A capstone course, also known as capstone unit or a senior thesis or senior seminar serves as the culminating and usually integrative experience of an educational program. A capstone course, module, project, subject, or unit in the higher education context may also be referred to as a capstone experience, senior seminar (in the U.S.), or final year project or dissertation (more common in the U.K.).
The term derives from the final decorative coping or "cap-stone" used to complete a building or monument. In higher education, the term has been in common use in the USA since the mid-twentieth century, although there is evidence that it was in use as early as the late 1800s. It has gradually been gaining currency in other countries, particularly where attention has focused on student outcomes and employability in undergraduate studies. National grant projects in Australia and the U.K. have further raised the profile of the capstone experience.
- Marcus Ford; Marcus Peter Ford (2006). Beyond the Modern University: Toward a C. IAP. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-59311-405-3.
- Hauhart, R. & Grahe, J. (2015). Designing and teaching undergraduate capstone courses. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- "Business Capstones". businesscapstones.edu. Australia.
- "Curriculum renewal in legal education: Capstone experiences in law". eprints.qut.edu.au. Australia.
- "Capstones across disciplines and the capstone network". capstonecurriculum.com/edu. Australia.
- "Rethinking final-year projects and dissertations: Creative honours and capstone projects". heacademy.ac.uk. U.K.
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