Capping them off! Exploring and explaining the patterns in undergraduate capstone subjects in Australian business schools

van Acker, E., Bailey, J., Wilson, K., & French, E.L. (2014) Capping them off! Exploring and explaining the patterns in undergraduate capstone subjects in Australian business schools. Higher Education Research and Development, 33(5), pp. 1049-1062.

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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 2010-2011, complemented by interviews with associate deans teaching and learning instrumental in course and 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 use of capstone subjects identifying the implications for staff development and knowledge management in higher education.

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ID Code: 63115
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Capstone Subjects, Business Curricula, Curriculum Change , HERN
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2014.890567
ISSN: 0729-4360
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Higher Education Research and Development [in press] [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2013 22:29
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 04:01

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