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Rethinking Final Year Projects and Dissertations: Creative Honours and Capstone Projects Summary Case Studies

Mick Healey and Laura Lannin
mhealey@glos.ac.uk; www.mickhealey.co.uk

The following summary case studies were collected by a National Teaching Fellowship Scheme funded project based at the University of Gloucestershire. They are categorised under the following disciplinary groupings: -------------------------------------------------

Arts, Design, Media and Humanities
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Business, Hospitality, Law, Sport and Tourism
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Interdisciplinary
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Education, Social and Environmental Sciences
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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
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Further information and links to fuller case studies, where available, are given in the source of each summary. Details about the project are available at: http://insight.glos.ac.uk/tli/activities/ntf/creativehops/Pages/default.aspx -------------------------------------------------

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For updates to the case studies, after October 2012, please check version at www.mickhealey.co.uk/resources

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1. Arts, Design, Media and Humanities
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1.1 Giving students alternative assessment options for undertaking a Product Design project at Nottingham Trent University, UK

The module consists of several possible routes. Assessment is based on a learning contract negotiated and agreed between the tutors and student. This contract stipulates the content of work, enabling students’ to complete one of the following options: * Option 1: a 10,000 word dissertation and students produce a poster that summarises their work * Option 2: a 5,000 word conference paper with a supporting presentation that is delivered to peers and tutors * Option 3: a conceptual project with a 5,000 word critical justification. As well as a written outcome students are required to produce illustrations or simulations.

Prior to students undertaking their chosen assignment, there is a three week intensive period when students’ are required to complete their learning contract. The contract identifies what option the student will complete, what they hope to learn and how that learning will be demonstrated. The module involves students using a wide range of primary and secondary research skills. Throughout the year, the direct contact students have with tutors is mainly limited to group or sometimes individual tutorials, where the tutor acts as a ‘consultant’, advising on their proposals, work in progress, what knowledge or skills should be developed, how to tackle certain issues and who students’ should approach for further information. Occasionally there will be content common to all students and this will be delivered through lectures, for example, covering approaches to research. There are also opportunities for students’ to present their work in progress to a panel of tutors and peers, to obtain feedback.

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Source http://insight.glos.ac.uk/tli/activities/ntf/creativehops/examples/Pages/Arts,MediaandHumanitiesExamples.aspx

1.2 History students contribute research findings to a Web site at Victoria University, Canada

‘Micro History and the Internet’ is a learner-centred and research-oriented course in which the main activity is primary archival research on various aspects of life in Victoria, British Columbia from 1843 to 1900.  Students work in small groups to conduct the research and eventually to publish their findings on the website called “Victoria’s Victoria”.  -------------------------------------------------...
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