Fostering Students’ Entrepreneurial Competencies in Higher Education with Design Sprints
Klynhout, Myles (2022)
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Specialised Entrepreneurship programs for students continue to emerge, and thus it seems that entrepreneurship education is now a fundamental part of the overall curriculum that Universities offer. The main aim of this bachelor’s thesis is to explore how design sprints in higher education Instituions (HEI’s) can encourage learners to be more entrepreneurial. Through inductive action research, this thesis tries to understand how the design sprint can be adopted by Universities of Applied Sciences to teach entreprenuership. This thesis draws on promising but marginal examples of entrepreneurial education in HEI’s where students learn through creating real-life value for stakeholders outside their program, in what is known as Value Creation Pedagogy. The study asks firstly how a design sprint enables students to create value for external stakeholders, and secondly, how students perceive creating value for others through a design sprint in an educational setting. During the five-day design sprint, twenty-two students record daily diary entrees. The objective is for participants to record, in as much detail as possible, their own behaviour with the aim of developing a narrative account of that behaviour. The results show that as a methodology, the Design Sprint aligns with the approach of “teaching through entrepreneurship”, whereby students go through an actual day-to-day entrepreneurial learning process. Therefore, the design sprint can be classified firstly as a form of action-based entrepreneurial education, and secondly as a means of value creation outside the creators (students) and coaches (teachers). Finally, based on the particpants’ diary responses, future approaches and research may require a combination of teaching about and through entrepreneurship in the weeks prior to the design sprint, for students to have a better general understanding of the phenomenon to feel more at ease during the five-day sprint.