Browsed by
Tag: Assessment

AI Interviewing Simulator

AI Interviewing Simulator

Students are reporting more social anxiety than ever.

This Fall, there’s a tool that can help…

New: AI Interviewing Simulator

The key to helping students feel more comfortable interviewing customers is practice.

The new AI Interviewing Simulator helps students practice their interviewing skills as many times as they need to.

Here’s how it works:


Step 1: Students describe a customer they want to interview…

Step 2: They ask interview questions out loud…

Step 3: The AI verbally responds to them…

(Bonus) Step 4: After asking all of their questions, the students get feedback on how how to improve their interviews…

Watch the Full AI Interviewing Simulator Demo

AI Interviewing Simulator for Entrepreneurship Educators


2 Ways Your Students Can Use the AI Interviewing Simulator

Option #1

Use the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

ExEC provides 30+ engaging lessons you can use inside and outside your class.

Now ExEC includes the AI Interviewing Simulator, at no additional charge.


Option #2

Use just the ExEC Customer Interviewing Module

You can now integrate ExEC’s customer interviewing lessons into your course without having to adopt the entire curriculum. You’ll get exercises to teach:

  • Who to interview
  • What to ask during an interview
  • How to analyze interviews
  • And of course, your students will get full access to the new AI Interview simulator

All without you having to redesign your course.

Your students will get access to everything in ExEC, for life, and for less than the cost of a textbook.


Click Here to Chat About Either Option

Since so many students are experiencing social anxiety and are reluctant to talk to customers, we’re super excited about this new approach!


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Delight Your Students This Fall

Delight Your Students This Fall

Gift your students an unforgettable experience this Fall!

With better team engagement . . .

With quick video submissions . . .

With a simplified LMS implementation . . .

ExEC delivers an engaging, structured course for any teaching format that faculty at nearly 200 colleges and universities have been using for years. For more details on using this award-winning curriculum this Fall, request a full preview today!

Preview ExEC Now

Here is how ExEC will WOW! you and your students.

Easy Team Collaboration

We have updated our platform to allow team collaboration with literally a few clicks.

Students complete exercises within our curriculum and then with a few clicks can invite other students to collaborate on that particular exercise. See this in action below:

For instance, many of our students work on a Business Model Canvas. They get frustrated sharing paper copies, or emailing ideas, or struggling with a clunky Google doc version.

Collaborating should be productive, not frustrating.

With ExEC, students easily collaborate on one Canvas, in real time, within the platform.

Quick Video Submission

Video submissions are a great way for students to meaningfully reflect on their experience. This reflective approach encourages students to improve and learn from their mistakes. Video submissions have been a juggling act of multiple tools like iPhones, Zoom, and Google Drive.

Until now!

In our new video submission process students record their reflection with the click of a button, and instantly get a link to the video they can turn in. With our next iteration of ExEC:

We leverage technology to keep the focus on the learning experience.

The student experience is not all we have improved!

New LMS Generator

With ExEC’s LMS integration, preparing your class is easy. Give us the first and last day of class, any holidays, what LMS you use, what days of the week classes happen, and the length of class sessions.

Our technology builds an LMS package specific to your course so all you do is upload it and your course is ready to go.

With ExEC, spend your time diving into detailed lesson plans, not tinkering with the LMS

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

Engage Students

Students want simple, interactive experiences.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) is a cohesive toolset of structured activities that will build students’ entrepreneurial skills. For example:

Try ExEC this Fall and transform your and your students’ experience.

Preview ExEC Now


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

ExEC Can Be Your Fall Curriculum

ExEC Can Be Your Fall Curriculum

Fall will be here before you know it!

Do you want students engaged from day one?

Do you want a simplified grading process?

Do you want award-winning detailed lesson plans?

Whether you will teach:

  • In-person
  • Online synchronous
  • Online asynchronous
  • Hybrid

ExEC delivers an engaging and structured course that faculty at nearly 200 colleges and universities have been using for years. For more details on using ExEC this Fall, request a full preview today!

Preview ExEC Now

Here is what ExEC can do for you and your students.

Engage Students

Students want you to replace your lectures with interactive experiences.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) is a cohesive toolset of structured activities that will build students’ entrepreneurial skills. For example:

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Organization

Easily Deliver a Consistent Experience

Students enjoy a consistent and structured learning experience.

ExEC is a fully experiential and extremely well-organized curriculum for any class structure – 8, 10, 12, or 16 weeks, quarter system or accelerated MBA schedule.

