Senior Project - Syllabus

CI 491, 492, 493 - Senior Project I, II, III
College of Computing and Informatics Drexel University

Class Instructor Materials
Course Number CI 491, 492, 493 Name Jeff Salvage, Filippos Vokolos, & Rosina Weber Required Text None
Term and Format CI 491: Fall, CI 492: Winter, CI 493: Spring Voice TBD Recommended Texts Roger S. Pressman, Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach, Seventh Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Format 3-0-3 (3 hours of class time; no lab; 3 credits) Email TBD
Class Time TBD Office Hours TBD
Class Location TBD Office Location TBD
Mailbox TBD

Course Overview

NOTE: Because CI 491, 492, 493 form a three term sequence, they share this common syllabus. This is intended to make the entire sequence clear from the beginning.

Catalog Course Description

Part of a multi-term capstone experience involving in-depth study and application of computing and informatics. Students work in teams to develop a significant product. Requires use of a development process that includes planning, specification, design, implementation, evaluation, and documentation. This course is writing intensive.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisite for CI 491: CS 451 or INFO 324 or INFO 420
Pre-requisite for CI 492: CI 491
Pre-requisite for CI 493: CI 492

Course Purpose

Curriculum Role - This is a required three course sequence for all CCI undergraduate majors. It is taken during senior year in three consecutive terms.

Rationale - Most computing and informatics projects are team efforts and so all CCI students need to develop team skills. This course provides a focused team experience spanning project phases and using mainstream industry processes and artifacts. The course helps students integrate material from other courses, and work on skills related to team and project work. The project may address any aspect of computing and informatics. Completed projects become submissions to the CCI senior project competition.

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course sequence, a student will be able to:

  • Contribute as a member of a product development team
  • Apply analysis, design, review and testing methods including consideration of standards
  • Produce written project artifacts reflecting good professional practice
  • Implement a product prototype by constructing software or applying other techniques appropriate to the project
  • Perform team tasks using appropriate tools for configuration control, communication, tracking, documentation, product packaging, and presentation

Course Operation

The CCI Senior Project courses are designed to cover a wide range of projects, and the process and resulting deliverables may vary from section to section and team to team based on the particular project, the students’ interests, and the team’s choice of an appropriate process for their project. However, while teams may use a variety of processes, there are certain basic characteristics common to all projects. These include the following:

Oversight – All aspects of projects are subject to approval by the course instructor. This includes team formation, project selection, development process, planned deliverables, and schedule. Projects and individual contributions may be evaluated by an instructor, a technical advisor, or an external sponsor as best fits the project. The instructor has final responsibility for determining the course grade. Input from advisors or sponsors will influence the grade as deemed appropriate by the instructor.

Schedule and Process – The tables that follow provide the general schedule for the three course terms. Note that this schedule is tentative and you must be alert for schedule updates made for your particular course section.

The “Class Activity” column provides the schedule for full class meetings. The weeks with a topic listed will be in-class activities or lectures on that topic. “Workshop” weeks will vary as needed but may include team status reporting, tutorial sessions, review activities, student presentations, etc.

The “Deliverable” column provides the default schedule for major deliverables for all teams. This column assumes an iterative development process using a lightweight plan and document approach. It is not an agile process. This choice for the default process is based on instructor experience with prior senior project teams. It does not imply a preference for one process over another, but simply a conclusion about what process is most often the best fit to senior project work.

Teams may adopt an agile process (or other process) with prior approval from the instructor. Key issues a team must consider for an agile process include:

  • Time team members will spend on the project each week
  • Ability of team members to be physically co-located while working
  • Availability of the stakeholder to work regularly alongside the team
  • Clear deliverables the team can produce for evaluation of their work

For most teams, the items named above make use of a true agile process difficult.

CI 491 - Senior Project I

Week Class Activity Deliverable
1 Process and project overview
Project start-up
2 Specifying requirements
3 Specifying designs Plan
4 Workshop
5 Specifying tests and reviews
6 Workshop
Sample SRS
SRS Review
7 Development Environment
8 Workshop
Sample DD
9 Workshop Project Website
10 Workshop Prototype
11 Workshop (Thanksgiving)
12 Term Presentations Presentation

Please refer to the PDF or Excel version of the Rubric.

CI 492 - Senior Project II

Week Class Activity Deliverable
1 Term overview; team status Plan
2 Workshop
3 Product reviews Requirements
4 Workshop
5 Workshop
Sample Test Plan
Review and test
6 Workshop Design
7 Workshop
8 Presentation preparation Implementation
9 Workshop Plan
10 Workshop
11 Term Presentations Presentation

Please refer to the PDF or Excel version of the Rubric.

CI 493 - Senior Project III

Week Class Activity Deliverable
1 Term overview; team status
2 Workshop Requirements
3 Workshop Review and test
4 Workshop Design
5 Workshop
6 Product packaging preparation
7 Workshop Implementation
8 Term Presentation Presentation

Please refer to the PDF or Excel version of the Rubric.

9 CCI Competition


Details about expectations, content, and format for each deliverable artifact will be defined for each course section. With prior instructor approval, a team may choose to use an alternative artifact if appropriate to their project.

The artifact most likely to vary by team is the Implementation. Depending on the project, the implementation may include code, documentation, data, analytic processes, visualizations, etc. Teams should discuss with the instructor what they will deliver for their implementation.

