In an effort to try and spare others some of the frustration and confusion I felt as I worked my way through 3 revisions/4 total submissions of Task 3, I've compiled a list with some tips. Please, learn from my mistakes.
Task 3 of the Capstone is the same game as before, but has very different rules. What I mean by this is, you still write a paper, you still have an extremely vague rubric, but this time the rubric that students get is extremely different than what the grader uses. There are some things that were perfectly acceptable in previous papers, but are not now.
Here are my tips for Capstone/Task 3
- Make sure your paper has a cover sheet, and looks vaguely like a business report. That means not putting in the question number in the heading so that the grader knows which question you're answering. Bonus tip: Use a template from Word
- Size matters. Remember how, for the other tasks the rule was, "Make your answer only as long as you need to, to answer the question"? Not so for Task 3. For Task 3 "at a minimum, several paragraphs are needed" for each question. My first draft was only 14 pages but after 3 revisions and some liberal page breaks, I bumped that up to 32. Bonus tip: "several" means a minimum of 3
- The rubric prompt for "Articulation" has absolutely nothing to do with how well you write, it's a measure of whether or not you include that coversheet, mentioned above.
- Don't forget to include your Client Verification Letter and signed Waiver Release form each time you submit your task. Bonus tip: After you submit these to TaskStream, you may see a notice that says that the files are either too large or have components that are password protected. Do not worry about those things, as my grader was able to access my submissions just fine.
- Do not use any abbreviations or acronyms in your paper. I had been using one for 3 paragraphs and suddenly the grader didn't know what I was referring to.
- Do not use any pronouns in your paper, for example, do not say, "Sasha will implement XYZ" instead say, "The owner of XYZ Company will implement". (I got away with it in parts C2 and C3! Hah!)
- Part A2b should include a chart. It doesn't matter what it is, just include a chart.
- In A2c, "long term" isn't defined. I talked about things that were 3 years out and it passed.
- Also in A2c, mention something about return on investment (ROI) even if it makes no sense or isn't feasible.
- Use a company that you are very familiar with, and that is large enough to where you can easily suggest changes. I used a 1 person company and ended up suggesting that the owner hire someone at $57,000 year to market something that the company has no chance of making money from.
- When in doubt, make stuff up. This task does not rely upon logic or common sense. You are asked to implement changes that have exactly zero % chance of ever actually being implemented.
- Make sure that everything that you put in solutions is also reflected in the financial and timeline sections.