Tag Archives: examples


Fitness Tracking Application (17,569 characters)

One very popular type of capstone project is developing a mobile fitness tracking application. This student created a comprehensive fitness tracking app that could track steps, distance, calories burned, activity duration and intensity, etc. It allowed users to set daily step and activity goals. It also had a food logging feature where users could scan barcodes or search for foods to log meals and track calories/macros.

An interesting aspect was that it incorporated activity recommendations based on a user’s personal details like age, weight, gender, fitness level, goals, etc. It provided customized workout routines and challenges. All the data was stored locally on the user’s device as well as in a cloud database so they could access their data from any device. Achievements and badges were implemented to encourage continued use.

The interface was well designed with an elegant color scheme. Onboarding/tutorial screens introduced users to all the features. The statistics and progress pages visualized historic activity and eating data through charts and graphs. Notifications and reminders helped users stay on track to reach their goals.

This was a great capstone because it addressed a real need and implemented many useful features in a polished, user-friendly manner. The student demonstrated skills in areas like database management, backend API integration, data visualization, and behavior change techniques. They conducted user research and usability testing to refine the design based on feedback. The project shows potential for real-world impact and commercialization.

Language Learning Application (18,102 characters)

Another compelling capstone was a language learning mobile application. The student developed this as a vocabulary builder geared towards learning Spanish vocabulary. The core features included:

A database with over 1000 commonly used Spanish words and their English translations.

Different interactive study modes like flashcards, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and drag-and-drop to make learning engaging.

Spaced repetition and adaptive algorithms to prioritize recently struggled with and infrequently seen words.

Lessons organized by topic (food, family, travel etc.) so users could focus on vocab relevant to their interests.

Audio pronunciation for each word recorded by a native Spanish speaker using Text-to-Speech.

Example sentences to provide context around word meanings.

Customizable decks, ability to add custom words, and sync progress across devices via cloud backend.

Gamified elements like points, leveling up, and achievement milestones to stay motivated.

This project was very effective at implementing evidence-based learning techniques. Usability testing showed the different activities were entertaining while still facilitating vocabulary retention. The organized database structure, offline capabilities and syncing made this realistic for sustained real-world use. It addressed an genuine educational need and has potential to be published in app stores. Overall an excellent demonstration of skills across design, development and language pedagogy.

Mindfulness Meditation App (18,443 characters)

Developing mindfulness and meditation apps has been trending in recent capstone projects. This particular student created a high-quality mindfulness meditation mobile application for both iOS and Android platforms.

The app offered a variety of mindfulness techniques including body scan meditations, breathing exercises, and guided nature visualizations. Each meditation session was also accompanied by calming ambient music composed specifically for the app. Users could choose sessions by duration or method. Progress was tracked over time through a journaling feature.

Advanced features included location-based reminders to meditate, customizable notification schedules, a wind-down bedtime mode with sleep meditations and relaxation techniques. The interface had a clean and aesthetically pleasing minimalist design suited for focus and calm. Onboarding flows smoothly introduced all functionality.

Usability testing demonstrated how useful and easy to use the app was for beginners yet appealing to experienced meditators as well. While meant for personal wellbeing, the option for private or public sharing of journal entries offered community benefits too. Monetization plans involved paid premium subscriptions and in-app purchases of additional content over time.

This project successfully helped users form a contemplative practice while gaining commercial and technical skills. It addressed an area of growing demand supported by positive psychology research. The student showed mastery of mobile development, user experience principles and applying technology purposefully for self-care – making it exemplary capstone work overall.

While there are many possible paths for capstone projects, these three examples demonstrate how mobile applications can successfully address important real-world needs and build highly functional products. When coupled with thorough planning and development best practices, mobile apps offer an engaging way for students to gain practical skills and create work with genuine purpose and impact. Their comprehensive implementation of features, focus on usability and attention to user goals are what set these apart as outstanding capstone works.


Telehealth is increasingly becoming an integral part of post-acute care in various settings such as skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care hospitals, and in the home health and hospice care settings. As healthcare moves more towards value-based models that focus on quality outcomes and keeping patients healthy at home whenever possible, telehealth provides opportunities to enhance care coordination, improve access to specialty providers, and reduce readmissions from post-acute care settings back to hospitals. Some of the key ways telehealth is being used in post-acute care include:

Remote Patient Monitoring: Many post-acute care patients, especially those with chronic conditions, can benefit from ongoing remote monitoring of vital signs and symptoms at home. Conditions like congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and wound care are well-suited for remote monitoring. Devices can track things like blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, weight, and glucose levels and transmit the data via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the patient’s clinicians for review. This allows earlier detection of potential issues before they worsen and require a readmission. It also empowers patients to better self-manage their conditions at home with oversight from their care team.