Other Deliverables – The schedules above only identify the major product artifacts. Teams will typically be required to provide other deliverables that may include individual or team status reports, peer evaluations, product reviews, etc.


A student’s grade for the course will be based on a team grade (50%) and an individual grade (50%)

Team Grade - The table below shows typical relative percentage weight of the default components of the team grade. These will be adjusted for teams with different deliverables, but in general, in the first term more weight will be given to phases related to defining the requirements and creating initial designs. In later terms, more weight will be given to design, review, implementation, and presentation.

Item CI 491 CI 492 CI 493
Plan 10 10 5
Requirements and Test 40 25 10
Design 30 30 25
Implementation 10 25 45
Presentation and Final Report 10 10 15
100 100 100

Individual Grade - The individual grade reflects course participation and contribution to the team project. Sources of evaluation may include project artifacts, individual status reports, instructor observation, and peer evaluations. Some of the factors that will affect your individual grade are:

  • Quality and quantity of contribution to the team product.
  • Leadership and facilitation of team work, including team administrative tasks.
  • Making team issues visible to the instructor and working constructively to address them as soon as they arise.
  • Insight and openness in assessing your own work and that of team members.
  • Attending and participating in class meetings and team meetings.

Grade Scale - The following scale will be used to convert the point scale to letter grades:

Points Grade Points Grade Points Grade
97-100 A+ 83-86 B 70-72 C-
93-96 A 80-82 B- 65-69 D+
90-92 A- 77-79 C+ 60-64 D
87-89 B+ 73-76 C 0-59 F

Course Policies and Notes

Syllabus – This syllabus provides the expected plan for the course. The instructor may make changes to the syllabus to meet course or project needs. These changes will be communicated to the class or affected project team with reasonable time for them to adjust for the change.

Writing Intensive Courses - These three courses are writing intensive which means that you are engaging in the process of writing and revising. The writing center is available to support you

Electronic devices - Please turn off all cell phones and any electronic device that makes any sound prior to the start of any course meetings that are face-to-face or online with two-way audio. You may use laptops or other devices for note taking. All electronic devices must be turned off and put away during any closed book quizzes, tests, or exams.

Student Work – Retention, Use, and Open Source Contributions - The instructor may keep student work for use in future classes (either as examples or as the basis for future projects). In some classes, student work may also be published on the Internet and available for browsing and use by students, faculty, and others beyond the University. If there is some reason why your work should not be shared in these ways, please discuss this with the instructor.

Recording - Lectures and class discussions may be recorded and/or streamed and rebroadcast for educational purposes only.

Research Advice - Individualized advising on research and APA citing practice for your papers is available from the CCI Librarian at

Project and Team Formation- Standard teams can be made up of 5 to 6 CCI students from the same section of Senior Project. Teams should be diverse; therefore it is strongly encouraged that teams are formed with students form multiple degree programs. Students are expected to either select a pre-approved project or come up with their own idea. However, if student come up with their own concept the project must be approved by their instructor. They must also find an external stakeholder. Senior Project is meant to teach good software engineering principles and part of that process is learning to deal with a stakeholder.

Multidisciplinary projects are strongly encouraged. There are no rules related to the composition of a team for teams with students completely from CCI. Any mix of majors is acceptable. Collaborating with Digital Media groups in the past has led to very interesting projects. Given the structure of Digital Media projects and CCI group in most cases will operate as two disjoint but collaborative teams. Both teams must have a minimum of 5 members. The Digital Media groups will be graded by Digital Media faculty and the CCI team will graded by CCI faculty. The CCI faculty will look to the Digital Faculty for guidance in terms of scope.

Multidisciplinary projects with other colleges within the university are also encouraged. These projects are approved on a case by case basis. Two options exist. The CCI student joins another college's Senior Project/Design and the CCI student follows the project schedule for that college. Their grade is determined primarily by the other college's professor and procedures. The student will still register for the CCI senior project courses and will a) meet periodically with the CCI instructor to discuss their contribution to the project, b) submit their work products to the CCI instructor for review. Ideally, more than one CCI student would join the team. The second option is to create a collaborative, but disjoint team from the team outside of CCI. The team would work closely with the other team, but follow the guidelines of a traditional CCI team.

University Policies

Academic Honesty and Integrity: Plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. The university policies are available at:

Accommodation of Special Needs - Students with disabilities requesting accommodations and services at Drexel University need to present a current accommodation verification letter (AVL) to faculty before accommodations can be made. AVL's are issued by the Office of Disability Services (ODS). For additional information, contact ODS at 3201 Arch St., Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215.895.1401 (V), or 215.895.2299 (TTY).

Students requiring any accommodation are strongly encouraged to discuss this situation with the instructor during the first week of the term.

Course Drop: The University policy is available at:

Grade of Incomplete - Incomplete grades are contingent upon instructor approval and will only be considered in extenuating circumstances beyond a student’s control. The instructor is under no obligation to offer an incomplete grade. At least 80% of the graded coursework must have already been completed in order for an incomplete grade to be considered. An incomplete contract with due date for delivery of the completed work should be completed by the student and the instructor. The form can be found here:

Intellectual Property: In general, the Drexel policy assigns ownership of IP from senior projects to the students unless there is a contract or other material support such as research funding involved. If you have questions, the Drexel tech transfer office will discuss your situation with you.