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Re-framing the Geography Dissertation: A Consideration of Alternative, Innovative and Creative Approaches

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This paper reviews the opportunities and challenges for re-framing the purpose, process, product and assessment of final-year geography dissertations. It argues that the academic centralities of critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, effective communication and independence must be retained, but that the traditional format limits creativity and innovation. Re-imagining capstone projects has implications for students, faculty, departments and institutions, but greater diversity could enhance its relevance to students and employers, better aligning the student experience with the academic interests and future career demands of the 21st century graduate.

Keywords: Dissertation; assessment; capstone project; creativity; innovation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Environmental Management,University of West of England, UK 2: Higher Education Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences,University of Plymouth, England, UK 3: Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences,Manchester Metropolitan University, UK 4: Department of Geography,National University of Ireland, Ireland 5: Department of Geography,Texas State University – San Marcos, CA, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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