July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought multiple social, economic, and technological divides to the forefront as key societal issues that were previously ‘silent’ to the engineering and STEM community. These issues must be addressed through social innovations that can be easily implemented at the point of need. Social innovations are defined as new solutions (products, services, models, markets, processes, etc.) that simultaneously meet a social need (more effectively than existing solutions) and lead to new or improved capabilities and relationships and better use of assets and resources [The Young Foundation (2012) Social Innovation Overview]. The development of effective engineering solutions is a critical part of many of these social innovations. This is calling for new approaches to implement ‘social innovation and entrepreneurship’ education to the engineering students, in addition to the traditional STEM curriculum. Additionally, in the primarily ‘remote’ learning mode during the COVID-19 pandemic, different pedagogies are crucial for effective and engaged student learning.
This paper presents the methodology, highlights, and execution of the “Social Innovations: Engineering, Globalization, and Leadership” class that was conducted ‘virtually’ through the 8-week summer session of 2020. The motivation behind the class was to introduce, educate and encourage students to learn, adopt and implement attributes of social innovation philosophies and servant leadership via ‘case studies’ and discussion during the class meeting times. Weekly modules were developed to include one social innovation case study (including presentation rubric) per week and leadership lessons. The class proceeded in the ‘flipped classroom’ approach, where each student presented their perspective and analysis of the assigned social innovation case study, followed by interactive discussion within the group. Throughout the class, students advanced their understanding of the attributes of social innovation and leadership and its context to globalization and social equity. Concurrently, students were divided among two groups for the class project to practice the development of frugal engineering solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects focused on developing a multi-functional mask (physical) and a fact check plugin (digital), to prevent the spread of virus and misinformation, respectively. The project was executed in parallel with the class and culminated in an ‘open house’ presentation attended by multiple invited faculty and industry professionals. Throughout the duration of the class, each student developed their own model and attributes for delivering impactful social innovation along with a leadership mind map as a part of the final report. Students were graded based on their presentations, in-class interactive participation, and the final project report. At the end of the semester, based on the feedback from the students as well as the open house attendees, this virtual class, helped students to build a framework for social innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership for successful implementation within the frugal engineering model.
Malshe, A. P., & Bapat, S. T. (2021, July), Learning Social Innovations and Social Entrepreneurship During COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37429
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