Experiential Learning Units
Two new units were designed as an outcome of The EDGE Project – an experiential learning unit for undergraduate students in Bachelor of Business course, and an experiential learning unit for postgraduate students in Master of Business course.
Both units are elective units, with students eligible to undertake enrol in the undergraduate unit after completing 96 credit points of study (equivalent to one full-time year), and in the postgraduate unit after completing 48 credit points of study (equivalent to one full-time semester).
Both units were designed to provide students with structure and support for meaningful learning through a variety of projects and activities. These projects and activities include students participating in :
- service learning projects with not for profit and community partners (eg Lifeline and Salvation Army);
- hackathons, design jams, sprints and similar events linked to an industry or community partner, or developing solutions to complex challenges (eg homelessness);
- international study tours and short-term exchange; and
- industry supported competitions and challenges (eg Microsoft Protégé, L’Oréal Brandstorm, Westpac Innovation Challenge).
Both units integrate the EntreComp framework (see: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/entrecomp-entrepreneurship-competence-framework) to support students in the development of entrepreneurial competencies in multidisciplinary settings.
- Critical to the success of this unit has been the integration of the EntreComp Framework
- Innovation developments were well supported through collaborative workshops with colleagues alongside peer review and the sharing of practice with others engaged in developing innovative curriculum
Unit Impacts & Outcomes
- Opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge within innovative, entreprenurial and real-world settings
- Enhanced skills in working in time-constrained, small group environments with a focus on innovative problem solving
- Building strong professional networks through working with staff from the industry or community partner
- Develop and recognise competencies through reflective learning, discussion, and debriefing across a project or activity.
For industry and community partners:
- Opportunity to embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurism across their organisation
- Ability to preview student capabilities for future engagement and employment
- Collaboration with students and teaching team to bring new thinking, insights, and ideas to the organisation
- Improved student satisfaction and feedback
- Scalable model of experiential learning suited to variety of activities for undergraduate and postgraduate students working individually or in a team
Actively engage in an experience through establishing learning goals, planning, experimentation, and reflection.
Develop and demonstrate competencies valued in contemporary professional practice.
Effectively communicate in written, oral, and digital formats.
Deliver an engaging interview with a leader, innovator, or expert (undergraduate unit).
Explore a focus (challenge, opportunity, approach, issue) relevant to the experience, connecting to theory and academic literature (postgraduate unit).
The units emphasised learning, doing and sharing to evidence the development of entrepreneurial skills. The integration of the EntreComp Framework provides students with a structure and process to recognise and articulate learning and competencies.
Each undergraduate student completes an expert interview, which is delivered as a written feature story similar to a magazine story, or a video interview similar to a news story. Each postgraduate student completes a research essay on a topic relevant to the project or activity they are completing. The research essay incorporate academic literature, and industry sources, and may include expert interview.
Each student reviews their own competencies before, during and after the project or activity, using the EntreComp Framework and reflective writing to evidence the development of competencies.
All students present the outcomes and learnings from the project or activity, in a forum with teaching team and industry or community partners.
The service learning projects are all designed as an ongoing, long term partnership with community organisations. Each student team delivers a ‘handover’ to the next student team to ensure knowledge sharing, and meaningful iteration of the projects.
Reflections on Learning
The EDGE Project offered the opportunity to critical consider the various elements of design of the units through a theoretical lens grounded in conceptions of entrepreneurship. The EntreComp framework provided a tool to anchor the design of the units and in framing the key learning of students. Further it provides a shared language for the discussion of entrepreneurialism in a variety of settings.
The units effectively addressed a long term challenge of students undertaking variety of co-curricular activities, and often not recognising or being able to articulate the learning and competencies developed through these activities.