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Widening Participation and Engagement through Enterprise


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Session from the International Entrepreneurship Educators' Conference (IEEC) 2016

Enterprise offers opportunities for engaging widening participation students in HE. This workshop examined student-centred, authentic problem-based learning, whilst acknowledging the barriers WP students face in HE. Through a case study and interactive activity, we explored how enterprising projects can deliver both intended and unintended learning outcomes, allowing students to develop self-efficacy and become autonomous learners, whilst enhancing their sense of belonging within their institution. Delegates considered the application of our approach to their own practice.

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Widening Participation and Engagement through Enterprise

  1. 1. Dr Gary C Wood, University of Sheffield Enterprise | @GC_Wood Lyndsey Stanton, Department for Lifelong Learning Widening Participation and Engagement through Enterprise
  2. 2. Overview ● Our Module and Learners ● Our Solution ● What happened, and benefits ● Workshop: ○ Creative activity ○ Explore how our approach could work for you ○ Leave with ideas to try in your institution/ practice. 2
  3. 3. Our Module ● Department for Lifelong Learning ● Working with Communities Foundation Degree ● Social Problem Solving Skills ○ Intended learning outcomes: ■ Knowledge of the role of social problem solving skills in working with communities ■ Awareness of personal effectiveness for social problem solving ■ Demonstrate problem solving skills: designing research questions, qualitative and quantitative data collection, data analysis and reporting, presenting findings. 3
  4. 4. Learning Benefits ● Immediate benefits that you can deliver to the student by meeting the intended learning outcomes: ○ A sense of belonging within the University ○ Self-identification as a student ○ Self-efficacy ○ Engagement with wider University services ○ Passive learning vs. empowered learning and ownership of their own education. 4
  5. 5. Our Students ● Small cohort – 8 students ● Widening participation backgrounds ● Mostly mature learners, some of whom have young families ● Not engaged with university life beyond academic department ● At risk of leaving course ● Passionate ● Determined. 5
  6. 6. Our Aim ● Enable students to achieve the Intended Learning Outcomes ● Increase students’ engagement with University ● Develop students’ Enterprise Capabilities: 6
  7. 7. Our Solution ● Partnership with Students’ Union “From a student perspective, what might be potential barriers to involvement in Students’ Union activities and what solutions or approaches might resolve these?” Stella McHugh, Head of External Engagement 7
  8. 8. Activities ● Introduction to the problem and overview of SU ● Qualitative data collection and analysis: focus groups ● Quantitative data collection and analysis: questionnaires ● Identification of barriers and suggesting solutions ● Present recommendations back to Students’ Union and academic staff. 8
  9. 9. Outcomes Students: ● highly motivated and felt valued ● achieved ILOs ● greater sense of belonging ● more engaged with University Students’ Union: ● received research of value. ● identified barriers to access and is currently taking forward some student recommendations to create real change. 9
  10. 10. What the Students & SU staff think 10
  11. 11. What we learnt ● Enterprise offers opportunities to inspire WP learners, deepen learning, strengthen student engagement and self-efficacy ● Focus on learning benefits as much as learning outcomes ● Involving external partners early enables projects to be developed that are mutually beneficial ● Using external partners outside the module but within the University can be just as effective as working independent organisations. 11
  12. 12. Using enterprise to engage students ● Small groups ● You are working with first year students ● Demographics are identified by your card ● Aim is to teach students how to do a small scale research project ● Decide: ○ Who is a potential project partner and what project could they set? ○ Think about the skills your students will develop (learning benefits and learning outcomes) ○ Construct a module using the Capability Connect board ○ Note down the skills you include on the handout. 12
  13. 13. Presentation of Modules 13
  14. 14. Dr Gary C Wood, University of Sheffield Enterprise | @GC_Wood Lyndsey Stanton, Department for Lifelong Learning Widening Participation and Engagement through Enterprise