Book cover of Cultivating Capstones: Designing High-Quality Culminating Experiences for Student Learning, edited by Caroline J. Ketcham, Anthony G. Weaver, and Jessie L. Moore
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ISBN: 9781642674170

January 2023

The introduction explores capstones’ history and promise, introduces a socioecological framework for considering the changing landscape of capstones, and examines the current context of capstones and undergraduate education reform.

A diagram consisting of overlapping concentric half-circles. At the center is the Student (identity and experiences), then Microsystem (the direct experience of the student), then Mesosystem (a network of overlapping relationships: interactions of microsystems), then Exosystem (systems/infrastructures that indirectly influence students), and in the outer ring Macrosystem (culture and ideology that shape social structures, opportunities, and expectations). At the bottom of the diagram an arrow points to the right, labeled Chronosystem (the role of time).

Discussion Questions

  • What is the history of capstone experiences on your campus, and how does that history influence your campus’ current landscape for capstones?
  • Using the socio-ecological framework, describe the landscape for capstone experiences on your campus.
    • How are macrosystem pressures shaping exo- and microsystem decisions about capstones and students’ experiences on your campus?
    • What exosystem infrastructures, policies, and practices function as affordances or constraints for (re)designing your college’s capstones to foster equitable, high-quality learning experiences?
    • What meso- and microsystem characteristics can you tap to deepen capstone experiences?
    • Who are your students? How will their identities, experiences, and goals inform your capstone design?