Generic skills: Do capstone courses deliver?

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

Generic skills are increasingly the focus of universities worldwide and are often developed in professional practice courses. This paper presents qualitative findings from students regarding their perceptions of the generic skills they developed during a capstone course in an Information Systems program. The study found that the capstone course improved their collaborative team-work, presentation skills and ability to apply skills/knowledge to new situations. The paper also demonstrates that students’ perceptions of generic skills were more closely tied to the discipline than university-wide generic skills. This lends support for generic skills policy/practice to be driven bottom-up rather than top-down.

Keywords: generic skills, capstone course, student perceptions