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This paper addresses how small coordinated curricular changes can promote the development of an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering students. An entrepreneurial mindset helps students make connections, learn from mistakes, and identify opportunities to create value – behaviors that help them make greater contributions to society, and more successfully navigate their educational process. We present an approach that involves integrating e-portfolio experiences across the curriculum, aligning e-portfolio development to cooperative educational experiences, and using story-based methods and reflective practices to guide students in their personal and professional development. E-portfolios, integrated into an educational plan that challenges students to exercise and extend their problem solving and storytelling abilities in both personal and professional domains, are a powerful tool for promoting entrepreneurial mindset. Teaching engineering students how to identify and communicate essential elements of a problem-solving scenario along with their own professional aspirations as a story will enable them to develop and apply entrepreneurial mindset to condense complex situations into concrete courses of action. Effectively integrating e-portfolios requires that students understand how to use reflective practices to shape their future choices based on examination of current experiences. It also requires a change in faculty mindset, from viewing e-portfolios as a collection of artifacts, to viewing e-portfolios as developmental tools that drive student growth in classrooms. Story-based reasoning and reflection, provides the essential link between an entrepreneurial mindset and a technology skillset. Our university has begun implementation of vertical integration of e-portfolio practices through modifications to a first-year course for all students, to second- and fourth-year engineering-content courses, and to a third-year career orientation course. We present our experiences from the initial phase of implementation.
Hochgraf, C., & Christman, J., & Shackelford, L., & Nation-Knapper, S., & Brown, D. (2022, August), Vertically Integrating E-portfolios and Cooperative Educational Experiences to Develop Students’ Entrepreneurial Mindset Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41573
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