Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
2017 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
In this paper, we describe a new teaching approach whose objective is to implement entrepreneurship-based learning. The proposed teaching approach is essentially a project-based approach, but, with two novel key components that give it the entrepreneurship emphasis. First, the main idea is to divide students into groups of four or five members and have each team go through the process of starting-up a company. This process tries to emulate all steps through which entrepreneurs go when a new start-up idea is taken from concept to product realization. These steps include proposing a novel start-up idea, writing a business plan, coming up with a solution, implementing and testing the solution, and reporting results. The only constraint of this “exercise” is that all start-up ideas must be related to the main topic of the course, which in our case is that of advanced hardware description language and field-programmable gate array (FPGA) digital design. As a second component, each student is required to maintain a so called individual reflective journal (IRJ). Students add new entries of about half a page each week to the IRJ, which plays the role of a diary. The objective of this component is to engage students in thinking about how the course activities tie into the three components of the KEEN framework: curiosity, connections, and creation of value. The projected outcomes of this teaching approach include: 1) help students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, 2) foster creativity and self-learning, and 3) engage students more and enable them to be proactive and competition-aware.