Iterating the Innovation Plan
After reviewing 30+ articles, I came up with a few things that seem to be crucial in implementing an entrepreneurial track. After exploring the implementation in an in-depth literature review and presentation, I wanted to distill the information below and highlight the iteration of my innovation plan.
What Doesn’t Work
- Preparing students for an occupation since most jobs they may enter don’t even exist today
- Maintaining a traditional classroom approach
- Relying on a business textbook
- Teaching only the theory of entrepreneurism
- Relying only on the teacher as the main instructor
- Thinking that the class can exist only within the walls of the school
- Not reflecting on the learning process
- Preparing students to be innovative self- starters in whatever field they want to pursue
- Creating an authentic learning experience through actually starting and running a business
- Engaging established entrepreneurs to mentor students (or at least using novels and short stories of established entrepreneurs to go beyond the traditional textbook)
- Establishing meaningful relationships within the community
While my initial innovation plan covers many of these topics, I am going to make some adjustments based on my research this month. Instead of focusing strictly on years, I am going to focus on stages and let the business and students dictate the timing. Also since so much of the research emphasized the authentic learning, I am going to move away from a traditional business class in year one and go directly to the pre-launch phase. This is also made possible by some changes that have taken place at my school. So here is my new adjusted plan
Students in the will choose a business plan to put into action (in year 1 this will be a coffee shop – this will allow students to hit the ground running with an established idea). They then will enter the pre-launch phase. The pre-launch phase is where the entrepreneurial team will assemble all the necessary resources. During this year students will have to be proactive to convert their long term wishes into intention via OTIUM (opportunity, time, importance, urgency, and means). The opportunity will be identified and evaluated. The time and means for the launch will need to be assembled. The will spend this phase defining the importance and urgency of each activity as they encounter the inevitable roadblocks of constructing their new business (Frese, 2009). During this phase, we will engage with existing entrepreneurs in the community to mentor students and answer the questions they develop to start their business.
Then students will then enter the launch phase. This phase is characterized by the starting of the organization, the first sale and the problem solving necessary to evaluate and overcome the obstacles of a new business. This phase is also characterized by setting short and long term goals to assess the viability and growth of the new business as well as dealing with diverse and often conflicting demands (Frese, 2009). This will be as authentic a learning experience as possible since they will actually be running a business and therefore responsible for the profits and losses of that business.
In the final stage, students will need to engage the local community to either do market research on how to improve their business and/or for an internship outside of the business they have created. This will allow them to explore in depth how other businesses are run. During their internship, they will reflect on the business they constructed and how they could use their new knowledge to improve.
Throughout this process, students will create an e-Portfolio of their learning experiences. Consistent with relevant learning theories, these e-Portfolios could be viewed as occupying the highest form of knowledge and skill integration (Anderson, Krathwohl, & Bloom, 2001). The students will be reflecting on the development of all of their professional skills in the process of taking charge of their own digital footprint (Fitch et. al 2008). E-portfolios not only provide an avenue for authentic reflection, they also provide students with a means of demonstrating their skill set, education, and relevant experiences (Chatham-Carpenter, Seawel, & Raschig, 2009). This will serve as not only a great demonstration of their time in the entrepreneurial program but also as a differentiator in their college admissions process as well as future intern applications.
- Develop initial business plan
- Converting business plan to action plan via OTIUM
- Meet with mentors for guidance in building their business
- Discover and implement the various technologies necessary for success (website, online commerce, bookkeeping etc.)
- Utilize e-Portfolio to document learning process
- Continue with pre-launch phase mentors and technologies
- Starting of organization, sales, discovery and assessment of short and long-term business goals for success
- Continue e-Portfolio
Growth and Internship Phase
- Continuation of launch and pre-launch mentors and technologies and adjust as needed
- Community engagement and possible internships
- Growth of business
- Decision on future of business upon graduation
- Continue e-Portfolio
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.
Chatham-Carpenter, A., Seawel, L., & Raschig, J. (2009). Avoiding the pitfalls: Current practices and recommendations for ePortfolios in higher education. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(4), 437-456. doi:10.2190/et.38.4.e
Fitch, D., Peet, M., Glover Reed, B. & Tolman, R. (2008). The use of eportfolios in evaluating the curriculum and student learning. Journal of Social Work Education 44(3), 37-54. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=14&sid=167b54f2-8fa7-490b-96a5-ad9a27628fd8%40sessionmgr102
Frese, M. (2009). Toward a psychology of entrepreneurship—An action theory perspective. Foundations and Trends in Entrepreneurship, 5, 437– 496. http://www.evidence-based-entrepreneurship.com/content/publications/447.pdf