As found on Wikipedia, a capstone is literally, “one of the finishing or protective stones that form the top of an exterior masonry wall or building.”  Some common definitions of the term capstone with regard to education are, “the crowning achievement, point, element, or event” and “the final stroke; the culmination or acme.” Also, I think a good definition is, “In-depth exploration of an area of the curriculum. Usually occurs in the final term of study and builds on previous learning.”  These definitions gave me a little bit a clearer idea of what a capstone project should be. My capstone project should pull in skills I have learned from many different areas, and culminate to make a final product that shows off what I can do and solves a unique problem.

I have friends that are studying drastically different subject matters from me, from physical therapy to education, that have done a capstone as a part of their educational studies. These are usually lengthy research projects, writing a document that is perhaps hundreds of pages long. This is obviously very different from what we will be doing as interactive media/ web design students. I wanted to see which schools that offered interactive media degrees, or some related field, that also required a capstone project.

What I could find on this subject was a spattering of schools that required a capstone as a part of the curriculum.

I may have had problems finding examples of capstone projects for interactive media for a few reasons. First, it’s possible I was looking in the wrong places. A university that has an interactive design major may require a final, cumulative project but not call it a “capstone.” Second, college degrees in interactive media still are pretty new, it’s not like it is a staple major at every university. Perhaps colleges haven’t developed the curriculum enough to require a formal capstone project. And third, universities and colleges may be wary of putting student examples online, perhaps to protect their privacy.

daveWhile the following isn’t necessarily a capstone project, I think it is an excellent example of a student’s interactive media project. This is the portfolio site of a student named Dave Werner who graduated from The Portfolio Center in Atlanta. It is nice, because Dave goes through how he came up with his ideas, his process, and the final product for each of his interactive projects. In the logo section for example, if you roll over the logo, you get a written description of what he was trying to achieve and images of alternate logos he considered. Not necessarily a capstone project, but a great example of an interactive media student.