The focus of this paper is the development of a capstone management course and the application of educational action research through continual learning. In this article, we use the continual learning frame of plan, do, study, and act to underpin an educational action research design on the development of a capstone management course. As part of an Active Learning Trial, the development of the capstone experience has been captured in the embodiment of that experience. Our aim is to guide other academics in developing their own capstone course, particularly, within management with extension into other disciplines. Through continual improvement, we stress the importance of integrating the primary voice of the students, to emphasize the active learning and to optimize a meaningful experience in connecting theory to practice – the key to the capstone experience. Examples of how to gain feedback and integrate classroom improvements are given. To do this we present two cycles where we applied and practiced continual learning and educational action research to understand and evoke improvements within the course. These changes are evidenced through aggregated student feedback.


Capstone, Management Education, Educational Action Research, Continual Learning, Active Learning

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Heather Stewart is a Senior Lecturer in management with the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, Griffith Business School, Griffith University. Australia. After more than 20 years of management experience in both corporate and small business, Heather has transitioned her passion for research and teaching into academia. The focus of Heather’s work is on qualitative management research with the underpinning of organisational development through the perspective of continual and collaborative learning. Heather has been published in qualitative, action research, higher education and sustainability journals including The Qualitative Report, Journal of Business Ethics Education, Systematic Practices, and Action Research. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: h.stewart@griffith.edu.au.

Dr. Luke Houghton is a Senior Lecturer in Information Systems and Management in the Department of Business, Strategy and Innovation in the Griffith Business School, Griffith University. Luke is an expert on the role cognition plays in complex problem solving in large social and technical systems. Second to that he has a growing interest in Higher Education research. Luke has been published in the Information Systems Journal, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, and The Journal of Information Technology Education. He also has publications in the Oxford Review of Education, Higher Education Research and Development, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, Emergence: The Journal of Complexity and Organisation, Journal of the Operational Research Society, and Systems Research and Behavioural Science. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: l.houghton@griffith.edu.au.

Clare Burns is a sessional academic in management at Griffith University. In addition to student-focused research, Clare’s interests include organisational culture and corporate sustainability. Prior to commencing further academic pursuits Clare worked in media, marketing, and management for 18 years in Australia and overseas. Clare is non-executive board member for Rosies Friends on the Street and holds a number of not-for-profit leadership roles. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: clare.burns@griffith.edu.au.


We would like to acknowledge the support of the Griffith Business School, Griffith University, as part of the Active Learning Trial. Additionally, we would like to thank Vikki Ravaga's educational design support and guidance.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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