You get a well-organized schedule of topics that guide students to:

problems and solutions

Preview ExEC Now

Get The Tools To Enjoy Your Experience

ExEC makes planning and grading faster, so you can spend your time guiding your students. You get dozens of extremely detailed lesson plans to minimize your prep time!

Plus with ExEC’s LMS integration, prepping for your class is easy. With a couple clicks, you upload your entire class into your LMS so you have time to dive into the detailed lesson plans.

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

Preview ExEC Now

Use a Curriculum So Students Enjoy Their Experience

ExEC uses fully integrated, objective rubrics that make grading a snap and provide students valuable feedback to improve their skill development.

objective rubric

For your students, ExEC provides elegant, graphically pleasing slides for every class session to maximize engagement.

what is an mvp?

 

Give Your Students Engagement, Quality, and Structure

ExEC is an award-winning, peer-reviewed, experiential curriculum that engages students in building entrepreneurial skills.

Try ExEC this Fall and transform your and your students’ experience.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Pitching the Process

Pitching the Process

If you end your entrepreneurship class by having students pitch their companies, you may have seen:

A handful of pitches are great, but most are…meh.

We’ve had luck improving the overall quality of pitches for all students by updating what we want students to pitch.

Pitching the Process

When we shift away from a Shark Tank-style idea pitch to a process pitch, students walk through the iterations of their business model canvases throughout the course, telling the story of:

  • What assumptions they made along the way
  • How they tested those assumptions
  • What they changed in their business model as a result
  • What assumptions they want to test next

The goal of this Process Pitch is for students to show they have learned a process for finding successful business models. This approach:

  • Emphasizes skill development
  • Values testing business models “outside the building”
  • Engages all students in the process

In process pitches, students demonstrate:

  • They understand the business model validation process
  • They applied that process and evolved their business model based on experimentation
  • The entire process was led by their customers’ emotional needs/problems

The reason this approach is so engaging is because it focuses students on skill acquisition: business modeling, testing business model assumptions, customer interviews, etc. Because you assess students on their process, they are incentivized to test their business model and report accurate results. The emphasis is on the students’ journey, not their outcome; the goal is not success or failure but what they learned during the process.

Learn more about Pitching the Process here.

Process Pitch Winners

We recently held a Process Pitch competition for the thousands of students using the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum, and students from Cal Poly won with their idea Spruce.ly. Out of many great entries, this amazing team stood out because they:

  • Demonstrated they learned skills (proven by the number of assumptions they invalidated)
  • Conducted customer interviews in a way that changed their business model
  • Ran several experiments including multiple ads campaigns, and user click-mapping on their MVP

Cal Poly Wins Process Pitch Competition

Set Your Students Up For Success This Spring

Similar to how we redesigned the antiquated Shark Tank pitches, we created the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) as an engaging experience that accommodates in-person, online, and hybrid classes anywhere from 8 to 15 weeks long.

We weave a cohesive thread throughout the curriculum, with a combination of personally relevant exercises that cohesively teach a set of real-world entrepreneurial skills. Professors at more than 120 colleges and universities find their students highly engaged from the first exercise where students  discover their passions to the last experience where they pitch their process.

Semester Experiential entrepreneurship education schedule

We created course shells for all of the major learning management systems, so it takes less than 5 minutes to get your new course imported.

This spring, if you want to save time while engaging your students, use “the best entrepreneurship curriculum available” – structured, cohesive, interactive experiences that will engage your students in deep learning.

Engage Your Students This Spring

If you’re looking for classes that buzz with excitement and energy with games, competitions, and activities that engage students while teaching them real-world skills . . .

Preview ExEC and see if it can help you and your students!

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo


What’s Next?

In an upcoming post, we will share information about our upcoming Winter Summit where we will share some exciting new exercises!

Subscribe here to be the first to grab a “seat” at the Summit.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Try ExEC this Fall

Try ExEC this Fall

Compared to last year…

Fall represents a breath of fresh air.

Here are some tips to make the most of it!

#1 Students are Eager to Engage

After a year of isolation and online learning, students are craving interaction.

Students don’t want lectures – they want experiences.

Your students are already be primed to engage. To take advantage, replace your lectures with interactive experiences.

Whether you compile your own exercise or use a cohesive toolset like the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) you can tap into your students’ excitement using structured activities to build their entrepreneurial skills. For example:

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Testimonial

Whether your class is:

  • 8 weeks or 15 weeks
  • Online or in-person
  • Undergraduate or graduate

ExEC’s award-winning exercises can help you engage your students this fall.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo

#2 Structure + Consistency

When everything turned upside down last year, it became clear how much structure and consistency help students learn and decrease anxiety. As you look toward fall, consider…

How can you create more structure and consistency to facilitate better outcomes?

