Developing a generic review framework to assure capstone quality

Hammer, Sara and Abawi, Lindy and Gibbings, Peter and Jones, Hazel and Redmond, Petrea and Shams, Syed (2018) Developing a generic review framework to assure capstone quality. Higher Education Research and Development, 37 (4). pp. 730-743. ISSN 0729-4360


Within the higher education context, capstone units can be viewed as a significant means of assuring intended learning outcomes for programmes. They provide students with the opportunity to consolidate and apply prior and new disciplinary learning, as well as employability skills and graduate attributes. This paper describes the first stage of an initiative in a regional, Australian university to develop a capstone quality review framework that can be applied across disciplines. A deductive, thematic analysis of relevant literature, guides and institutional strategic documents using a constant comparison method was used to develop a collectively agreed upon set of capstone quality domains and related criteria. These would enable reviewers to assess whether capstone curricula were fit-for-purpose. Capstone domains and criteria were validated and revised using a multi-stage, moderated review of 10 capstone units. This validation process affirmed that to avoid issues with reviewer inter-rater reliability, future use of our framework should emphasise calibrating reviewer interpretation to ensure greater levels of shared understanding of underlying concepts. It further suggested the desirability of incorporating aspects of teacher self-assessment, teacher feedback and student results. Provided these findings are accounted for, we conclude that the proposed capstone review domains and criteria could be used for quality review and enhancement, or capstone benchmarking processes, regardless of discipline area.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 Oct 2019 (18 months), in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Division of Academic Services - No Department
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 04:18
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2018 00:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: capstone; framework; higher education; learning outcomes; review
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2018.1453787

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