Capping them off! Exploring and explaining the patterns in undergraduate capstone subjects in Australian business schools
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Universities are increasingly offering capstone subjects as part of curricula to prepare final-year undergraduates for employment through consolidating and integrating their knowledge and skills while bridging the gap between academic learning and professional work. This study investigates capstone subjects offered by Australian business schools, drawing on national survey data collected in 2010 and 2011, complemented by interviews with associate deans teaching and learning instrumental in curricula design. Findings indicate the sector-wide use of capstone subjects in business disciplines, diversity in the patterns of offerings, and instances where subjects labelled as capstones do not meet the definition of capstones. We argue that these features are explained by a range of historic and strategic factors, such as the ad hoc development of subjects and a lack of understanding of the features of capstones. The findings of this paper inform the debate on the design, development, value and the use of capstone subjects identifying the implications for staff development and knowledge management in higher education.
Higher Education Research and Development
Economics, Business and Management Curriculum and Pedagogy