Whether it’s through:

  • A cohesive set of topics
  • Well-organized schedule
  • Objective rubrics
  • or LMS integration

Students benefit from having a consistent, structured environment to develop their skills.

To that end, ExEC is fully experiential and extremely well-organized:

Semester Experiential entrepreneurship education schedule

Plus with ExEC’s LMS integration, prepping for your class is easy. With a couple clicks, you upload yourr entire class into your LMS so you have time to dive into the detailed lesson plans.

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

#3 Experiment

Teach your students what real-world experiments look like by modeling them in your class:

  1. Identify something you’d like to improve in your class (e.g. engagement, quality of student ideas, financial modeling acumen, etc.).
  2. Select a metric to assess the element you’d like to improve (e.g. number of students participating in discussions, number of ideas that are needs-based, realism of financial models, etc.).
  3. Let your students know you treat your class like a business – you consistently run experiments to optimize the experience for your customers (i.e. the students).
  4. Change something in your course to move your metric (e.g. try a different curriculum, implement a new exercise, etc.).
  5. Compare the results to a previous class (i.e. did your metric improve?).
  6. Share the results with your students (i.e. let them know what you were trying to improve, what changes you make, and how they impacted the class).

Modeling real-world experiments to your students will encourage them to run their own experiments, and improve the learning experience for students and the quality of their outcomes!

Give Your Students Engagement, Quality, and Structure

ExEC is an award-winning, peer-reviewed, experiential curriculum that engages students in building entrepreneurial skills.

Try ExEC this Fall.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share more engaging resources we are developing for entrepreneurship educators to transform their classrooms!

Subscribe here to be the first to get these resources delivered to your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Improve Your Student Evaluations

Improve Your Student Evaluations

Student evaluations are a mixed blessing but there are specific steps you can take to improve them:

  1. Conduct a midterm evaluation
  2. Solicit frequent feedback
  3. Make entrepreneurship relevant
  4. Sweeten the pot
  5. Engage, engage, engage

Midterm Chat

Asking students for feedback during the course allows them to have ownership of their experience, and allows you to make suggested changes, which generally leads to more positive evaluations at the end of the course!

Ask a colleague to run this class session while you stay out of the room – preferably a colleague not in your department so students feel more comfortable being transparent. Your colleague informs students all information is anonymous and confidential, and that only information that is unanimous will be communicated to you. Students discuss the following questions one by one:

  • What is going well this semester?
  • What isn’t going well this semester?
  • What can the students do to improve their [the students’] experience?
  • What can the instructor do to improve their [the students’] experience?

Your colleague summarizes the feedback for you, either verbally or written, including only the suggestions that students unanimously agree upon.

During the next class session, it is critical to discuss what you learned and how you will adjust the course based on the feedback.

The whole experience takes just 15 – 30 minutes and it demonstrates to students that their voice matters (like customers’ voices matter). The combination of you taking action on students’ recommendations, that your students will feel heard, and that they will likely never have experienced something like in another one of their classes makes this approach a reliable way to improve your evaluations.

Frequent Feedback

You can also seek feedback from students more frequently than mid-semester. Every few weeks, incorporate a quick evaluation to take students’ pulse. Assign a five-question evaluation assignment in your LMS, or hand out and collect in class to anonymize it:

  • What is one takeaway you remember from the course so far?
  • How do you feel about your participation in [name an activity, or “discussion”] this week?
  • What works best for you in class?
  • Is there a change that would enhance your learning?
  • Do you have any questions or comments for me?

Use this as a quick temperature check for your students’ experience.

And be willing to adjust!

Look for trends in what’s working and what’s not. Can you incorporate any of their suggestions? Can you redirect the next class session based on the changes they suggest?

During the next class session, share a summarized version of the themes you heard. Quickly explain how you will address suggestions, and ask students to respond to that plan. As with the midterm check-in, this exercise offers students ownership and a voice, which will improve your evaluations at the end of the course. But only if you communicate openly and do not become defensive.

Make Entrepreneurship Relevant

What do you do with the entrepreneurship students who don’t want to be entrepreneurs?

Whether they’re taking your class because it fit in their schedule, someone said it was an “easy A”, or it’s a required course, we all have students who don’t identify as entrepreneurs. Not only can their personal feedback lower your evaluations, but their lack of engagement can hinder the experience (and as a result the evaluations) of other students.