Video Conferencing Visits: Secure video conferencing provides a way for clinicians to remotely “visit” with their post-acute patients to assess their conditions, answer questions and ensure treatment plans are on track for recovery and health maintenance. This is useful for providers to conduct virtual follow-up visits for things like wound care, medication management and therapy progress without requiring an in-person trip back to the facility or specialists’ offices. Therapy telehealth visits allow physical, occupational and speech therapists to remotely guide patients through exercises and provide training.

Specialty Consultations: Accessing specialty provider expertise can sometimes be challenging for post-acute facilities located in rural areas. Telehealth enables on-demand access to cardiologists, dermatologists, neurologists and others to evaluate patients as needed. Specialists can remotely examine patients, diagnose issues, adjust treatment plans and recommend additional testing or interventions to the bedside clinicians. This reduces transfers to hospitals or delays in advanced care. Tele-stroke programs similarly allow rapid neurology evaluations for acute stroke patients in remote facilities.

Discharge Planning & Care Transitions: Care coordinators use video visits to remotely prepare patients and families for discharge to lower levels of care or home. This could involve medication teaching, home safety evaluations, therapy scheduling and answering questions. Post-discharge remote follow ups via telehealth then allow earlier identification of any difficulties and opportunities for intervention to prevent readmissions. Virtual hospital rounding programs also utilize telehealth to better coordinate care as patients transition between acute and post-acute levels of care.

Staff Support & Education: Telehealth provides opportunities for off-site specialists, supervisors and educators to remotely support staff in post-acute facilities. Examples include consultations on complex patients, supervision and feedback on therapy techniques or wound care practices, teaching sessions on new policies/procedures and virtual observation of patient interactions to ensure quality and regulatory compliance. This enhances skills and knowledge while reducing travel time away from patient care duties.

Facility Usage Examples: Some real world examples of telehealth integration in post-acute care include:

A 200-bed skilled nursing facility in New York developed a comprehensive remote patient monitoring program utilizing Bluetooth-enabled devices. It reduced 30-day readmissions by 23% and led to earlier interventions for potential issues.

An inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Texas conducted over 7,500 video therapy and specialty telehealth visits in 2020, allowing continued treatment during the pandemic’s visiting restrictions while avoiding unnecessary transfers.

A home health agency partnered with a major hospital system to launch virtual hospital-at-home programs using remote patient monitoring. Initial data showed readmissions were 57% lower than similar in-patients.

A long-term acute care hospital collaborated with neurologists at a large medical center to run a tele-stroke program. Over 90% of patients received a same-day remote neurology evaluation and management plan compared to average 2 day wait previously.

As policymakers and payers increasingly recognize telehealth’s benefits, its role in post-acute care coordination and disease management will likely expand further in the coming years. Outcomes data thus far indicates telehealth technology can reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality of care and patient/family satisfaction during recovery and transition periods. With clinicians facing workforce shortages as well, telehealth ensures geography is not a barrier to accessing specialists and continued recovery support.


The goal of the project was to develop and test a conversational agent to have polite, harmless and honest dialogs with users. Researchers aimed to have the chatbot avoid potential harms like offensive, toxic, dangerous or generally unwanted behaviors.

To ensure this, they applied a framework based on Constitutional AI principles. Constitutional AI is an approach for aligning advanced AI systems with human values by building systems that are by design respectful, beneficial and transparent. It works by having systems accept restrictions formulated as constitutional rules that are designed and verified by experts to prevent potential harms.

For the chatbot project, researchers worked with ethics reviewers to formulate a “Chatbot Bill of Rights” consisting of over 30 simple rules to restrict what the system could say or do. Some examples of rules included:

The chatbot will not provide any information to harm or endanger users.

It will not make untrue, deceptive or misleading statements.

It will be respectful and avoid statements that target or criticize individuals or groups based on attributes like gender, race, religion etc.

It will avoid topics and conversations that could promote hate, violence, criminal plans/activities or self-harm.

These rules were formalized using a constitutional specification language designed for AI safety. The language allows defining simple rules using concepts like permissions, prohibitions and obligations. It also supports logical expressions to combine rules.

For instance, one rule defined as:

PROHIBIT the system from making statements that target or criticize individuals or groups based on attributes like gender, race, religion etc.

EXCEPTION IF the statement is respectfully criticizing a public figure or entity and is supported by objective facts.

This allowed carving exceptions for cases like respectful political or social commentary, while restricting harmful generalization or attacks on attributes.

Researchers then implemented the constitutional specifications by integrating them into the chatbot’s training process and architecture. This was done using a technique called Constitutional AI Insertion. It works by inserting the specifications as additional restrictive objectives during model training alongside the primary objective of modeling human language.

