Written by Marlowe Daly-Galeano
A general education capstone is important for students to demonstrate comprehension and synthesis of skills learned as a culmination of their general education core. A capstone course should build on foundational skills learned throughout the general education core, such as research, writing, and critical thinking. Students should practice self-reflection and demonstrate a deeper application of accumulated knowledge.
Faculty teaching ID 300 classes implement a variety of strategies to ensure that their class is interdisciplinary in design. Many instructors deliberately incorporate language about disciplines, disciplinary lenses, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches into their teaching, syllabus, and assignments. Since students enrolled in ID 300 will have completed at least 24 credits within the core, they should come into ID 300 with experience in multiple “ways of knowing,” possibly including “humanistic and artistic ways of knowing,” “scientific ways of knowing,” and “social and behavioral ways of knowing.” Instructors may think about the integrated seminar within the general education framework by considering how their class embraces more than one way of knowing. In some classes, students explore a text, case study, or idea using different methods and methodologies, and in others they might employ different disciplinary approaches to the same question or issue.
ID 300 is a writing intensive course and as such, regular writing assignments are paramount. These assignments can take many forms and can include both formal and informal types of assignments. Examples of types of writing assignments include:
Based on data collected at the ID 300 Workshop (May 2016), the average amount of required writing in an ID 300 class is 35 pages/semester. In most ID 300 sections the writing quality is formally evaluated by the instructor on at least some assignments. Opportunities for writing revisions commonly are incorporated into assignments.
Discussion typically is a significant portion of ID 300 sections in both the online and face-to-face formats. Discussion assignments include small group, entire class, and online posts. In face-to-face courses, discussion allows students to practice public speaking in an informal way. On average, approximately 50% of class time is dedicated to discussion across all ID 300 sections. Many sections include discussion and class participation as a component of the final grade.
Both online and face-to-face classes emphasize regular reading assignments. Assigned readings include journal articles, case studies, both fiction and non-fiction books.
Based on data collected at the ID 300 Workshop (May 2016), the average amount of required reading in an ID 300 class is 42 pages/week.
Formal research projects are included in most ID 300 courses. These projects are often research papers with an academic tone and are weighted heavily in the final grade. In some courses, students submit outlines, annotated bibliographies, and first drafts prior to the final due date and have the opportunity for faculty input as their projects progress.
300 courses are a unique component of Lewis-Clark State College’s General Education program. Statewide general education reform, completed in 2013-14, required institutions to align curriculum with six “ways of knowing” areas determined by state-level committees. Additionally, six credits of the general education core were determined at the institutional level. LCSC faculty voted to designate three of those credits as “ethics and values.” Under the old general education curriculum, students took either SS 350 Ethics or SS 351 Values as a capstone course. These two courses were combined into a new interdisciplinary capstone course, ID 300, which emphasizes both ethics and values.