2020 Top Free Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans & Tools
“Your posts help me keep my students engaged – they and I thank you!” – ExEC Professor
Based on the popularity of our 2019 Top 5 Lesson Plans article, here is the list of our 2020 top entrepreneurship lesson plans based on feedback from our fast-growing community of thousands of entrepreneurship instructors.
We designed the following exercises and lesson plans to transform your students’ experience as they learn how to stay engaged online, interview customers, and form teams.
5. Gamify Your Lectures
We all struggled during this year of online learning to keep our students engaged. One surefire way to inject excitement into your class is to gamify your lectures. In this lesson, we explain how to use our favorite gamification tools (Slido and Kahoot!) to minimize Zoom zombie syndrome in your students.
These tools allow you to convert concepts you need to cover into questions your students explore one at a time. With this formative assessment approach, you discover what your students already know and what they need help with. Additionally, this approach activates passive students and invites students to teach each other.
Be careful using gamification; don’t overdo it. This gamification technique is great, but if you use it too often its benefits will wear off. Instead, mix this approach up with a number of experiential exercises (like those in the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum).
4. Skills Scavenger Hunt
Students in high-performance teams learn better and perform better. But how do we move students beyond forming teams with friends and teammates? Students matched on aligned goals and diverse skills give them their best chance at boosting their learning capability.
We developed our Skills Scavenger Hunt to facilitate that process and thus mitigate the biggest drawbacks of student team projects. In this exercise, students go on a scavenger hunt to find other students with complementary skills.
With this unique exercise, students form high-performing teams by going on a scavenger hunt to find other students with complementary skills in the following categories:
- Social Media
If your students are in teams that are dysfunctional, or just sleepy, their learning can come to a screeching halt as they disengage. Empower them to successfully assemble their own high-performing teams so they execute better and conflict less.
3. Steve Blank Discusses How to Teach Entrepreneurship
At the USASBE 2020 annual conference, we had the privilege of interviewing entrepreneurship education guru Steve Blank. In the first of two posts, he shared his perspective on how to teach entrepreneurship.
In a post loaded with great advice for any novice or expert entrepreneurship educator, Steve opened up about his many decades of experience as an entrepreneur, educator, and mentor. Read the full post for a wealth of invaluable information, but the quick takeaways are:
- Educators need a mentor. Effective entrepreneurship educators need expertise in the domains of education and entrepreneurship. Steve advises us to find a mentor in the domain in which we lack experience and expertise.
- Educators should train entrepreneurs like artists. Steve encourages us to forget about teaching answers, and instead design learning experiences so students can practice skill-building.
- Students learn skills by practicing them. Steve encourages us to learn to design effective learning experiences, as those are the best way to teach our students skills.
Read An Overview of the 1st Half of Our Interview Here
2. 10 Free Tools to Increase Student Engagement
During the TeachingEntrepreneurship.org Virtual Conference, we presented 10 tools to increase online student engagement. Learn about these free quiz, video, digital whiteboard, and presentation tools like Gimkit, Note.ly, Mural, and Loom.
You can sprinkle these tools throughout your entrepreneurship syllabus, or stack them like building blocks, to create a deeper face-to-face or online student engagement. Below is a video recap of the conference presentation.
We consistently experiment with a wide variety of tools to help our community of entrepreneurship educators provide engaging experiences for their students. For this post, we curated the 10 tools we feel provide the greatest chance of deeply engaging learning experiences for your students, whether you’re teaching face-to-face or online.
1. Lottery Ticket Dilemma
We urge our faculty to focus students on their customers’ emotional needs, which leads to more valuable customer interviews. During this exercise, students discover how important emotions are in the decision-making process and the importance of understanding and fulfilling other people’s emotional needs.
If your students focus more on their products than their customers’ problems, this lesson plan is for you! In this exercise, students learn:
- Why the majority of startups end in failure, & how to avoid those failures
- That customer decisions are driven by their emotions
- To create products customers want to buy we need to understand the emotional journey they want to take
Want 15 Weeks of Lesson Plans?
If you are looking for a fully structured, experiential entrepreneurship curriculum, with a semester’s worth of lesson plans that students love, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
We’ve done the work for you.
- Check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum
- Check out an entrepreneurship syllabus for Creativity & Innovation, New Venture Creation, Social Entrepreneurship, Intro to Entrepreneurship, & MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation courses