Capstone presentations — the culmination of four years’ education in a project that demonstrates the breadth of hard-earned knowledge — are always nerve-wracking. Getting the display right, the demonstration without a hitch and the tie in a perfect Windsor knot all strain student nerves.
Now try doing it from 2,000 miles away.
Arizona State University’s undergraduate degree in electrical engineering is the first accredited program that is completely web-based. The first cohort of online students gave their capstone presentations Friday, along with all the other seniors.
The onliners (as they’re calling themselves) were easy to spot in the crowded room. Nobody stood around their display tables. Seventy-inch screens presented their projects. Team members interacted with visitors via videochat on laptops.
While hearing them over the hubbub in the room was difficult, their audio and video feeds worked well. (Next year, the onliners will be in a separate room.)