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Engineering Virtual Studio: KEEN Modules to Foster Entrepreneurial Mindset in an Integrative, First/Second Year Online Course

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.512.1 - 24.512.8



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Paper Authors


Kurt A. Thoroughman Washington University

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Dr. Thoroughman is the director of undergraduate studies in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also an associate professor and the associate chair for undergraduate studies in the department of biomedical engineering. Dr. Thoroughman received a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and postdoctoral training in biology from Brandeis University.

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Alessandra Hruschka Washington University in St.Louis


Patricia Widder Washington University in St. Louis

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Patricia Widder serves as lecturer and Teaching Lab coordinator in the biomedical engineering department at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her M.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to her current position, she worked as an instrumentation and controls engineer for Monsanto Co.

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Engineering Virtual Studio: KEEN Modules to Foster Entrepreneurial Mindset in an Integrative, First/Second Year Online CourseEngineering is a field that interacts with its surroundings by applying science to practicalproblems. In developing future engineers, teaching the technical fundamentals is only part of thetask; engineering programs must also develop engineers that are able to apply those skills intothe real world. Example problems are sometimes shown in classes, but lack the interactivitynecessary to instill the skill in students. Introducing students to entrepreneurship directlypromotes creativity and marketplace connection while indirectly instilling connection to realworld problems and promoting scholarly and pre-professional identity within engineering.Here we introduce foundations to an entrepreneurial mindset to freshmen and sophomores viaonline modules, which we developed and piloted this academic year. We have previously built aone-­‐credit, on-­‐line, pass/fail course that not only builds explicit connections across foundationalcoursework and real-­‐world relevance through discussions with peers and upperclassman mentors.Our new Entrepreneurial KEEN Modules integrate into this course investigations into market-­‐and society driven problems, to which students will develop solutions in consultation withcampus and local experts. This will instill entrepreneurial problem-­‐establishment and problem-­‐solving as cornerstones to foster real-­‐world relevance, motivation, and goals for studentsbeginning as early as possible in their undergraduate study.This entrepreneurial foundation helps provide context and relevance to foundational material,and fosters an independent and personal entrepreneurial mindset. Here we report on our work-in-progress and formative assessment of performance and motivation of students in theentrepreneurial modules.

Thoroughman, K. A., & Hruschka, A., & Widder, P. (2014, June), Engineering Virtual Studio: KEEN Modules to Foster Entrepreneurial Mindset in an Integrative, First/Second Year Online Course Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20403

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