July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
This work-in-progress paper describes the development and evaluation of an innovative faculty development initiative that incorporates entrepreneurial mindset (EM) and entrepreneurship practices into the educational change process. In 2020, as a result of grant from KEEN and the Mentorship 360 Project at Arizona State University, a teaching and learning center housed in the College of Engineering at a large research-focused university launched a new initiative called the Entrepreneurial Mindset for Innovative Teaching (EMIT) Academy. The EMIT Academy makes parallels between principles associated with entrepreneurship and quality teaching to help faculty engage in a critical reflection of their course, conduct “customer” discovery in their courses, and revise their courses.
As we begin, consider the processes and mindset associated with being an entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur will develop a business plan and conduct customer discovery, then iterate and pivot in the face of failure. Entrepreneurs need to be curious and creative, to demonstrate the value of their product or service, and to make connections among multiple sources of information. Now consider the processes and mindset associated with teaching. Successful teachers will engage in a course planning process, periodically gather information from students on their learning and on their own teaching effectiveness, and adjust teaching strategies as appropriate. A good teacher develops instructional activities that are engaging to students, creates a valuable learning experience for students, and integrates many sources of information to provide a seamless instructional environment. The practices and mindset associated with quality teaching mirror practices of entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset.
The EMIT Academy uses the metaphor of teaching as entrepreneurship to frame a faculty development program for engineering faculty. The EMIT Academy was modeled on the NSF-funded Innovation Corps (iCorps) experience. In iCorps, faculty work through a curriculum to help bring technology concepts to market. In the EMIT Academy, faculty applied similar entrepreneurial principles and processes as iCorps to teaching innovation and evaluation. After participating in the Academy, participants should be able to: 1) identify how entrepreneurial ideas and principles can be used to enhance a course, 2) critically reflect on a course by completing a teaching version of the business canvas model, identify areas of opportunity for change in their courses to better meet the needs of students, 4) collect and interpret data from a “customer discovery” process of their students’ perceived needs for their course, and 5) redesign their course using the Entrepreneurial Teaching Model and information from the customer discovery process.
In summer of 2020, nine faculty members participated in the EMIT Academy. Several guiding research questions were used to investigate impact and evaluate the Academy: 1) How do faculty conceptions of entrepreneurship and its application to teaching change as a result of participating in the Academy? 2) What are the perceived affordances and barriers to the adoption/adaption of innovative instructional practices and do these change as a result of participation? 3) How do faculty members’ instructional practices change as a result of participation? 4) How can the EMIT Academy be improved for future cohorts? To answer these questions, all participants completed in a pre-workshop interview and an immediate post-workshop survey. In addition, they will also interviewed in late fall of 2020, after they have had a chance to teach their revised course. All interviews will be transcribed and coded using an iterative, deductive coding process. This work-in-progress paper will provide a detailed overview of the Academy and initial results of the interviews and survey.
Zappe, S. E., & Cutler, S., & Litzinger, T. A. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Impact of the Entrepreneurial Mindset for Innovative Teaching (EMIT) Academy Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/38168
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