An Attempt to Design a Business Capstone Course: A Personal Experience

By Theodora Issa.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Derived from a personal experience, this paper presents a framework on how a ‘Capstone Course’ might be developed at a university in Australia. This paper begins with a selective literature review on the diverse ideas and methods of teaching a ‘Capstone Course’ at different levels and disciplines, then discusses the process followed to have the course syllabus and outcomes approved by top management. The literature will shed some light on the ways by which this course is delivered at business schools in different parts of the world at various levels. A common theme in the literature is that, regardless of the diverse ways in which this course can be delivered, the syllabus must be relevant to real-life situations and actual business practices. This is a difficult task since differences are apparent regarding the contents of this course and the diverse views regarding the sort of relationship that a university should have with businesses. Indeed, in obtaining necessary approvals as to how this course can be delivered, there are both challenges and limitations. This paper reports on a personal experience in developing such a course, highlighting the great opportunities and the immense challenges faced by the developer. This paper shares with readers a ‘theoretical’ vision rather than a ‘practical’ implementation of a Capstone Course designed for inter-disciplinary business students in Australia. This paper highlights the challenges and limitations experienced, with suggestions and steps depicted in a conceptual model as to how best a ‘Business Capstone’ course can be designed and implemented to achieve the ultimate goal of preparing students for the real world.

Keywords: Business Schools, Undergraduate Students, Capstone, Academics, Service-Learning, Triple bottom line, Ethical and Moral evaluations, Australia

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.167-181. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 613.674KB).

Dr. Theodora Issa

Lecturer, Curtin Business Faculty, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Dr Theodora Issa is the Unit Coordinator and Lecturer at the Faculty Office, Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Australia. Theodora’s PhD thesis was on ethical mindsets, spirituality and aesthetics that has been the recipient of the 2010 EFMD/Emerald Outstanding Doctoral research award. Theodora holds a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Electronic Commerce and a Master of Management Research. Theodora’s engagement with higher education started with her teaching at the School of Information Systems in the areas of Web Design and Problem analysis, during which period she supervised students who implemented industry-based information systems projects. Thereafter, Theodora moved to the School of Management teaching management and business ethics for undergraduate and postgraduate. Theodora’s research interests include teaching, online teaching and learning, ethical mindsets, ethical climate, prevention of corruption, spirituality, aesthetic judgment, sustainable business development and ethical strategies, which ignited her interest in Green IT and cloud-computing. Theodora participated in several conferences on ethics, teaching and learning, sustainability, and has been the recipient of ‘best paper wars in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Theodora was nominated for the 2011 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics, jointly with Associate Professor David Pick. Theodora was also nominated for the 2010 Curtin Student Guild’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for Post Graduate Research Supervisor category. In August 2011, Theodora was awarded ‘The New Researcher of the Year’ prize of the Curtin Business School, Australia. Theodora had published in several peer-reviewed journals, member of editorial committees, and member of different governing bodies.