We all want to teach motivated students, but this is a particularly challenging time for them:
- Classes are virtual. You and I are experiencing Zoom fatigue, but imagine being a student and being asked to sit through hours of lectures each week.
- Experiential learning is scary. Getting out of the classroom, engaging with strangers, sharing rough experiments with the world – these can all cause students significant anxiety.
- “I’m not an entrepreneur.” Some students may just be filling credits. Others may have a misconception about what it means to be an entrepreneur.
We’ve found the key to keeping students motivated is to…
Help Students Discover Their Intrinsic Motivators
How do you guide students to their intrinsic motivators? Focus on the intersection of three elements:
- The skills they have and want to develop further.
- Their interests that spark their curiosity.
- Where they want to make an impact in the world.
Purpose lies at the intersection of these three elements. If you guide your students through the exercise below early in the semester, they spend the semester working on their purpose.
Students pursuing their purpose = motivated students.
Pilot Your Purpose = Motivated Students
Once students have a purpose, you can ground each class session in that purpose. You don’t have to talk abstractly about difficult or stressful topics like customer interviewing or entrepreneurial finance. Instead, talk with students about how to interview customers for the idea they are most passionate about pursuing, or how to finance their passion project.
Your class becomes an opportunity for students to pursue their purpose!
Interests + Skills = Passion
The easiest on-ramp to identifying passion is interests. Have students think about:
- What friends say they always talk about
- What they would spend time doing if money was no object
- What they were learning about the last time they lost track of time watching Youtube or scrolling on social media
I talk to my friends and colleagues, who say I’m always talking about mentoring programs, curriculum, and big town & gown ideas. I think about what I would do if money was no object, and some things I thought about are building mentoring programs, adopting old dogs, and teaching entrepreneurship to prisoners (I’ve never engaged with prisoners, but think teaching them entrepreneurship would be deeply meaningful). I then think back to the last time I lost a couple of hours staring on my phone, and it was watching others teach Adobe Illustrator.
I now see my interests mapped out, according to what my friends say, what I dream about, and what holds my attention.
- What friends say they are good at
- What they would like to get better at doing
- What they think they are above average at doing
I again talk to my friends, who say I am good at being coaching teachers, giving honest feedback, and at being sarcastic. I think about things I do that I want to be better at. I love, for instance, trying to create engaging content on social media, but know I have a lot to learn! Last, I think hard about what I am really good at, and land on creating curriculum, presenting, coaching/mentoring and connecting others.
I now see my skills mapped out, according to what my friends say, areas I want to improve, and what I’m already good at.
Here is the exercise to motivate your students!
To download the full Pilot Your Purpose exercise enter your email below!
Want More Engaged Students?
Check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum.
Whether you’re teaching online, face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two, we built our Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) to provide award-winning engagement and excitement for your students
- in any course structure
- on all major learning management system
We’ve taken the guesswork out of creating an engaging approach that works both online or in-person. ExEC has a comprehensive entrepreneurship syllabus template complete with 15 weeks of award-winning lesson plans that can be easily adapted to your needs.