What is an MSE-PD Capstone Project?

Basic Features of any capstone project:

  • Individual project
  • Build on the research - incorporate a review of literature in areas related to the topic of study
  • Tie research to practice - apply analytical and practical skills to a specific concept or issue, develop and get feedback on something that ties the research to practice
  • Present project to a critical audience for feedback (voice) - preferably with an oral presentation
  • Assessment by student, advisor, course instructor (or client if created for a school, organization, or business)

Examples of kinds of capstone projects students may choose:

  • Action research is the systematic study of a problem in one's own academic setting aimed at improving practice or conditions for the participants in that setting. An action research project involves identifying the problem to address, developing an approach to address the problem, carrying out an investigation, and presenting findings.
  • Curriculum development may involve analyzing current practice, researching new or different practices, implementing a new course, set of courses, or instructional units, and analyzing the results.
  • Professional development program involves creating a new program, such as a workshop, conference, or mentoring program , for others, with analysis of results.
  • An instructional product may include an online tutorial, game, video series, model, or prototype, with analysis of results. Development of the product would be based on research.
  • Alternative kinds of artifacts might include manuals, guidebooks, long-range strategic plans, advocacy plans, or other problem-solving projects for a given audience /client with feedback from a group of experts in the field or critical analysis by the client
  • Comparative education study with critical analysis of similarities and differences tied to the larger educational, social and political contexts between two countries or wildly diverse areas of the U.S. Results might be presented in a variety of media.
  • Major grant proposal, prepared in accordance with the sponsor's call for proposals, including feedback from experts.
  • Exhibit of artistic work, such as paintings or drawings, sculptures, screenplays, performances, or documentary films, with reflective essay discussing the author's aesthetic choices and how they situate the project within artistic traditions.
  • Historical research, bibliography, textual/content analysistied to improvement of current practice

Experimental forms of representation may include creative fiction, poetic inquiry, or ethnodramatic approaches to qualitative inquiry and research design. If interested, contact Edric Johnson.

Thesis option:

Students who wish to do a more intensive, formal research project, under the supervision of a faculty committee, culminating in an oral defense and publication of a thesis, may enroll, with permission, in CIGENRL/READING/EDFOUND/PEPROF/HEALTHED/RECREATN 799, Thesis Research, in place of EDUINDP 789, Capstone Project Seminar.