Structure and Effectiveness of a Capstone Course

Presenters: Don McLeod, Carl Olson, and Ed Bradley, University of Wyoming



Abstract: Undergraduate writing often lacks incentives and professional immediacy for quality performance. Capstone project courses can achieve many of the following: Writing that requires the student to draw on the curriculum and learned skills of the major; Major-specific writing that provides a transition into one's profession; and development of profession-related communication skills where project analysis is documented and defended. It provides sequential task-specific assignments that increase student familiarity with topic and in turn improves the writing quality. Instructors are then able to address critical thinking issues and in turn the attendant writing in a piece-wise fashion. Instructors are able to be efficient evaluators while students build to a satisfying final outcome: a paper indicating their problem solving and communications skills.

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Contact Information: 
Donald M. McLeod
University of Wyoming
Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Adjunct Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources
PO Box 3354
Laramie, WY 82071-3354
Voice: 307-766-3116
Fax 307-766-5544