Frequently Asked Questions


If your questions are not answered below, please please don't hesitate to contact us

Questions


  1. What is the difference between a co-op student and Capstone student?
  2. How can I get involved as a Capstone Client?
  3. What experience do I need to be a Capstone project client?
  4. What will a Capstone project cost my organization in time and money?
  5. What kind of detail should I provide in a project proposal?
  6. What kind of projects has been done in the Past?
  7. What can I do to increase student interest in my project?
  8. How much hands on would you like from the clients related to "managing" the project?
  9. What is the step by step process to select a Capstone Team?
  10. What are the phases and commitments for a Capstone project client?
  11. What are the mandatory timelines that affect the student teams? In other words, what constraints do I need to be aware of while I'm reviewing the team’s proposals and the projects scope?

 

Answers

What is the difference between a co-op student and Capstone student?


Co-op is a viable option to get a lot done for an employer and a great learning experience for a qualified student. In co-op you are employing a person or persons for a fixed length of time and paying them as an employee. Students should be assigned work tasks that relate to their learning and allow them to develop experience.

Capstone is a series of Camosun college courses. The student is paying for the course and has the support and guidance of Camosun faculty. We partner student teams with industry clients and allow students the experience of developing an IT project for the client. Students are not employees. They are not paid by the client; they will spend their time in activities that meet the requirements of the three courses in the process. If well organized the course, student and client requirements all dovetail nicely into a successful project and symposium.

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How can I get involved as a Capstone Client?


We accept project proposals from any business, individual, government agency or “not for profit” organization.

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What experience do I need to be a Capstone project client?


Capstone is an opportunity for students to experience "real life" project management and IT development. Some clients have zero IT experience and zero project management experience, others have some or a lot of both. We like to encourage students to approach this as if they were a consulting company doing an IT project. The background and experience of the client must be taken into account when developing a solution.

The most important aspect is communications. Clients need to be as clear as possible on expected and desired outcomes. Students are expected to identify client needs, prioritize deliverables and manage the project. They will need to access any experience to be offered by the client and the faculty in order to succeed. We want them to take as much of the responsibility for the success of the project as possible. The instructor and other faculty will be providing feedback and suggestions as should the client as the project progresses.

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What will a Capstone project cost my organization in time and money?


There is no charge to submit a project proposal.

If your project is selected and you agree to work with a student team, there is a Symposium Contribution fee of $300.00 that is used by the students to support the Capstone Symposium event held at the end of each Capstone. Your organization will be invoiced by Camosun College.

During the 22 weeks of the Winter Capstone, we typically ask the client to provide (on average) about an hour per week to the team.

Obviously this number will vary at critical points during the project and your organization may choose to offer more time and support to facilitate the project goals.

All work space, hardware and software required for the development of the project will be supplied by Camosun College. Clients are responsible for any hardware or software costs required once the system is implemented and run by the organization. Licensing, non-disclosure and privacy issues should be discussed and agreed upon early in the project.

Some clients choose to provide work space and or access to hardware /software at their place of business. This is not a requirement.

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What kind of detail should I provide in a project proposal?


A project proposal can be a very simple and short document. We need no more than a general project idea. A lot of the details should be developed by the client and team if the project gets that far. We will make sure we solicit a range of options and from all the proposals we always select slightly more project proposals than we have student teams so that our students have a variety of choices.

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What kind of projects have been done in the Past?


You can review past project by going to the symposium web sites. When there is no active Symposium, you can review past projects here  http://capstone.camosun.bc.ca/

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What can I do to increase student interest in my project?


Students select projects for various reasons. Some are interested in learning a new technology. Some are intrigued by your organization. Some are looking for a client with a history in managing IT projects to get some guidance, while others prefer working for a non-IT organization and the freedom that might create to “do it all”. Some projects are selected because an organization is one that the students might want to be employed by later after graduation.

The best approach is to give a good description of what you want to accomplish. Why do you need this done? Why would it be interesting or challenging to a student team? Are there any specific software approaches or philosophies in your organization or are you open to suggestion based on some research? Do you lean towards a Microsoft approach, are you more inclined to look at open source? Do you have some IT resources available to the team or are you a non-technical shop looking for a simple and dependable solution to a business problem.

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How much hands on would you like from the clients related to "managing" the project?


Project teams are working like “IT consultants” You should see your organization as the client or customer. Most students have little or no experience running a project or dealing with clients. That is one of the main learning outcomes from this series of courses. Clients should clearly communicate needs, desires, and objectives. Clients are expected to provide feedback. Students should be responsible for probing questions, documenting project benefits, doing system analysis on current and or proposed solutions and creating a formal “systems requirement specification (SRS) document before doing any development or implementation. As a client, you are responsible meet with students, answer relevant questions, and review written documentation to ensure you understand and accept what student’s are proposing as a solution before they start actually building it. Once development starts the client should be reviewing, progress reports, prototypes, beta versions and documentation as it is being developed.

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What is the step by step process in selecting a Capstone team?


During the fall, the students will form teams and then we will invite the clients to come to the campus for a meeting to discuss your project with the students. Think of it like a speed dating episode. At the end of the meeting, hopefully, the clients will know which team(s) they would like to work with and vise versa. In the following days, the instructor of the course will inform the client and team of their project match.


What are the phases and commitments for a Capstone project client?


Pre-project term submit project proposal, if project selected, client interviews interested teams and select team to work with.

ICS 298 Analysis and Design
Client and team meet as needed. Answer analysis questions, review and approve/reject documentation provided by team at each phase of system development. Clients typically spend an hour per week with their team.

ICS 299 Implementation
Client and team meet as needed. Regular review as project is implemented. Review and approve agreed upon project deliverables as they are completed. Clients typically spend one to two hours per week

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What are the mandatory timelines that affect the student teams?
In other words, what constraints do I need to be aware of while I'm reviewing the team’s proposals and the project’s scope?



Fall term - Sept start, 5% student workload
Students communicate with instructor, form teams, evaluate approved proposals when they get posted and select a project to work on and write a Project Charter. Students have the option of soliciting their own project client rather than waiting to select from list created by the department.
Clients submit project proposal, if accepted - come to campus for a meeting with all the teams and select their top preferred teams.
Instructor, solicits projects, works with department committee to make sure projects are appropriate, facilitates student team formation, organize campus meeting and finalizes team/client match up.

ICS 298 - January start, 20% workload
Jan – April 14 weeks  Student 20%, Client 1 hour per week
The student team and project client meet over the term to do requirement gathering. This would include scope, expectations, timelines, access/resources, communication plans and risk plans can be outlined and signed off.. The final written report for ICS 298 will be the Requirements Specifications (RS). Clients are welcome to add or modify reporting requirements.
* The course instructor may require teams to complete some of these sections even though the ministry does not.

ICS 299 - May start, 90% student workload
The team will meet with you weekly (more often as needed) to discuss all these project issues and will be delivering written reports outlining all these aspects. 
ICS 299 is the implementation, documentation, and delivery phase of the project, as well,organize the Capstone Symposium.


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