June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
24.1177.1 - 24.1177.18
Teamwork, Innovation, and Student Engagement in Technology Entrepreneurship – A Case StudyAbstractThe increasingly faster rate of technological innovations is more pronounced in computingrelated fields such as communications and information technology. However, hardly anyevidence exists to support purposeful innovation and entrepreneurship education specificallytargeted to computing students in comparison to engineering students. Because computing isclosely aligned with engineering in much theories and practices, it is reasonable to assume thatthe visions of future computing professionals would be similar to those of future engineers.Therefore, it is realistic to expect that while in college future computing professionals should atleast be similarly educated and trained in business practices that expose them to entrepreneurshipin the context of teamwork and innovation.This paper discusses the design, implementation, learning outcomes, and student engagement ina National Science Foundation funded technology entrepreneurship course offered in an urbanuniversity computing program. This course primarily focused on teamwork, innovation, andentrepreneurship. It sought to train students in becoming well-rounded business-mindedtechnocrats grounded in disciplinary theories and technical skills as well as in innovativethinking, entrepreneurship, problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills. The coursewas supported by case studies of technology entrepreneurs as well as guest lecturers andmentors. The case studies mainly highlighted the experiences and advice of successfulentrepreneurs through their business development ventures and problem solving strategies. Theguest lecturers included both academic and non-academic professionals experienced ininnovation and entrepreneurship. They provided the students with experiential knowledge andinsights on teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship including specific examples ofencountered business problems. The mentors were either technology entrepreneurs or seniorlevel managers from industry versed in teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship; theyassisted the student teams in financial or healthcare problem identification appropriately definedfor solutions within the constraint of a semester; they further provided guidance, realism, andinsight to the teams’ ideas for a feasible problem solution. These interventions helped tosupplement the content provided in the case studies and lectures. A central product of the coursewas the creation of a business plan developed to support an innovative problem solution tosatisfy a financial or healthcare customer’s need with its subsequent pitch.Students’ performance in and enthusiasm for the course were generally positive as evidenced bythe course grade percentage errors, learning performance indicators, interviews, and surveys. Inaddition, some of the products/services were judged by industry experts to be capable ofsatisfying the identified customer need if they were further developed. Nothing should beinferred from these results because of the small sample size of 12 students, but the results dosuggest that this approach to teaching teamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship is meritoriousin providing computing students with the professional skills needed for the global knowledgeeconomy.The Technology Entrepreneurship course as described in this paper differs from most of theother related entrepreneurship courses in that it provided formal pedagogical instruction inteamwork, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Moreover, its assessment and evaluation includednot only surveys, interviews, and performance-based assessment, but also journals as well asexaminations.
Joseph, A. (2014, June), Teamwork, Innovation, and Student Engagement in Technology Entrepreneurship – A Case Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23110
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