Specifically, they:

Encoded the chatbot’s dialogue capabilities and restrictions using a generative pre-trained language model fine-tuned for dialogue.

Represented the constitutional rules using a specialized rule embedding model that learns vector representations of rules.

Jointly trained the language and rule models with multi-task learning – The language model was optimized for its primary task of modeling dialogue AS WELL AS a secondary task of satisfying the embedded constitutional rule representations.

Built constraints directly into the model architecture by filtering the language model’s responses at inference time using the trained rule representations before final output.

This helped ensure the chatbot was incentivized during both training and inference to respect the specified boundaries, avoid harmful behaviors and align with its purpose of polite, harmless dialogs.

To test the effectiveness of this approach, researchers conducted a pilot interaction study with the chatbot. They introduced real users to converse with the system and analyzed the dialogues to evaluate if it:

Adhered to the specified constitutional restrictions and avoided harmful, unethical or misleading responses.

Maintained polite, socially acceptable interactions and conversations overall.

Demonstrated an ability to learn from new contexts without violating its value alignment.

Analysis of over 15,000 utterance exchanges revealed the chatbot was able to satisfy the intended restrictions at a very high accuracy of over 98%. It engaged helpfully on most topics without issues but refused or deflected respectfully when pushed towards harmful directions.

This provided initial evidence that the combination of Constitutional AI techniques – like specifying clear value boundaries as rules, integrating them into model training and using filters at inference – could help develop AI systems aligned with important safety and ethics considerations from the outset.

Researchers plan to continue iterating and improving the approach based on further studies. The findings suggest Constitutional AI may be a promising direction for building advanced AI which is by construction respectful, beneficial and aligned with human ethics – though more research is still needed.

This pilot highlighted how a chatbot development project incorporated key principles of constitutional AI by:

Defining ethical guidelines as a “Bill of Rights” of clear rules

Encoding the rules into the model using specialized techniques

Integrating rule satisfaction as an objective during joint training

Enforcing restrictions at inference to help ensure the final system behavior was safely aligned by design.

Through this implementation, they were able to develop a proof-of-concept chatbot demonstrating promising results for the applied research goal of creating AI capable of harmless dialog while respecting important safety and ethics considerations.


Faculty of Engineering:

Software Engineering Capstone: Students work in teams to plan, design and develop a large software project from start to finish over the course of two terms. Past projects have included developing mobile apps, web applications, and software for embedded systems. Teams go through the whole software development lifecycle including requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, deployment and maintenance.

Systems Design Engineering Capstone: In their final year, students complete an intensive two-term capstone design project where they apply their engineering knowledge and skills to a real-world design challenge. Past projects have included designing autonomous vehicles, medical devices, renewable energy systems, robotics projects and more. Students work in multidisciplinary teams to go through the full product development cycle from concept to prototype.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone: Students undertake a substantial individual or group design and build project over two terms under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Examples include designing and building vehicles, bridges, medical devices, aerospace components or testing/demonstrating mechanical systems. Projects culminate in a final expo where students showcase their work.

Electrical Engineering Capstone: In teams, students complete an electrical/computer engineering project from concept to working prototype over two terms. Past projects have involved hardware/embedded systems, communications networks, control systems, biomedical devices, renewable energy systems and mechatronics. Real-world constraints like safety, cost and timelines must be considered.

Faculty of Environment:

Environment & Resource Studies Capstone: Students undertake a major project related to addressing an environmental issue or sustainability challenge. This could involve research, policy analysis, program design or another applied project. Students present their work at a capstone conference at the end of the term. Past projects include developing environmental education programs, analyzing climate change policy, conducting ecological restoration projects and more.

Geography Capstone: In their final year, Geography students complete an individually-designed research project or internship under a faculty advisor’s supervision. Examples are conducting field research, creating mapping projects using GIS, undertaking policy analysis and planning projects related to topics like urbanization, climate change, resource management and more. Results are presented in a major written report and presentation.

Environment & Business Capstone: As a culminating experience, students participate in a sustainable business consulting project partnered with a local organization or business. Projects include conducting feasibility studies, developing business/marketing plans, making recommendations for improved operations/practices related to issues like renewable energy adoption, green building, ecotourism and more. Teams present their findings to the partner organization.

Faculty of Science:

Biology Capstone: Students undertake a research investigation in one of the research labs on campus, analyzing real scientific data and writing a research thesis. Past topics studied include biology of disease, genetics, genomics, evolution, biodiversity, ecology and more. The research experience culminates in a scientific poster presentation.

Chemistry Capstone: In their final year, Chemistry students complete an independent research project in a faculty supervisor’s research lab. Students gain hands-on laboratory experience conducting experiments, collecting and analyzing data towards addressing an open-ended research question. The project culminates in a major scientific paper and oral presentation of results.