The best way to engage these students is to…

Make entrepreneurial skills relevant, regardless of career path.

Kim Pichot had one of these students. A disillusioned senior so checked out of school that at one point he asked her, “What can I do to graduate? I just need out of here.”

Luckily, that semester Kim had started using the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum, which starts off with an exercise designed explicitly to engaged this type of student: Fears and Curiosities.

This exercise helps your students express what they are most curious, and fearful, about…which is the recipe you need to make entrepreneurship relevant to all of your students.

  • When students tell you they’re worried about finding a job, you can point out that in this class, they’re going to learn a wide range of marketable skills that employers are actively hiring for: product design, sales, marketing, website development, video editing, social media management, etc.
  • When students say they’re unsure if they’ll be able to make enough money, you can explain to them that the entrepreneurship skills they learn in this class are all about making sure you’ll be able to make enough money to meet your goals. With the finance and budgeting tools they’ll learn in your class, they’ll learn how to both make and manage their money whether they start their own company or not.
  • When students say they’re not even sure what kind of job they’ll be good at, you can make it clear an entrepreneurship class like yours is the perfect place to experiment with different types of jobs (e.g. sales, marketing, CEO, finance, prototyping, etc.).

The great thing about this approach is that entrepreneurial skills are genuinely relevant whether or not students want to be entrepreneurs.

You just need to make entrepreneurship relevant to your students on a personal and emotional level.

That’s what Kim did in her class. By making entrepreneurship relevant and engaging, and with a little help from ExEC, Kim’s disillusioned student left her course ecstatic, saying:

Improve student evaluations

Sweeten the Pot

Share a treat with your students. It might be candy, or cookies, or donuts. Celebrate an occasion like a birthday, or one of your students’ sports accomplishment, or just a sunny day! Something sweet puts a smile on most people’s face.

You’re inviting your students to have fun, and when we have fun, we are more likely to remember that experience fondly.

When a group is eating donuts, for instance, you’ll see smiles, you’ll hear laughter and sounds of delight, you’ll find a playful atmosphere. Incorporate fun food into your course, and your students will remember that come evaluation time. Take the time while sharing fun food to also have fun conversation. Ask students questions about their favorite concert, or about their favorite vacation destination, or any variety of questions that lead them to tell humorous stories about fun memories.

One way to incorporate sweets while teaching entrepreneurship skills is an adaptation of the “Retooling Products to Reach New Markets: The Lindt Candy Dilemma” exercise Dr. Kimberly Eddleston at Northeastern University developed. We adapted it slightly to focus more on the customer interviewing opportunity – find the entire lesson here.

Essentially, in this exercise, you task student teams to retool the Lindt Lindor Chocolate Truffle Balls for a new audience – a young person (ideally a family member of yours – someone you can show a picture of and have access to). Students must deliver a 90 second pitch for one product (that is not any sort of M&M type candy) they develop based on the Lindt Lindor chocolate truffle ball that appeals to the target person. Students include the following in their pitch:

  • Product name & tagline/slogan
  • Product concept/description (user experience, packaging, etc.)
  • Value proposition (the benefits the customer should expect)
  • Drawing of the product/packaging

Organize students into groups of 4 or 5 members and give them 30 minutes to develop their new product offering. Students often spend too much time on the idea generation phase. Walk around the room, reminding them of the time left. This creates some urgency for them to move beyond idea generation and complete all aspects of the assignment.

In my courses, students know they are designing a product for my son. I sidestep questions about my son because I want students to realize they have access to the actual customer. If students ask to talk to my son, I call them and let the team talk to them (if they are available). If they are not available, I answer questions on their behalf as honestly as possible.

Teams will design a wide variety of products, some related to their own memories of being that age, some related to brothers’/sisters’ interests, and some related to guesses about what young people are interested in. Record student pitches and show them to your target person, who will select a winner and explain their justification (record this and show it to the class).

This exercise forces students to reimagine an existing product instead of creating a new product. The key learning is about customer interviewing. I recommend using this exercise after students have been practicing interviewing around new ideas/products. This allows you to show them the value of interviewing in a new context, which reiterates this most important skill to entrepreneurs.

Discussion questions to ask students include:

  • What was the most difficult aspect of retooling the product? Why?
  • Did you think about interviewing my son? Why or why not? If you thought about it, and did not interview him, why not?
  • Did you think about asking my son (or I) for feedback on your prototype? Why or why not? If you thought about it, and did not ask him (or me), why not?
  • What lessons did you learn about new product development?

