Need some help ASAP | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Need some help ASAP

I'm in the process of re-designing a culminating project for our EE masters degree. We want students to have the option of doing project-based work that serves as a synthesis of their knowledge and provides them a professional "product." Our students come from a diversity of backgrounds and have a variety of professional goals and needs, so I'm not looking to (necessarily) identify potential projects. Instead I'm trying to get my head around how we could assess final projects. I need help with the following, and if you have any resources you could share I'd be grateful:
1. what are the major outcomes that a culminating project should achieve?
2. Are there rubrics or other assessment tools that you'd suggest I look at for evaluating project-based work?
3. What parameters should I put around the projects that people can do??
4. How can I ensure that the project is rigorous enough to be "equal to " a master's thesis?

I'm struggling and would welcome any suggestions. THANK YOU!

Hi Patty, when I was getting my Masters in EE at Goshen College, we completed a project that sounds like the same thing you are planning, though ours was based on a year-long research project. I'll share what I recall!
1. We completed two drafts of a literature review, two drafts of our (non)thesis paper, and two curricula for two audiences which were informed by our research findings.
2. I think the written pieces were pretty much pass/fail, and feedback and guidance were given by a faculty mentor. When we did the final presentation of our whole project and curricula, we were graded by the faculty in attendance, as well as by our peers.
3. It is helpful to find some projects before your cohort arrives so that they aren't starting from scratch. Another option is to develop a "legacy project" in which a different student each year continues work on a project that builds on the work of previous students. Some freedom of choice is essential, too, in terms of getting students to engage more fully. Set clear deadlines for when different pieces of the project are due!
4. All of our paper drafts were reviewed by faculty, and verbal feedback was given by the same faculty mentor throughout the year. Like a thesis defense, immediately after we had given our final presentation, we had a private conversation with a group of faculty during which more challenging questions were asked.

Hope that helps :)