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The aim of this OLT National Teaching Fellowship is to produce agreed graduate outcomes, principles and best practice to inform the development of journalism capstone units for use among Australian universities that offer undergraduate journalism degrees and majors.

Currently, 30 universities in Australia teach journalism, and one-third of them (10 universities) officially use at least one journalism capstone unit in their undergraduate programs. From September 2015 to February 2016, I conducted face-to-face interviews with journalism educators at these 10 universities to discover what they understand by the term “capstone”, the type of capstone(s) they use and what skills the students have to demonstrate.

A key aim is to identify common principles and standards for them and the other 20 tertiary journalism programs in Australia that want to introduce journalism capstones into their course, even though some run units that could be easily identified as capstone units.

I organised a one-day workshop in February 2016 on journalism capstone units with journalism educators at four universities in Perth, Western Australia. These included Edith Cowan, Murdoch, Curtin and Notre Dame universities. None of these universities used the term “capstone” in their journalism courses.

From March to December 2016, I aim to gain a consensus from journalism educators in Australia on standards, principles and best practice and then an agreement to create and apply these in their journalism courses.

For essential background information on capstones – please view the links under the “Key Capstone Documents” menu, taken from http://www.capstonecurriculum.com.au.

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