Whether teaching Intro to Entrepreneurship at a community college, or Tech Entrepreneurship at Stanford, we know…
Experiential exercises are the key to engaging students.
In our continuing collaboration with Rebeca Hwang from Stanford, who introduced us to her Wish Game, we were excited by her invitation to share two of our lesson plans with her students.
Teaching at Stanford
Knowing that experiences are both the best to teach skills, we decided to introduce students to the difference between Inventors and Entrepreneurs with our award-winning Lottery Ticket Dilemma lesson plan. With our second lesson, we shifted our focus to customer interviews. We wanted students to walk away with a clear understanding of what questions they should, and more importantly, what questions they shouldn’t ask, during customer interviews.
Inventors Vs. Entrepreneurs
We chose to present this exercise because it creates a fun, experiential way for students to conceptualize customer behavior. They can also identify business opportunities, by demonstrating it’s not actually customer problems that drive behavior, but customer emotions.
After this game-based activity, students understand why some products are successful even if they don’t solve an obvious problem. This inspires them to identify non-problem based opportunities to leverage.
Customer Interviewing: Learning the Basics Through Gamification
We followed with another fun and interactive exercise designed to improve your students’ interviewing skills in just one lesson. During this class, students will identify what their problem interviewing goals should be and should not be. Those goals will point them to what questions they should and should not ask during customer interviews.
After the card game, we provided an interview script template to the students. They can use this script as the basis for any problem discovery interview they conduct. This robust script will increase the quality of their interviews, and their confidence in conducting them.
Students Love Engaging Entrepreneurship Classes
After our two lesson plans were concluded, one thing was very clear: students love to be engaged in the classroom. Here is a snapshot of some of our feedback:
We were delighted to get this real-time feedback from Stanford students. We believe in practicing what we preach and the opportunity to teach at Stanford allowed us to perform our own customer discovery interviews. The overall response was two-fold. The students:
- Loved how engaging the lessons were
- Appreciated learning a new, practical skill
Rigorous and Accessible Entrepreneurship Curriculum
But what excites us most about the work we do at TeachingEntrepreneurship.org is that these same exercises are accessible and loved by a wide range of students and university professors like. You can find our curriculum in:
Don’t Take Our Word for it
No Matter Where You’re Teaching
Our goal continues to be to move the art and science of teaching entrepreneurship forward. Customer Interviewing Cards and the Inventors vs. Entrepreneurs presentation are just a few the experiential exercises we’ve created. If you’d like to see how the Inventor vs. Entrepreneur lesson can work in your classroom, click to learn more. We hope you give them a shot, and if you, and your students enjoy, check out the full Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).
It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.