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CLeaR Fellows 2020 – Dr Peter Smith

Capstone courses: demonstrating achievement of graduate capabilities and employability

Dr Peter Smith

Dr Peter Smith

Peter has been with the Faculty of Business and Economics since 1997. As a member of the department of Management and International Business, his principle research and teaching is related to business strategy. He also has a long-term interest in management education, since he first attended the Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference in 1999. This passion has led to three University of Auckland Teaching Excellence Awards, and a similar number of Business School Teaching Excellence Awards. His current research into teaching revolves around the use of serious play and the use of games for teaching in higher education.

As a consultant, Peter works with high-technology firms in the area of technology strategy.


The emergence of capstone courses as a strategic thrust within the Business School—as in other areas of the university—was the inspiration for Peter’s application to CLeaR for one of their  ‘Design for Learning’ fellowships. Capstone courses present a number of unique pedagogical challenges that many other types of (regular) courses never have to contend with. During his fellowship Peter developed a literature review regarding the design of a capstone course–to understand the theory that can address the challenges of capstones—and then piloted some of those learnings in a pilot of a capstone course.