The HEI regularly assesses entrepreneurial teaching and learning across the institution

Entrepreneurial teaching and learning involves various action-based, student-centred, problem-based pedagogies and teaching methods. These are the basis for effective entrepreneurship education activities, whose objectives are to prepare and equip students for: becoming entrepreneurs, that is, starting up and/or developing an entrepreneurial firm; becoming entrepreneurial employees; and becoming entrepreneurial in all aspects of their lives.

Assessing the level of engagement in entrepreneurship education activities starts with the basic step of establishing whether entrepreneurship education is available in the higher education institution and to whom it is offered. The following questions provide useful guidance: who can attend entrepreneurship education activities? Is entrepreneurship education mandatory? How do students find out about non-mandatory entrepreneurship education activities? Is entrepreneurship education offered in undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate studies? Are there interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education activities? Are these open to all students?

It will be important to gather information on take-up of different types of entrepreneurship education activities. It is likely that differences in take-up also relate to: characteristics of the teacher and teaching style; course content; format and lengths; and participants. Course specific information needs to be taken into account when calculating ratios, for example comparing the percentage of students that have access to entrepreneurship education and the actual percentage of take up.

Fulfilling methodological requirements in evaluating impacts of entrepreneurship education activities is very resource intensive and may not lead to the expected results, especially if learning outcomes require panel studies and long term tracer studies[1], such as, for example, entrepreneurial intentions. This should, however, not replace the monitoring and evaluation of the match between course objectives, learning outcomes and pedagogies. Questionnaires, although often used, are not always the best instrument to gather information about this. Games, journals, focus groups and feedback techniques should also be used.

  • Creating awareness about the possibilities of entrepreneurship could be a course objective. It could involve, for example, measuring – prior and after the course – the extent to which students perceive self-employment or starting-up an entrepreneurial firm entrepreneurship and/or being entrepreneurial employees as desirable career options.
  • Assessing the impact of entrepreneurship education activities also includes measuring the added value of entrepreneurship education on students' skills.[2] This is done by surveying students at different stages of the education activity (e.g., prior, during and after). Often measured are differences in: self-efficacy; creativity; risk propensity; focus of control; and entrepreneurial intentions, that is, the intention to start-up a business at some time in the future.

When entrepreneurship skills are being developed outside of the classroom and in real business environments, assessing the impact may require other specific approaches, such as: focus groups; feedback techniques; and involvement of learning in practice partners, for example, internship supervisors and shadowed entrepreneurs.

 

[1] Studies based on the experiences of studies with the same sample group.

[2] Difficulties in establishing causality should, however, not be underestimated. A principal requirement for evaluating an impact is establishing that a difference in one, or more, relevant outcomes is caused by a particular treatment. This can be difficult. For example, a counterfactual group, with the same underlying mindset and skills set as the group that receives entrepreneurship education is inexistent.

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  • Guidance notes
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