GUIDED INQUIRY INFORMATION LITERACY HIGHER ORDER THINKING INTERDISCIPLINARY THINKING CRITICAL THINKING REFLECTIVE THINKING INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION CONSTRUCTIVISM FLEXIBLE LEARNING AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT PROJECT BASED LEARNING INQUIRY ORIENTED INSTRUCTION SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING E-LEARNING COMMON CORE DEEP LEARNING
In 2002, the U.S. Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2013) identified the need for schools to incorporate problem solving; information and technical literacy; communications; and critical thinking into high school curricula. Further, the recent Common Core State Standards Initiative has emphasized the need to enhance the career and college readiness of high school graduates (National Governors Association, 2010). In order to be in compliance with 21st Century Skills and Common Core requirements, Burke (2011) opined that capstone experiences should be embedded in all career and technical education (CTE) programs.
Students start the capstone process by identifying a core question worthy of exploration. Once the core question is identified, they develop the methodology through which the exploration will occur. For quality assurance purposes, as well as to help students and teachers structure projects, students must submit and defend a project proposal. Proposals must address the core question being explored, application of learning objectives, project goals, and methodology planned.
SOME PROJECT EXAMPLES INCLUDE: virtual business enterprises; simulations with reflective journaling; e-portfolios; primary or secondary research studies; entrepreneurial efforts; case studies; event planning and project management activities; individual effort from large-scale CTSO competitions; internships with research and reflective journaling; informative Websites, wikis, or blogs accompanied by reports; detailed business or marketing plans; financial analyses of real or fictitious companies; creative endeavors accompanied by a paper such as software or video game prototypes, e-commerce efforts, comic books; and/or etcetera.
Capstone courses are not lecture based at the same time, teachers may want to incorporate limited lectures, important readings, group discussions, and supportive assignment work in order to support student learning. Students are required to be an active participant in the learning Teachers must provide the student with ongoing feedback as well as employ the art of questioning to help guide students.
Can students enrolled in different completer programs be enrolled in a singular capstone course?- YES It is the student projects that are specific to their discipline. What is not acceptable? -Taking a course without prerequisites and trying to rename it or reclassify it as a capstone experience.
Through their participation in the BMF Capstone Course, students are required to develop time management, and organizational skills by preparing a project proposal that includes an activity timeline with benchmarks, and addresses all tasks to be completed and resources to be used. Students are responsible for staying on task and adhering to the schedule as planned. Teachers should use benchmarking to help students remain on schedule. During each benchmark a student submits or demonstrates progress. Additionally, among the criteria in which students are assessed is their ability to adhere to the schedule that they designed. It is expected that the project (which does not include class discussions, presentation preparation, etcetera) will reflect a minimum of 40 hours of concentrated effort on the student’s behalf.
IDENTIFICATION OF RESOURCES Technological (include access to labs and amount of access available, software, LMS, simulations, memberships, websites, etcetera that may be of value) Human (include all that you believe will support and contribute to your project) Programs that may support your project Other Possible Resources Constraints
CAPSTONE PLANNING QUESTIONS When will the capstone course be offered? What will be the Duration? How many individuals will be teaching the course? Generally, how will the course be scheduled? Frequency of Meetings Length of Meetings Location of Meetings What students will likely enroll in the course? Will the course cross-completer programs? Estimated enrollment size? What, if any, unique challenges do my learners pose? What type of projects do I envision supporting?
What types of resources will I be using? Existing Needed What obstacles or challenges may exist? Will you be incorporating your counties advisory group? Please, identify all individuals who will be involved? Who will be your assessors? Will you be able to incorporate a showcase? If yes, when, where, and how will the showcase occur? Will you incorporate achievement recognition or awards? Do you envision the incorporation of a competitive element? If so, will the projects be judged by category or holistically? Will you seek sponsorship for prizes and/or scholarship awards? Will exemplary projects be stored? If so, where? Will a website be created to support the program? Do you envision the incorporation of local media? Budget Estimates Minimal _________ Optimal __________ Use the following table to prepare a budget to support your course
BENCHMARKING During each benchmark a student submits or demonstrates progress. Additionally, among the criteria in which students are assessed is their ability to adhere to the schedule that they designed. The page in the student guide titled Steps in the Capstone Project, will give you an idea of the most basic benchmarks; however, a much more specific elaboration is needed as part of your course planning. Identify all benchmarks, include when they will occur within the timeframe of the course. When the deliverable is known, please identify the expected deliverable. Keep for a number of benchmarks the deliverable will reflect the uniqueness of a student’s particular project. You do not have to fill up the entire table.