Computer Science Capstone: Students apply their computing knowledge by working on an major software or hardware project either through an open-ended individual project or team-based project arranged with an outside partner. Examples include developing machine learning applications, designing databases, creating VR/AR systems, and developing novel hardware prototypes. Projects are demonstrated and evaluated at the end of term.

Physics Capstone: Students either complete an independent research project working with a faculty supervisor, or participate in an internship (usually in a private sector lab setting). Past Physics capstone projects have involved advancing fundamental research in fields like nanoscience, materials science, medical physics and more. The experience culminates in a major written report and oral presentation.

As these examples demonstrate, University of Waterloo capstone projects aim to give students authentic experiential learning opportunities to apply their disciplinary knowledge and teamwork skills by taking on a major applied project that mirrors real-world work or research in their field of study. Across all faculties, capstone experiences provide a culminating pedagogical approach for students to demonstrate and be evaluated on their readiness to transition to post-graduate opportunities or professional careers. The iterative process of conceptualizing, planning, executing and presenting capstone work helps bridge the gap between theoretical classroom learning and practical applied problem solving.


One idea would be to conduct a quality improvement project at the medical facility where you work. For example, you could focus on improving patient outcomes for a particular diagnosis or medical condition. You would research best practices and develop an evidence-based intervention aimed at enhancing care processes or the standard of care. Some options may include implementing a new screening or assessment tool, developing an education program for patients or staff, creating a standardized treatment protocol, or utilizing technology like telehealth in a new way.

As part of your project, you would need to gather baseline data on the current outcomes and develop measurable goals for improvement. Then you would implement your intervention and evaluate the impact over a designated time period, analyzing post-intervention data to determine if your goals were met. The project should utilize nursing theory and leadership skills to strategically plan and execute the change. Your final paper would thoroughly document the evidence and steps taken, and reflect on the successes and limitations experienced. If successful, the quality improvement could potentially be sustained in your organization.

Another strong option would be to explore a topic related to nursing education through a program evaluation or curriculum development project. For instance, you may analyze the effectiveness of teaching methods or clinical placements in your nursing program by developing surveys for students and faculty. Based on the feedback and research, you could then design revisions to strengthen areas identified as opportunities. Alternatively, you could create an entirely new continuing education module, online course, or simulation experience for practicing nurses on an emerging healthcare issue.

The proposed changes would need to be supported by relevant literature and align with accreditation standards. Your role would be obtaining necessary approvals, implementing the educational intervention, and assessing outcomes such as knowledge gained, skill enhancement, or perceived impact on nursing practice. Besides reporting the evaluation results, your completed capstone would provide recommendations for integrating lessons learned on a longer-term basis. By addressing a real need in your university or health system, the project has potential to positively influence nursing education.

Nursing research is another broad category that lends itself well to capstone topics. You may choose to perform a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods study related to your specialty area. Some examples could be exploring nurses’ perceptions of a workplace issue through surveys and interviews, evaluating a relationship between nursing interventions and patient outcomes over time, or pilot testing an innovative care model to manage a health condition.

The research process would involve developing a well-articulated purpose statement and aims, creating a thorough literature review, obtaining necessary approvals from your Institutional Review Board, implementing planned recruitment strategies and data collection methods, analyzing quantitative and qualitative findings, and interpreting results within the scope of current evidence. Your final report would discuss how the new knowledge can advance nursing practice or be built upon in future scholarship. Conducting an original research study allows for making a scholarly contribution while strengthening critical inquiry skills.

A policy analysis could also serve as a relevant capstone project. You might examine an existing law, regulation, clinical practice guideline or position statement influencing nursing and healthcare delivery. Through legislative records review, evaluating stakeholder perspectives, and comparing to supportive research, you would aim to understand both intended and unintended consequences of the policy since implementation. Based on gaps identified, the analysis could then inform recommendations for revisions or areas requiring further monitoring and evaluation.

Besides implications at the organizational level, well-designed policy work sheds light on real world issues impacting patient outcomes and the nursing profession as a whole. Your policy paper would need to utilize an approved framework and have potential to influence future decision making if shared with stakeholders. Tackling a current clinical or systemic problem through policy change aligns well with nursing leadership and systems-based competencies.

The key aspects of a strong capstone project involve systematically planning and executing a scholarly work that addresses a relevant nursing practice or healthcare delivery issue. While topic ideas may vary, components such as a literature review, application of theory, development or evaluation of an intervention, data collection and analysis, discussion of results and conclusions all help demonstrate mastery of MSN program outcomes. Regardless of specific focus area, the depth, rigor and applicability of your final written report is what ultimately signifies preparedness for advanced nursing practice at the graduate level. With sufficient preparation and faculty guidance, the preceding examples provide a starting point for selecting a meaningful capstone experience.