The main points to reiterate during the debrief:

  • If you know your customer segment, interview them! Don’t guess what they want, ask them what they want.
  • Do not get lost in idea generation. Quickly gather feedback on ideas/prototypes from your customer.
  • Customer wants/needs and jobs-to-be-done will differ drastically between target groups.

Engage, Engage, Engage

All of that said…

The #1 way to improve your evaluations is to engage your students.

Our Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) is an engaging experience, for you and your students. Instead of you talking at students, the exercises invite your students to learn by doing, so they engage themselves. For example, your students can…

  • brainstorm their ideal customers, so they understand the emotional needs of people they are attached to (i.e. people they are passionate about helping), which become the foundation of their business ideas, ensuring students are motivated throughout your course,
  • play a competitive game to learn what questions they should and should not ask during customer interviews, then practice their interview skills with their classmates using our robust interview script.

Improve student evaluations with ExEC

ExEC Will Improve Your Evals

Students love to be engaged, but they also appreciate fair, transparent grading with structured rubrics. How you provide students feedback is critical to keeping them engaged, so we built robust and easy-to-use rubrics into ExEC! Using ExEC, you provide meaningful feedback very quickly, so students get the instant feedback they insist upon.

Improve your Evaluations This Fall

Preview ExEC and watch your student evaluations skyrocket next year!

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo

LMS Integration

ExEC also integrates with major Learning Management Systems to simplify adoption:

ExEC Integrates with all LMS

 

Student engagement with ExEC


What’s Next?

In an upcoming post, we have an exciting announcement about Alexander Osterwalder, one of the gurus of the lean startup movement!

Subscribe here to be the first to grab a “seat” at the Summit.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Video Assignments: More Reflection (and Less Grading)

Video Assignments: More Reflection (and Less Grading)

Quizzes have no place in an entrepreneurship class. Video assignments do!

Entrepreneurship is about developing a mindset and a set of skills; quizzes cannot assess either of those. Instead, the recommended tools for assessing entrepreneurship students are reflective assignments.

Of course, quizzes are faster to grade than traditional written reflections, so quizzes are still common. Fortunately, there’s a better way. There’s a way for students to quickly reflect on the experiences they’ve had in class, multiple times throughout the course, that will take you minutes, not hours to grade.

Structured video reflections: a fast, and rigorous way to assess entrepreneurship students.

Video Reflections Take Less Time

Traditional written reflections take a long time to grade because they require you to read lengthy responses from every student in your class, and then grade what you’ve read.

Video reflections take less of your time because:

  • Students are required to keep them short. Typically 1 – 3 minutes
  • You can play them back at double-speed
  • You can grade while you’re watching

You can literally…

Grade video reflections in 30 – 90 seconds.

Example Reflection Video & Rubric

Enter your teaching email address below to see:

  • A sample video reflection
  • Rubric for grading one
  • Demo of what it looks like to grade in your LMS
  • Keys for successful video reflections

Want Faster Assessment Next Semester?

If you’re interested in using video reflections without having to design them yourself, check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo

Students complete a set of video reflections through the ExEC exercises, each of which has a detailed rubric and can be easily integrated into your LMS.


What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share tips for a better pitch class, and how to own a class if/when you inherit one!

Subscribe here to get our next classroom resource in your inbox.

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

Countdown to USASBE 2020

Countdown to USASBE 2020

See You In New Orleans!

Our team is busy getting ready for the USASBE conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference gives space for entrepreneurship educators to come together to share innovative research and experiential ideas for teaching entrepreneurship.

USASBE Entrepreneurship Exercises

Eat & Drink with Us

Teaching Entrepreneurship USASBE
  • Enjoy great food and drink
  • Connect with like-minded professionals
  • Get inspired with thought-provoking conversation
Behind the Scenes of our Last Happy Hour

See Our Lesson Plans in Action

We’re leading 6 talks this year during the conference:

Sunday Sessions

Normalizing Failing through the Wish Game (Sunday @ 9:30 am in Chamber III)

This exercise was borrowed from faculty at Stanford University and developed into the foundation of an MBA Entrepreneurship course to teach entrepreneurship skills by classmates iteratively delivering wishes for each other. This exercise is a powerful path to students learning entrepreneurial skills like ideation, customer interviewing, prototyping, selling, and mobilizing resources, all in the context of creating memorable experiences for their fellow classmates.

