In collaboration with researchers from a wide range of academic backgrounds at AAU, we have worked to combine PBL and Entrepreneurship in a definition of entrepreneurship education, with all AAU teachers, regardless of academic background, can relate to. Through this work, we have come up with the concept of "Entrepreneurship PBL", which refers to processes that allow students to create new value for external parties while consciously developing entrepreneurial mindsets and skills.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP PBL AS A DIDACTIC STARTING POINT
The Entrepreneurship PBL process model
With the model of the Entrepreneurship-PBL-process, we emphasize that in an entrepreneurship-oriented project there is a more deliberate focus on innovation and value creation than in a traditional PBL project. The model contains the same elements as a traditional PBL process, but it enriches the learning process with a special focus on the iterative aspect, where students get the opportunity to go through the phases of the model several times. In addition, the model describes that the aimed results are to ensure both learning for the students and new value for external parties.
Phases in the process model
Each phase of the Entrepreneurship PBL process has different methods, tools and processes that educators and students can choose to apply. Thus, each entrepreneurial PBL project / course becomes unique for each group and can be adapted to the individual education's learning objectives.
Read more about the phases,
and associated tools
Definition of entreprenurial PBL
Our definition of Entrepreneurship PBL is based on the understanding that students through traditional PBL projects develop a range of competencies that can be considered entrepreneurial. On the basis of the Foundation for Entrepreneurship's definition of Entrepreneurship, as well as the EntreComp framework, we have developed the following definition:
”Entrepreneurship PBL is a form of study where students, through iterative learning processes, develop an entrepreneurial mindset in a problem oriented project work. Wonder is the driving force where theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge are translated into new value creation through targeted action on an ethical basis and in cooperation with relevant stakeholders. ” (Entrepreneurship PBL Development Group 2019)
With this definition, we emphasize two entrepreneurship-oriented focus areas that can enrich the PBL approach:
1. VALUE CREATION FOR OTHERS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ENTREPRENEURAL MINDSET
In an Entrepreneurship PBL project, students work more consciously to create new value for others and thereby develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Value creation and the entrepreneurial mindset are essential for developing entrepreneurial competencies, and these are therefore integrated into the way SEA works with entrepreneurship in education.
2. UNPREDICTABILITY AND ITERATION
In an Entrepreneurship PBL project, we see greater unpredictability and uncertainty than in a traditional PBL project, because it is central that the students create new value for others outside the study group. This means that they cannot necessarily find solutions to the problem in something that already exists. In addition, the involvement of stakeholders and their perspective on what is valuable makes it more difficult to control the outcome of the PBL process. Here we believe that it is important that "mistakes" and unpredictability during the process can strengthen students' learning. Their reflection on mistakes and uncertainty as well as action taken on this basis will make them go through different phases in the entrepreneurial process several times, and thus strengthen their understanding of problems and contexts. The benefit of an Entrepreneurship-PBL-project is then not only the product (value creation and possibly project report / exam) but the learning process itself, because it provides the experiences necessary to develop entrepreneurial skills.
Click here to read more about the theoretical basis for the definition in Chapter 1 of the tool book.
Download tool book
In collaboration with 9 researchers from a wide range of academic backgrounds at AAU, we have developed a tool booklet. This booklet is aimed towards teachers who want to work on developing students’ entrepreneurial competences through regular daily teaching sessions.
The group behind
This booklet has been developed as a part of the project ‘PBL and Entrepreneurship — Linking and Developing Concepts and Practices that promote Entrepreneurial Skills across AAU’. The project was completed in the period 2017-2019, in collaboration between SEA (Supporting Entrepreneurship at AAU) at Innovation and a development group consisting of a number of researchers from AAU, all experienced in teaching and research related to entrepreneurship
THE DEVELOPMENT GROUP COMPRISES:
- Anete Mikkala Camille Strand (Department of Communication and Psychology)
- Ann Charlotte Thorsted (Department of Communication and Psychology)
- Annemarie Østergaard (Department of Culture and Learning)
- Birgitte Bak-Jensen (Department of Energy Technology)
- Birthe Lund (Department of Culture and Learning)
- Frank Gertsen (Department of Materials and Production)
- Ivan Aaen (Department of Computer Science)
- Jonna Langeland Christensen (Department of Business and Management)
- Peter Vistisen (Department of Communication and Psychology)