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Faculty Beliefs of Entrepreneurship and Design Education: An Exploratory Study Comparing Entrepreneurship and Design Faculty

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Faculty Development

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.631.1 - 25.631.28



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Paper Authors


Sarah E. Zappe Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Sarah Zappe is the Director of Assessment and Instructional Support in the College of Engineering at Penn State University. In this role, she provides support to faculty in trying innovative ideas in the classroom. Her background is in educational psychology with an emphasis in applied testing and measurement. Her current research interests include integrating creativity into the engineering curriculum, development instruments to measure the engineering professional skills, and using qualitative data to enhance response process validity of tests and instruments.

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Kirsten S Hochstedt Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Kirsten Hochstedt is a Graduate Assistant at the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education. She received her M.S. in educational psychology, with an emphasis in educational and psychological measurement, at Penn State and is currently a doctoral candidate in the same program. The primary focus of her research concerns assessing the response structure of test scores using item response theory methodology.

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Elizabeth C. Kisenwether Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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A Comparison of Engineering Capstone Design and Entrepreneurship Educators’ Beliefs Regarding TeachingAbstractEngineering capstone design and certain entrepreneurship courses can have some similarities interms of course structure and instructional methods. Both types of courses have the tendency tobe less structured than traditional courses and utilize teaching methods such as problem-based orproject-based learning. The goals relating to the professional skill set are often similar and caninclude communication, writing, business, and team skills. The role of the teacher is less likelyto be a lecturer, but rather as a coach or a guide that assists students in completing a longer-termproject. Many capstone courses have an industry component and can even have anentrepreneurial component. The purpose of this paper is to compare the teaching beliefs andpractices of instructors of capstone design courses and entrepreneurship courses.The following research questions will be used to compare the beliefs of capstone versusentrepreneurship instructors: 1. What are the teaching practices of senior design versus entrepreneurship instructors? 2. How do instructors feel that entrepreneurship should be taught at the university to engineering students? 3. Do faculty members believe that the entrepreneurial mindset is something that can be developed or is it innate?Instructors of capstone design courses and engineering entrepreneurship courses at three largepublic institutions were invited to participate in an online survey. A total of 37 instructors andfaculty members who were affiliated with the entrepreneurship program at their respectiveinstitutions completed the survey. Additionally, 19 senior capstone design faculty memberscompleted the survey.The preliminary results show some interesting similarities and differences between the twogroups of instructors, which will be explored in much greater detail in the final paper. Bothgroups reported using similar teaching practices, with student-led presentations, mentoring andcoaching students, use of personal experiences, and guest speakers as the most frequently usedtechniques in their courses. Regarding the nature of the entrepreneurial mindset,entrepreneurship educators were more likely to believe that the necessary characteristics to be anentrepreneur are mostly developed; capstone design instructors were more likely to feel thesecharacteristics were innate. While this may not be surprising given the fact that entrepreneurshipinstructors are teaching students to be entrepreneurships, this finding can have implications forother faculty when advising students on which courses or minors to explore.

Zappe, S. E., & Hochstedt, K. S., & Kisenwether, E. C. (2012, June), Faculty Beliefs of Entrepreneurship and Design Education: An Exploratory Study Comparing Entrepreneurship and Design Faculty Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21388

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