60 Minute MVP (Sunday @ 9:30 am in Conti)

The 60 Minute MVP is an intense and exciting exercise that teaches critical aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset and lean start-up methodology, namely the iterative process of hypothesis testing through the creation of minimum viable products (MVPs). In 60 minutes, with no prior technical expertise, students work in teams to design a landing page, create an explainer video, and set up a way to measure pre-launch demand from prospective customers by accepting pre-orders or email addresses. 

What Happens When (Female) Students Dare to Dream? (Sunday @ 3:15 pm in Lafitte)

There are not enough female students in entrepreneurship and innovation programs and career paths. This expose will introduce a proven program that successfully addresses this inequity: a series of college-student driven events targeting the entrepreneurial confidence, vulnerability, and action of high school students (particularly female students). Participants will learn the framework for how these high-impact events can be developed and delivered in any university setting and scaled to a city-wide event, and to intensive summer camps and overnight retreats.

Monday Sessions

Customer Interviewing: Learning the Basics Through Gamification (Monday @ 9:30 am in Bienville)

This is a fun, interactive exercise will demonstrate to students: What their problem interviewing goals should be and should not be, and based on those goals; What questions they should and should not ask during customer interviews; Educators follow up the card game by giving students an interview script template they can use as the basis for their problem discovery interviews. After students experience this exercise, they will have a robust customer interview script they can use to increase the quality of their interviews, and their confidence in conducting them. 

Entrepreneurs vs Inventors: The Lottery Ticket Dilemma (Monday @ 9:30 am in Bienville)

This exercise provides a fun, experiential way for students to conceptualize customer behavior, and identify business opportunities, by demonstrating it’s not actually customer problems that drive behavior, it’s customer emotions. After this game-based activity, students understand why some products are successful even if they don’t solve an obvious problem, and how to leverage that fact to identify non-problem based opportunities. Attendees to this session will get to experience the lesson themselves, and leave with a lesson plan they can use to integrate this exercise in their classes.

Fears & Curiosities: Engaging ALL Students on Day 1 (Monday @ 1:45 pm in Chamber III)

This exercise helps students understand the value of their entrepreneurship classes, even if they never envision themselves becoming an entrepreneur, helping them engage with the class from the first day. The exercise starts with students sharing their fears and curiosities about life after college in a fun and engaging way. After this exercise, students will understand the value of what they are about to learn in their entrepreneurship course, regardless of their relationship to entrepreneurship.

We hope to see you at one of our sessions or join us for a drink and dinner. Invite a friend! The more the merrier.

Federico, Doan & Justin

Teaching Entrepreneurship

2019 Most Popular Lesson Plans

2019 Most Popular Lesson Plans

“This approach to learning is just what students need.” – Eric Liguori, Rowan University

From enabling students to discover ideas that are meaningful to them to improving customer interviews, we design lesson plans to enhance engagement and improve skill-building. The following are our 5 most popular lesson plans from 2019 to transform your students’ experience as they practice generating ideas, interviewing customers, identifying early adopters, and validating assumptions.

5. Increase the Quality of Your Student’s Ideas

One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurship professors tell us is inspiring students to come up with ideas that are impactful or solution-centered. 

How do you get your students to focus on problems, not products?

So often, students are attracted to low-impact products without a clear idea of who their customer is, much less why they would want to buy into the idea. We want them to understand that customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.

Student Idea Generation Lesson

The Student Idea Generation lesson plan sparks your student’s idea generation so they can identify what problems they want to solve. 

Rather than leading a brainstorming session in which students develop business ideas on their own (which can result in unactionable ideas), the Student Idea Generation lesson plan:

  • Instructs students how to pinpoint the customers they’re passionate about helping
  • Leads the students to identify the biggest challenges or problems they want to solve for these groups

In this lesson plan, students first discover the customers they are passionate about helping and the problems/emotions they want to help them with. Students then determine solutions they can use to create a successful business.

After this lesson, your students’ ideas will be:

  • More focused because they’ve identified the specific group they want to help
  • More practical because they’ll be solution-focused
  • More innovative because they’re inspired to solve problems

View Idea Generation Lesson Plan

4. Transform Your Student’s Customer Interviews

Nothing can make some students more uncomfortable than not knowing what to ask during customer interviews.

A number of factors make a student wary of conducting customer interviews, including:

  • Talking to strangers gives them anxiety
  • They’re nervous because they’ve never conducted an interview and want to get it right
  • They don’t understand the benefit of interviews in the first place

Because customer interviewing is so critical to building solutions people want, customer interviews are an integral part of the entrepreneurship curriculum. We designed the Customer Interview lesson plan to eliminate the barriers students have around performing customer interviews.

