'Pan-Mentoring' as an Effective Element of Capstone Design Courses

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Because of the ambiguous nature of the capstone design course between the perfect setting for problem-based learning (PBL) and the unique challenges of the design process and its outcome, the third component of the PBL triad 'problem/student/teacher' gains additional importance, i.e. the teacher. This paper explores the role of the teacher in a capstone design course as a 'pan-mentor'. 'Pan-mentoring' is defined here as establishing a close relationship with teams of students during the capstone design project, in order to foster the students' learning and to ensure a satisfying project outcome. Thus, 'pan-mentoring' addresses challenges of capstone design (the chasm between theory and practice, vagueness and open-endedness, and performance anxiety) by drawing on the advantages of PBL (such as, self-regulated learning, enhanced critical thinking, and Increased creativity).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003


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