetings as safety net for teams’ interaction and functioning

6 ISECON 2011 Team Projects – Categories

7 ISECON 2011 Team Projects – Sources

8 ISECON 2011 Team Projects – Publication Types

9 ISECON 2011 Team Projects – Examples Course website “Projects” page Spring 2011

10 ISECON 2011 Team Website Project title and description Project members and customers All deliverables posted Weekly status reports Midterm & final presentation slides User manual Technical paper

11 ISECON 2011 Team Project – Example Website

12 Team Projects – Example Systems Handwriting Forgery Quiz System Rare Coin Grading System Keystroke Biometric Experimental System

13 Biometric Authentication A robot identifies a suspect, from the movie “Minority Report.”

14 Man Wo man Train Test Train Test Left Right Iris Authentication: Data

15 Iris Authentication: Image Processing

16 Fingerprint Verification

17 Each person has a unique face? Face Recognition

18 ? Query Face DB Face Recognition: System

19 Inspirational Portrait of Individuality

20 Face Recognition: National Security

21 Speaker Individuality: “My name is …”

22 “My name is” from Two Different Speakers Speaker Individuality

23 “My name is” divided into seven sound units. Speaker Individuality

24 biomouse Fingerprint scanner Digital Camera LCD Pen tablet Microphone Multi-modality Biometric Authentication Embeded & Hybrid User Verification system System that requires user verification

25 ISECON 2011 Issues/Solutions Stemming from Scattered Teams Project stakeholder communication Issue – communication gets difficult For example, scattered team members more likely to feel isolated and want to communicate directly with instructor or customer Solution Communication between team and instructor/customer must be through team leader distribution lists for whole class and for each team Project team leaders must be local to facilitate communication/meetings with instructor and customers Course website provides central source of course information Blackboard discussion forum for each project (see below)

26 ISECON 2011 Issues/Solutions Stemming from Scattered Teams (cont) How to handle quizzes, deliverables, etc. Issue – classroom meetings not available Solution – use Blackboard educational software Quizzes Collecting digital deliverables Discussion forums Forum for archiving instructor Forum for student introductions Forum for textbook and other course material Forum for each team project

27 ISECON 2011 Issues/Solutions Stemming from Scattered Teams (cont) Provide some face-to-face interaction Issue – no weekly classroom meetings Solution – three classroom meetings for local students/customers 1. Near beginning of course 1. Face-to-face introductions, nature of course, specifics of course, student team project meetings 2. Midterm 1. Project status presentations 3. End of semester 1. Final project presentations

28 ISECON 2011 Current Assessment of Online Students Individual quizzes (20%) Blackboard educational software system Team initial assignment (10%) Students learn to function as a team Team project midterm checkpoint (20%) Team project final checkpoint (20%) Team technical paper (30%) Strong emphasis on projects No midterm/final exams (used in two-semester course)

29 ISECON 2011 Team Member Self and Peer Evaluations Issue – lack of classroom meetings makes it difficult to determine individual team members’ contribution to the project work Peer evaluations critical for distributed teams Some minimal team member/customer contact Some minimal team member/instructor contact Literature indicates Various granularity levels in peer evaluations Some automated systems reported

30 ISECON 2011 Team Member Self and Peer Evaluations Three times during the semester After initial assignment to learn the process At the midterm checkpoint At the final end-of-semester checkpoint Process for a graded team event First assign a team grade Adjust individual grades up/down based on self/peer, customer, and instructor evaluations

31 ISECON 2011 Example Team Peer Evaluation and Grade Chart (4 member team) Team Member Eval 1Eval 2Eval 3Eval 4SummaryGrade 1+= ==–– – – –79 3–=+––83 4==–+=85 Average=====85 +/- 2% for each summary +/- sign, showing only peer evaluations.

32 ISECON 2011 Pedagogical Course Evaluations Issue – lack of classroom meetings makes it difficult for instructor to determine relative value of the course methodologies Solution – semester-end survey (Survey Monkey) Procedures/methods that worked well, or did not work well, and why

33 ISECON 2011 Pedagogical Customer Evaluations Issue – instructor is often not aware of the quality of team-customers interactions Solution – semester-end survey Obtain student feedback on customer interaction Were customer requirements clear? Was amount of contact/interaction adequate? Was help on the project work appropriate?

34 ISECON 2011 Case Study - Agile Methodology Extreme Programming (XP) First rigorous test of XP method Instructor posted deliverables on that project’s page on the course website Deliverables intended as ~2-week duration Results Instructor overestimated ability of team Often had to provide pseudo code However, first deliverable caused team frustration Re-running experiment of previous team Not possible because not documented properly

35 ISECON 2011 Conclusions  Over five year’s experience in face-to- face mode  Over five year’s experience in online mode  Techniques for managing and assessing distributed teams have been successful and they continue to evolve


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