This comprehensive lesson plan includes materials to prep before class, and step-by-step instructions for leading the lesson. After the lesson, students will walk away understanding:

  • Their role in the interview
  • What makes a successful interview
  • Preparation for real customer interviews
  • Specific interview questions

The benefits of this lesson plan are two-fold:

  • Takes the guesswork out of customer interviews for the students 
  • Minimizes preparation for the instructor

Get the “How to Interview Customers” Lesson Plan

3. Experiential Exercise for Teaching About Early Adopters

Another problem professors shared is teaching students how to identify early adopters. Early adopters are vital for the success of any product or service, but students often struggle in understanding the concept of an early adopter.

Students understand the definition of Early Adopters easier if they’re led through this experiential exercise.
Identifying Early Adopters Experiential Exercise

The Finding Early Adopters lesson plan features a mechanical pencil challenge that introduces the concept of an early adopter and contrasts it with early majority and late majority customers. This exercise also demonstrates where and how to find early adopters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAcSLvRGb-o&feature=youtu.be

This exercise was a finalist in the prestigious 2019 USASBE 3E Competition, which recognizes the best experiential entrepreneurship exercises at the USASBE Annual Conference.

After this lesson plan, students will be able to answer:

  • Who is the target for customer interviews?
  • How and where to find the best prospects for customer interviews?

View the Finding Early Adopters Lesson Plan

2. Coaching for Entrepreneurship Students

While valuable, team projects can be a source of great anxiety for students. Many students working in teams:

  • Worry about their final grade
  • Fall behind with the coursework or understanding of the content
  • Are bored because their team has surpassed other teams’ progress

Team projects can be problematic for professors to successfully meet students’ diverse needs. The How to Coach Your Students lesson plan provides a differentiated learning experience using individual team coaching sessions that provides a positive and productive team experience for all students.

Popular Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans
Individual coaching sessions allow students to quantify the skills they’ve built and identify next steps.

Similar to a daily stand-up approach to scrum meetings, this lesson walks you step-by-step through a process to perform a Stand-Up Coaching session in 1 of 2 ways and discusses the pros and cons of each technique:

  • Coaching through simulation
  • Private team coaching

After this lesson, students will:

  • Shift from searching for the right answer to asking the right questions
  • Focus on learning rather than earning a specific grade
  • Feel better equipped to prepare for their final presentation

View the “Coach Your Students” Lesson Plan

1. The True Meaning of Minimum Viable Product

The 60 Minute MVP remains one of our most popular lesson plans. During this hour-long experience, students launch an MVP website, with an animated video and a way to take pre-orders, without any prior coding experience. 

“One student described it as like a Navy Seal mental training exercise. Not sure it was that intense, but they were amazed and proud that they got it done.” –  ExEC Curriculum Professor
Minimum Viable Product Experiential Exercise

This class is the ultimate combination of engagement and skill-building as the students navigate each task. On the lesson plan page, you can view an example of a video students created based on actual customer problems in about 20 minutes.

After this class, your students will understand:

  • The true meaning of Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • It’s easier to launch a product than they assume
  • Launching a product lays the foundation for their entire business

View 60 Minute MVP Lesson Plan

Bonus: The Power of Customer Observations

In addition to teaching customer interviewing techniques, we developed a Teaching Customer Observations lesson plan because it helps solidify the student’s understanding of the importance of understanding their customer’s problems. In this lesson plan, students experience first-hand the value of seeing how their customers experience problems rather than just imagining certain scenarios.

Customer Observations Lesson Plan

The goal of this lesson is to teach students to have a clear picture of their customer’s problems before they try to come up with a solution. 

After this class, students will understand

  • The value of observing customer behavior rather than trying to predict it
  • How to listen with their eyes to improve empathy for what their customers value and care about

In addition to the positive feedback we’ve received from the community using this exercise,

this lesson won first place in the Excellence in Entrepreneurial Exercises Awards at the USASBE 2019 Annual Conference!

View Teaching Customer Observations Lesson Plan

Want an Experiential + Structured Curriculum?

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, tested, experiential entrepreneurship curriculum to use next semester, that fully engages your students, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum and we’ll get you set up!

Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Get our Next Free Lesson Plan

We email new experiential entrepreneurship lesson plans regularly.

Subscribe here to get our next lesson plan in your inbox!

Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

 

Students Don’t See the Value of a Textbook: Dr. Samantha Fairclough

Students Don’t See the Value of a Textbook: Dr. Samantha Fairclough

    It’s a struggle for every professor to keep their class engaged.

