Syllabus for MLS-700

CAPSTONE PROJECT I


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Capstone Project I is the first of two courses needed to complete the Capstone Project for the MALS program. The proposal is not the project itself but the foundation on which you will create your Project. The Capstone Project represents new work and ideas. Although the idea may come from an issue or report previously undertaken, the Project gives you the opportunity to apply and interpret the ideas, practices, and/or skills learned during the MALS program.

 

The Capstone Project may take one of three forms: a research project, a creative project, or an applied project. The topic for the project should emerge from your individualized program of study and should bring together issues that you have been grappling with during your program. There is a direct connection between the Capstone Project and the Learner-Designed Area of Study (LDAS), the 12 elective credits. The LDAS electives give you the opportunity to focus on an area of interest and to formulate the Capstone Project based on this interest.

The proposal must be approved by your Capstone Advisor, who will then forward it to the Capstone Coordinator and the Office of the Dean. Once approved, you will then register and begin the MLS-710 Capstone Project II course.

 

Note: The MLS 700/710 Capstone Project is a 6-credit requirement of the MALS degree that is completed at the end of your degree program over two terms. The Capstone is a supervised, hands-on experience that displays your ability to go beyond the mere collection of information, into a synthesis of your accumulated knowledge and skills. By weaving examples from the humanities into the project and stressing the philosophical and historical context, your Capstone will reflect learning acquired during the program.

COURSE TOPICS

  1. Thesis Statement
  2. Research methods
  3. Literature review
  4. Justification
  5. Limitations
  1. Project outline
  2. Proposal

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, students will have:

  1. Selected a capstone advisor to guide the student though the capstone project process. (CO1)
  2. Identified a project topic based on individualized program of study. (CO2)
  3. Selected one of the three capstone project formats:  research, creative, or applied project. (CO3)
  4. Developed a thesis statement that includes major questions, issues or problems that the project will address. (CO4)
  5. Identified and justified methods used to gather and analyze information. (CO5)
  6. Created a thorough literature review based on primary and secondary sources. (CO6)
  7. Explained the rationale for the project including the importance of the topic and the limits of the inquiry. (CO7)
  8. Summarized the nature and intent of the work. (CO8)
  1. Created a project outline that will guide the research and development of their project. (CO9)
  2. Received approval for the project proposal and outline from the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences. (CO10)

COURSE STRUCTURE

MLS-700 CAPSTONE PROJECT I is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten (10) modules. Modules include an overview and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Capstone Advisor (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 1

  1. Module 2: Formulate a Topic (two weeks)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 2

  1. Module 3: Project Format Selection (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 2, 3

  1. Module 4: Project Proposal - Thesis Statement (Problem Statement, Hypothesis) (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 2, 3

  1. Module 5:  Project Proposal - Research Method and Literature Review (two weeks)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 5, 6

  1. Module 6: Project Proposal - Justification and Limitations (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 7

  1. Module 7: Project Proposal - Conclusion (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module include: 8

  1. Module 8: Advisor Review of Proposal (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module: 1

  1. Module 9:  Project Outline (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module: 9

  1. Module 10:  Review of Proposal and Outline (Approval Process by School) (one week)

Course objectives covered in this module: 10

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums and complete a Capstone Proposal and Outline.  See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in eight (8) graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion assignments.

My Capstone Advisor

You are required to work with your selected capstone advisor within an area of the course website called My Capstone Advisor.  Within this section is a private forum where you and your advisor will collaborate on building your Capstone Project Proposal.  In all, you will be participate in eight (8) activities associated with the different parts that will make up your finished proposal.  

Dr. Linda Holt will act as the second reader for all of the capstone students and will participate in the My Capstone Advisor forum discussions when appropriate.

Note:  Your advisor may have more than one student he/she is advising during this course.

Capstone Project Proposal

The Capstone Project Proposal should be 8-10 pages not including the literature review.  You will work with your selected capstone advisor and second reader throughout this course to complete your proposal.  The final version will be sent to the Capstone Review Committee for grading and feedback.

Note:  Your official Capstone Review Committee includes your Capstone advisor, second reader, the Capstone Coordinator and the Dean or Assistant Dean from the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Website is the Capstone Project Proposal Rubric used to aid in the grading of the proposal.

Consult the course Calendar for the due date.

Capstone Project Outline

You will work with your selected capstone advisor and second reader throughout this course to complete your Capstone Project Outline.  The final version will be sent to the Capstone Review Committee for grading and feedback.  See Module 9 for more details.

Note:  Your official Capstone Review Committee includes your Capstone advisor, second reader, the Capstone Coordinator and the Dean or Assistant Dean from the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences.

Consult the course Calendar for the due date.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online Discussions (8)—30 percent
  2. Capstone Project Proposal—50 percent
  3. Capstone Project Outline—20 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see General Information > Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.  

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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