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Success Factors of a Project-Based Capstone Course

By: Cindy Zhiling Tu   Joni Adkins  

This study attempts to find out the main success factors of information systems (IS) graduate capstone course. A capstone course is placed at the end of the curriculum and allows students to assess and share their achievement of the program’s outcomes. Capstone courses review program goals, lead students through a structured reflection to become self-directed learners and communicate students’ academic accomplishment to professional peers. A graduate capstone course can provide proof of the educational effectiveness of a program. Capstone courses have been used in academic degree programs in different kinds of schools such as business, engineering, information technology, health care, and education. How to measure the outcomes of a capstone course is important to the course success. In this study, we will try to figure out the success factors of a project-based IS capstone course from 3 different perspectives: student satisfaction, client satisfaction, and instructor effectiveness. In each perspective, various factors will be examined: (1) Student Satisfaction, including course instruction, client involvement, team work, project management, and self-learning; (2) Client Satisfaction, including commitment and feedback, and product evaluation; (3) Instructor Effectiveness, including course organization, team management, and outcome measurement. By identifying these success factors, this study can provide helpful suggestions to improve the quality of the capstone course.

Success Factor, Capstone Course, Student Satisfaction, Client Satisfaction, Instructor Effectiveness
Ubiquitous Learning
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session



Cindy Zhiling Tu

Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Northwest Missouri State University


Dr. Cindy Zhiling Tu is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Northwest Missouri State University. She has published several research papers in professional conference proceedings and in journals such as Information & Management, Information & Computer Security, Information Systems Education Journal, the International Journal of Mobile Communications, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, and Journal of the Midwest Association for Information Systems. Her research interests are in the areas of information systems security and privacy, mobile commerce, technology acceptance and usage, and information systems.



Joni Adkins

Associate Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems, Northwest Missouri State Univeristy


Dr. Joni Adkins earned her B.S. in Secondary Business Education and MBA in Management Information Systems at Northwest Missouri State Univeristy and her DBA in Management at Anderson University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Northwest Missouri State University. Her research interests are in information systems education, bring your own device practices, and the use of spreadsheets in decision making. She currently serves as president of Delta Mu Delta, the business administration honoro society.