ARE MULTIDISCIPLINARY DESIGN CAPSTONE'S STUDENTS MORE INNOVATIVE THAN MONODISCIPLINARY ONES?
AbstractEducating Innovative minds is one of the main objectives of educational institutions. In curricula, capstone design courses provide the biggest opportunity for students to be innovative and creative. To prepare students for the multidisciplinary workplace, many institutions have initiated multidisciplinary capstones besides their departmental capstones. This paper explores innovation in multidisciplinary and mechanical engineering capstone design courses. Comparing multidisciplinary and monodisciplinary capstones with regard to the students’ innovation will inform educational institutions about the best practices to prepare an environment for innovation to flourish. In this study, we define innovation as the ability to come up with creative ideas and being able to implement them. Our quantitative study measures innovation from rubrics that was assessed by supervisors and clients during the course of the projects. We also assessed innovation based on the students’ self-report. So innovation was measured from both external (supervisors) and internal (students) perspectives. Our results show that functional diversity of multidisciplinary capstones affects students' ability to be innovative.