Original Research

Evaluating the learning experience of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship students exposed to an unconventional teaching approach: A South African Case Study

Retha Strydom, Menisha Moos
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 2, No 1 | a17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v2i1.17 | © 2015 The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management
Submitted: 16 July 2015 | Published: 31 December 2009

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Retha Strydom, University of Pretoria
Menisha Moos,

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Abstract

At the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the teaching personnel decided to implement, in addition to the conventional teaching approach, an unconventional approach towards teaching entrepreneurship. The approach is unconventional in the sense that it differs from the norm or standard classroom teaching. The third-year entrepreneurship course is enriched with an assignment to start and grow an actual business. The purpose of this assignment is not only the practical application of the theory taught, but also to provide an opportunity for the student to start a business in a protected environment in order to break down any psychological barriers such as fear of failure. The lecturer guides the students through the entrepreneurial process, from finding an idea to organising the business. This paper evaluates the learning experience of the students exposed to the unconventional teaching approach. Preliminary observations suggest that the students acquired business skills and knowledge about the entrepreneurial process and created potentially sustainable, profitable business ventures in the class situation, despite coming from different fields of reference and different syllabi. This would seem to suggest that the practical teaching approach towards entrepreneurial learning created the conditions for these achievements.

Key words and phrases: entrepreneurial education, entrepreneurial learning, innovative learning methods, student business ventures, start-ups


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