ACTE Techniques February 2012 : Page 53

PHOTO By ISTOCK.COM reflection, thereby facilitating the transi -tion from high school to college. Suc -cessfully completing the project requires many students to conduct educational and career research to construct an accurate list reflective of specific goals, thereby out -lining future plans and creating personal pathways designed for success. Gould recommends using capstone projects as an instructional tool in which teachers can guide students to independently pursue research and related intellectual works within their chosen fields of study. How Is it Implemented? Instructors introduce the project by providing project guidelines and previous examples, while reinforcing the integra -tion of English IV and health sciences. Because both instructors explain the rel-evance of the project simultaneously, stu -dents learn that completing the capstone is necessary for successfully completing the health sciences course and attain-ing English IV credit. During the initial creation phase, students learn acceptable professional writing skills, how to create clear and succinct written statements, and that the appearance of the project will impact the audience as much as, if not more than, the information itself. Students must present their abilities, qualifications and traits in a way that forces them to think competitively and sets them apart from their peers. By the end of the two-year course, students understand their digital portfolios have potential use in college admissions, schol-arship applications and future careers. It is essential to allow at least some class time for students to utilize necessary support from each instructor as they work on the project. Implementing assign-ments that meet objectives for integrated curricula takes practice by the instructors and students. Prior to completing the integrated assignments, students are given separate grading criteria and quickly learn the grading process in which sepa-“JArVIS AND HArTLEy (2005) SUGGEST THAT DEVELOPING POrTfOLIOS ALLOWS STUDENTS TO DEMONSTrATE ABILITIES, ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND kNOWLEDGE Of THE STEPS NECESSAry TO ACHIEVE EDUCATIONAL AND CArEEr GOALS, AND IT SErVES AS AN OPPOrTUNITy fOr PErSONAL rEfLECTION, THErEBy fACILITATING THE TrANSITION frOM HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE.” rate elements of health sciences and Eng -lish IV criteria are included, and separate course-specific grades are earned. The senior capstone project allows students to demonstrate knowledge in their chosen health care field using sophisticated and precise language. As detailed by DiMar -tino and Castaneda (2007), simultane -ously teaching and assessing this type of project, using both content standards criteria and rubrics, requires multidisci-plinary learning time. Early in the process, students are instructed to save digital copies of all documents created for health sciences and English IV classes. As part of their digital portfolios, students learn elements of advanced PowerPoint, using action but -tons and hyperlinks to navigate through their documents, as well as how to present professional, yet personal, information using elements of proper grammar and appropriate style. Students create profes -sional summaries, display secondary and F ebruar y 2012 Techniques 53

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