INSDSG690: Capstone Seminar
Course Description: This course provides guidance and a structured environment in which students develop advanced instructional design skill in the context of their capstone project. Based on the nature and complexity of the students’ projects, the course deals with such topics as component display analysis, needs assessment data, analysis and reporting techniques, cognitive flexibility theory, competencies modeling, and self-directed/learner-centered strategies. Students who have completed eight or more requirements for the Instructional Design MEd should enroll in this course.
Prerequisite: Permission of department. Please contact
Credits: 3

Current Syllabus

Historical Information Only:

Both Canice and Dianne retired from the program in the summer of 2011. Having been the capstone advisors and reviewers for quite some time they had really done a great job at providing a succinct capstone proposal guide. These documents are here for historical purposes, but chances are that future capstone guides will be modeled after these two.


Students can view samples of previous capstones by making an appointment with their advisor or the graduate program director to come to campus and view past work. Samples can only be viewed on campus, in the Instructional Design office.

GIDA had created an electronic capstone repository using Scribd as the hosting service, however in 2011 the Healey Library at UMass Boston started offering an online scholarship platform, called ScholarWorks, which allows students to submit their Capstones and Theses to the University repository. This allows people to view the great work that our graduates have accomplished. To see the Capstone repository click here, and to see the Thesis collection click here. If you are an alumni of the program we highly encourage that you share your work in the University repository! The process of sharing your work is quick and easy and this type of knowledge sharing helps everyone.

General Overview

The Capstone should integrate the theory and/or application of your concentrated area of study. The following information serves as a guideline. Select what is appropriate for your particular project. Hard copy is required for final submittal of Capstone.

Title Page
The Title Page format must be followed as is appears immediately after these Guidelines.

Acknowledgement or dedication - Optional

Present a one page overview of the entire project, including goals and objectives, methodology, and conclusions. This is usually written after you have completed your entire project. Use the abstract format as it appears at the end of this document. Include the abstract in your Capstone binder and provide one separate copy.

Table of Contents
Include all major topics and page numbers. Include Appendices, as needed, to support your project.

State why you are doing this project, background information, the overall purpose and value of the project.

Provide further details regarding what you hope to accomplish through completion of this project. For instance, you may be trying to solve performance problems or create new development opportunities.

Needs Assessment/Analysis and Findings
Identify and describe the initial problem or situation and clearly state the purpose of the needs assessment. Include how the assessment was conducted, including specific methodologies, and surveys, questionnaires and other documents used in the process. Describe the data collected and resulting analysis. Determine and describe the findings, conclusions and recommendations.

Instructional Analysis
Based on the results of the needs assessment/analysis data, determine the target group, training goal(s) and identify the skills and sub-skills that will be addressed and accomplished as a result of the project development.

Performance Objectives
Identify what the program participants are expected to perform as a result of the training. Include some objectives at application level and above according to Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Instructional Strategy
Describe the plan for helping learners to meet objectives. Develop and include the curriculum content and instructor notes, including all pertinent information concerning instructional techniques, materials, timing and technologies as appropriate. Develop instructional methodologies, such as case studies, role-plays, group exercises and activities as applicable. Design a lesson plan format that includes all pertinent information for the instructor, including when to use instructional techniques, training materials and technologies as appropriate.

Instructional Materials
Develop handouts, slides, screen shots, participant manuals, and describe the use of technology that is pertinent to the project development.

Include applicable testing mechanisms as per Kirkpatrick or other research based model and both formative and summative evaluation strategies and materials.

Identify all reference materials used in researching and creating your project. Include web citations. Use appropriate bibliographic method, e.g. APA format. Examples are available on the Internet.

Include any supplemental materials as deemed necessary to support the project.

Include a 1 – 2 page vita, listing name, contact information, educational background, work experience, publications, honors/awards, and associations.