This page provides information on our case study collection process and how you can contribute. Case studies are incredibly valuable resources for staff across the sector – they help to frame what a capstone is and can be, generate new ideas and extend support networks. Cross-pollination of ideas across disciplines and course types is especially valuable because it inspires new ways of thinking.
Below you will find a full information statement regarding participation. Please read carefully before proceeding and note that by submitting a case study, you are not yet agreeing to publication or consenting to participation in research. We will send you a consent form once the case study is ready to be published. If you withdraw your case before consenting, no data will be kept.
If you are not sure whether your curriculum is a capstone or relevant to the study, or would like to discuss it before submitting, please email us.
INFORMATION TO PARTICIPANTS INVOLVED IN RESEARCH
You are invited to participate in stage three (providing a case study) of the research project entitled Capstone curriculum across disciplines: Synthesising theory, practice and policy to provide practical tools for curriculum design.
Capstone curriculum is generally considered to provide a significant opportunity for enabling assessment of discipline and graduate capabilities, as well as enhancing the student experience. In Australia, as part of the recent focus on quality assurance of undergraduate qualifications, capstone curriculum has increasingly taken a central role in thinking about evidence of program quality. As a result, many Australian universities are introducing capstone curriculum with the twin aims of providing students with an enhanced undergraduate experience and providing a locus for quality assessment. However, there are limitations in our understanding of the diversity of capstone models and their respective benefits and challenges for students and staff.
This project aims to explore the range of capstone models in use in the higher education sectors, predominantly at undergraduate level. The project will redress some of the significant gaps in our understanding of the nature of capstone curriculum, and will draw heavily on the practice-knowledge of staff engaged in capstone design and delivery. For the purposes of this study, capstones are very broadly defined as distinct, culminating and transitional learning experiences within the final stages of a qualification.
What will I be asked to do?
You will be asked to provide summary information about a capstone course/model with which you currently work, using a case-study template. Clarification and supporting materials, such as curriculum resources, may also be requested, but you are under no commitment to provide additional materials if you do not wish to do so. Where appropriate, visual representations may be utilised to display structural components, such as how student assessment components fit together. No student work will be collected for these case studies. Your name, the name of the capstone and the institution, will be retained with the case study and published.
What will I gain from participating?
By participating you will help in developing knowledge of capstone models in Australian higher education, as well as the production of practical and research-based information resources.
How will the information I give be used?
Case studies will be made available on the project website, linked to resources and guides to support capstone design. The results of the study will be used to produce information resources for professionals, aimed at assisting in the planning, development and delivery of capstone models. Selected summaries may also be included in conference presentations and the project report. Additional permissions will be sought in the event we would like to include any case details in a journal article.
What are the potential risks of participating in this project and how are they managed?
Due to the identification of participating individuals and their institutions, there is a low level of risk associated with this stage of the project. To minimise risks a procedure has been put into place ensuring publication of the case study results is agreed upon by the participant:
- The final case study will be sent to the participant, along with a consent form
- This procedure will minimise the risks of information which is damaging or commercially sensitive, or otherwise unsuitable for publication, being made public
- Case study information identifying individuals or institutions will only be included in journal articles following receipt of additional permissions from you as author of the documents.
Please be aware that taking part in this study is voluntary, and is not a task of your employment. Your decision to participate should not have any effect on your relationship with your employer – you can decline to take part, or withdraw for any reason. Please note you can withdraw completely up until the results are published, but after this point, as information will be published on the internet, complete withdrawal may not be possible.
How will this project be conducted?
This project has three stages. Stage one will map capstone models in Australia by surveying higher education professionals working with capstone models. The second stage consists of in-depth semi-structured interviews focussing on the perspectives of capstone staff on the challenges and benefits of models in use. The third stage involves the collection of detailed case studies of capstones. The results from these stages will be used to create practical information resources for a diverse range of capstone curricula.
You are being invited to take part in the third stage – the creation of a detailed, identified case-study of a capstone curriculum model you work with. Participants are invited on the basis of their expressed interest in providing a case study, as well as the qualities of the capstone courses they are involved in. A spread of models and characteristics is sought.
Who is conducting the study?
A/Prof. Nicolette Lee is the Principle Investigator:
Phone: +61 3 9919 5148
Queries or Complaints?
Any queries about your participation in this project may be directed to the Principle Investigator listed above.
If you have any queries or complaints about the way you have been treated, you may contact the Ethics Secretary, Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee, Office for Research, Victoria University, PO Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC, 8001, email researchethics(at)vu.edu.au or phone (03) 9919 4781 or 4461.
Support for this study has been provided by the Australian government Office for Learning and Teaching.