Reference List Entry:

Henscheid, Jean M., Tracy L. Skipper, and Dallin George Young. 2019. "Reflection, Integration, Application: Intentional Design Strategies for Senior Capstone Experiences." New Directions for Higher Education 2019 (188): 91-100.

About this Journal Article:

Henscheid, Skipper, and Young identify the importance of reflection, integration, and application in their piece about Intentional Design Strategies for Senior Capstone Experiences. They suggest that these three elements can aid in developing advanced “analytical and critical thinking, communication skills, employment skills, problem-solving competencies, and team-building.” In addition, in order to foster an environment in which reflection, integration, and application are used to their fullest potential there must be a meaningful educational experience for the student. Something unique and quite important is the acknowledgment that a meaningful educational experience can be different for each individual. Overall, the piece unfolds how to build experiences that “provide structured opportunities for applied learning.”

The authors describe four capstone experiences that promote application of learning:

  • Independent Research Experiences: Apply what students have learned to   Real world experiences allow the student to expand their knowledge even more.
  • Internships: Allows students to go beyond curriculum and apply what they have learned to the workforce.
  • Service Learning: Apply classroom information to community problems.
  • Preprofessional Capstones: Allow students to apply academic content in real-world contexts attentive to disciplinary or professional standards.

These experiences, not only are reflective in nature but also suggest that the student take time to reflect on their own interests, needs, and desires, as they move forward in integrating and applying what they have learned.

This piece expands on different ways in which students can engage in learning experiences that support reflection, integration, and application. Breaking down examples of these types of learning experiences can help us to better understand what elements of those experiences really lend themselves to cycles of reflection, integration, and application.

Annotation contributed by Sophie Miller, 2021-2024 CEL Student Scholar