In an over-stimulated culture, we are at a disadvantage to create an environment where students aren’t constantly looking at their laptops or phones. To keep their eyes up and maintain their interest can sometimes seem like lofty goals.

Kim Pichot - Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Professor

Dr. Samantha Fairclough understands that struggle. As an Assistant Professor of Practice at University of Nebraska-Lincoln & the Associate Director of the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship, she feels personal and professional pressure to make sure she maintains a high level of student engagement.

As she prepared to teach her Managing Growth and Change class recently, she realized she had to make a change.

    She knew the way she previously taught “isn’t working for me. The students hate it. I hate it. I don’t enjoy the book.”

Entrepreneurship Alternative to Textbook Learning

She decided to ditch all textbooks and was searching for readings and articles she could use instead when she found the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).

https://youtu.be/DTMcROFzKkc

After using the ExEC 60 minute MVP lesson from the TeachingEntrepreneurship.org website in her current creativity class as a pilot for using the entire ExEC curriculum, she was pleased by the great buzz of energy and student engagement. 

    Dr. Fairclough describes being blown away with the kinds of things her students came up with.
Teaching Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Fully Adopting the ExEC Entrepreneurship Curriculum 

From websites to explainer videos, the lesson was such a great moment and garnered such positive results, she decided she was ready to adopt the full ExEC curriculum with her next group of students.

The timing also seemed right for change because she felt she had the right group of students to try something new. Instead of pushing her class of entrepreneurially minded students into a lecture-based system, Dr. Fairclough fully embraced the ExEC curriculum and found that the tools and techniques worked from day 1.

https://youtu.be/lhPB0gDMYWs

Making it Real Lesson Plan

Using the Making it Real lesson plan, Samantha got the students together in the downtown Lincoln area. She gave each group $5 (in singles) and told them to make as much money as possible in 30 minutes. The winning group would split the winnings. This lesson proved to be a great kick-off for introducing the ExEC philosophy. 

    “One of the joys of this class is, it’s so interactive, there’s a lot of engagement.”

Students returned to class filled with energy and excitement. One group took a temporary job to make money, while another sold shares in their future winnings. The creativity of the ideas combined with the feedback from her students made it obvious to Samantha that the kids loved the exercise.  Coverage of their experience on social media gained some great exposure on campus too. Word of the positive experience continued to spread, even reaching the Dean’s office.

Similar to other entrepreneurship professors, Samantha wants her students to enjoy learning. She found that having a great rapport with her students starts with the material that lays a foundation for a solid experience and exchange of ideas.

Pressure from Above

“As an entrepreneurship professor, I strive to be the best and receive the highest evaluation scores from students,” Samantha shared. “Across the board, those of us who teach entrepreneurship are expected to have interactive, experiential classes. This creates a pressure to continuously find new and effective ways to do that in a way students enjoy but isn’t cumbersome for us as educators.”

Additionally, professors feel added pressure from their institution to remain on the cutting edge of teaching methods. The unspoken thought being if the professor does not create an interactive class that elicits great feedback, they’re not teaching effectively.

Ditch the Textbook: Start Engaging

ExEC was designed to help you engage all of your students without requiring significant prep time.

If you’re, like Dr. Fairclough, looking for a curriculum that

  • Engages every student
  • Provides structured, skill-building, real-world experiences
  • Has comprehensive support for easy adoption

request a preview of our ExEC curriculum here.

Teaching Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Samantha Isn’t Alone! Read More Case Studies of ExEC Instructors

Related Articles

We’re committed to providing content that will help our community of entrepreneurship educators remain on the forefront of the field. Here is a list of some recent posts we think you’ll find valuable for your next class:

  • Textbooks Don’t Work. More and more professors are finding textbooks are not an effective way to teach entrepreneurship. Experiences are. Engage your students with the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum.
  • Idea Generation vs. Problem Generation. Idea generation is one of the most difficult aspects of teaching entrepreneurship. We share an alternative to idea generation that will quickly help your students generate ideas.
  • How to Teach MVP’s. In this exercise, students will design their first MVP by identifying their riskiest business model assumption. They’ll then design the simplest experiment they can to test that riskiest assumption. 

Ready to Take Student Engagement to the Next Level?

We email new experiential entrepreneurship lesson plans regularly.

Subscribe here to get our next lesson plan in your inbox!

We engage students in practicing skills, actively. Class time should be spent learning by doing, with professors guiding students through an experience where they can see the material come to life in a way that is meaningful for them. We built that experience for you and for your students.

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum