Welcome to the Capstone Portfolio Course (CEP 807 / ED 870). We are excited to have you as a part of this learning experience this semester, and we hope you find it to be a worthwhile and summative learning experience.
Note that the entirety of the course is located here (http://matt-koehler.com/CapstoneFA2018) but that we will also use Desire2Learn (D2L) for grades and Flipgrid as a discussion website. We will tell you much more about these additional sites as they get used throughout the course.
If you have a question that this page does not answer, please check our FAQ page to look for the answer there. If you still cannot find what you’re looking for, feel free to contact us so that we can help you out!
There are multiple instructors for this course, and the instructors work as a team developing and delivering the course to students. Your instructional team is as follows:
When you contact an instructor, we ask that you contact all of your instructors at once. The easiest way to do that is to directly email us using the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. We try to respond to email within 24 hours, and in many cases just a few hours.
We have tried to turn off all commenting features of this website, if you do find a place to leave a comment, DO NOT leave a comment as we will not be looking for it.
If you have a question you don’t feel like you should share with all of us, contact the instructor you feel most comfortable with.
The capstone course is taught by Dr. Matthew Koehler (professor at Michigan State) and three teaching assistants (Aric Gaunt, Sarah Keenan-Lechel, and Sukanya Moudgalya).
We teach as an integrated instructional team. When faced with a decision, we employ group decision making. Specifically, the whole team meets each week to talk about the course, make decisions, and troubleshoot any issues that have arisen.
What does this team approach mean for you? Mostly, you will experience the team approach in the way you converse with us. For example, we ask you to send email to us through the email address email@example.com because that means the entire team receives your email. Only one person may answer your email on behalf of the entire instructional team, but the entire team has received it and thought about it.
Even though we teach as a team, there are some specific roles that individuals serve. For example, most of the all-class emails will be sent by Aric. Many of the other roles are behind the scenes. However, it is worth noting that the three teaching assistants conduct most of the day-to-day operation of the course, including checking for submitted work, grading work, and troubleshooting student questions and issues. Dr. Koehler, on the other hand, is responsible for the developing the curriculum, creating the website, managing the technology, leading the instructional meetings, and providing overall direction for the course. He is also responsible for signing off on each of your qualifying exams at the program level. Dr. Koehler also gets involved in the day-to-day operation of the course when an issue becomes complicated, or special circumstances warrant extra attention.
If you are traveling or otherwise won’t be able to respond to incoming messages as quickly as normal, please give advance notice to your instructor and colleagues—please see the Late Work Policy for assessment-related issues connected to travel, etc.
All official course communication will be conducted via MSU Mail. You must check your MSU Mail account during the semester or have your MSU email address forward to an account that you check regularly.
Beginning in Module 3 we will hold office half hours twice a week in the virtual Capstone Coffeehouse. We are also happy to meet with students by appointment.
We organize this class into modules; in each module, we ask you to create something specific (even if it’s just in draft form) each module and provide feedback to peers about their work.
We want to be fair to you (both individually and collectively) in our grading. We understand that each of you come into the course with different skill levels with respect to technology, and we do not expect the same kind of work from each of you. In our grading, we factor in where each of you have started from and where you are at that time.
Important details to remember for all assignment submissions:
Your final grade is based on the following factors:
Your final grade will be calculated from the following scale (please note that a grade of 4.0 is the maximum even if you earn more than 100%):
|Percent (%)||Final Grade|
|0 – 64.99||0.0|
|65 – 69.99||1.0|
|70 – 74.99||1.5|
|75 – 79.99||2.0|
|80 – 84.99||2.5|
|85 – 89.99||3.0|
|90 – 94.99||3.5|
|95 – 100||4.0|
Unless stated otherwise, all work for a given module is due at 11:59 PM Michigan time on the last day of the module.
The course dates we have laid out are minimum pacing requirements. Please feel free to complete the course faster than these required dates. The only minor hiccup may be around the final exhibition (Module 11), which we tend to schedule during a specific week. If we have enough people wanting to finish faster, we can likely have an early exhibition (or two).
We have worked hard to design the course around modules and due dates that keep you on pace to complete a high-quality portfolio on time.
Most of our weekly modules ask you to just design “something”—a start, a first draft, a placeholder—rather than a finished product. You can always improve on it later. In most cases, you’ll get credit for the activity as long as you do “something.” In short, it is better to get something for an assignment posted on time (like a draft of a resumé) and to improve upon it as we go than to wait for everything to be perfect. There will be time to revise and improve later.
We realize, however, that circumstances arise from time to time that may require to you need extra time for an assignment. That is okay, so long as you contact us before the due date to make a suitable alternate schedule that fits the circumstances. If you do not contact us prior to the due date, our late work policy takes effect. Work received up to 48 hours after the deadline without prior notice may receive up to 1/2 credit; however, you must inform an instructor of its completion. Work received 48 hours after the deadline will receive no points.
If you recognize that unexpected circumstances are going to interfere with your ability to complete your work, we encourage you to consider dropping the course—ideally by the “refund” deadline and definitely by the “no grade reported deadline”—so that you can re-take the class another time when you can focus more fully on the work. We suggest this course of action because we don’t want you to pay for a class that you cannot complete or for a poor grade that doesn’t reflect your ability or potential to appear on your transcript. You can find these dates through the MSU registrar. Please use them to make the decisions that are best for you.
Managing your online presence and identity, however, is an important part of this process. We encourage you to think carefully about the degree to which you want your master’s work to be identifiable as your own. Many students create Twitter handles and URLs for their portfolios that include their real names. Others choose to create a separate online persona for their work because it makes more sense for them. This option is a way to remain anonymous to the world but also participate actively in your courses. Many students create accounts for third-party tech tools using an email address that is separate from their work email address. Importantly, all instructor feedback is given to students privately. Constructive suggestions, grades, and all other communications are conducted via email or in the course management system grade book.
Minimum Grade Policy
There is a policy regarding credit and grades for master’s courses. According to MSU policy, students cannot receive credit for any course with a grade below 2.0. You will have to take an extra course if you earn below a 2.0 grade on any course.
Minimum GPA requirement for all Students
Michigan State University, the College, the CEPSE Department, and the MAED and MAET programs all have a policy that requires master’s degree students to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA. “If, upon completion of 18 or more graduate credits, the student has not attained a grade– point average of 3.00 or higher, he or she becomes ineligible to continue work toward the master’s degree in the College” (Academic Standards, University Graduate Policy – Education, p. 1).
Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests, and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the www.allmsu.com web site to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade, on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work (see also the Academic Integrity webpage.)
As members of a learning community, students are expected to respect the intellectual property of course instructors. All course materials presented to students are the copyrighted property of the course instructor.
These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the MSU Counseling Center.
It is the responsibility of the student to: a) notify their advisor/major professor and faculty of the courses in which they are enrolled of the need for a grief absence in a timely manner, but no later than one week from the student’s initial knowledge of the situation, b) provide appropriate verification of the grief absence as specified by the advisor/major professor and faculty, and c) complete all missed work as determined in consultation with the advisor/major professor and faculty.
It is the responsibility of the advisor/major professor to: a) determine with the student the expected period of absence – it is expected that some bereavement processes may be more extensive than others depending on individual circumstances, b) receive verification of the authenticity of a grief absence request upon the student’s return, and c) make reasonable accommodations so that the student is not penalized due to a verified grief absence. Students wanting to request a Grief Absence should complete the Grief Absence Request Form.