Teaching I&E

Entrepreneurship education and Innovation in educations have over the latest 15 to 20 years expanded from a business schools and design schools to be a relevant for all educations in Higher Education. Some key arguments are: development of students’ ability to crate value, taking and handling risk, and students’ ability to act – also in an uncertain future. Furthermore, focus on students’ development of entrepreneurial competences over the recent years broadens the field into many directions at universities.

The educational possibilities are many and also, it could be interesting for you to look at Intrapreneurship – students entering existing companies.

Often entrepreneurial education is categorised either for, through, and about entrepreneurship pinpointing different educational intensions.

This “teaching I&E”-page unfolds Innovation and Entrepreneurship teaching (I&E) in the context of selected models for Higher Education helping you with course design and securing constructive alignment.
Furthermore some important pedagogical topics related to Innovation and Entrepreneurship teaching is treated separately.

The pages teaching innovation and teaching entrepreneurship (including intrapreneurship) gives you separate resources like tools and knowledge in each area.

The basic standpoints for unfolding I&E content on this page is:

  • constructive alignment (securing harmony between the learning objectives, the learning activities and the exam format)
  • Hiim ad Hippe’s relational model for analyzing courses
  • a constructivist learning approach, and teaching for active learning
  • job market requirements for students’ capabilities to collaborate in teams
  • integration of online learning activities

Threshold concepts for teachers

  1. Students should be focussed on creating value. I.e. create economic value, social value, societal value, sustainability, etc.
  2. Innovation and entrepreneurship teaching can contain many very different dimensions. Right from small introductions in single courses to entire programmes, with the aim of educating candidates with innovation and entrepreneurship profiles. In these, I&E often function as a framework throughout the programme. Thus mirroring the of the above mentioned about for and through which can be displayed both in small setting and whole programmes.
  3. Entrepreneurship teaching is a lot more than just creating a startup. It is about competences. It can be the development of students’ personal competences, cooperation competences and innovative competences. Therefore, in your course, the goal formulations concerning competences should be right on the money.
  4. The teaching often involves more key players than yourself: coteachers in your team, company representatives or organizations, alumni, Local startup HUB consultants, pedagogical consultants from the local support center, etc.
  5. Many different academic competences come into play, and thus, as a coordinating teacher you need to keep your focus at all times. Often, methods from the subjects of innovation and entrepreneurship are used directly as teaching methods. For example, it is quite common to let students go through an innovation process like design sprints or use entrepreneurial methods directly in the processes.
  6. Students need your help to understand all the different meta layers and the academic knowledge needed when teaching includes innovation and entrepreneurship methods, and to put these methods into perspective when thinking about their future careers.
  7. Most often you will need to look towards projects and casework, when you teach I&E, and you must remember to let your students take ownership. This will give some exciting perspectives on your role as a teacher, as your role will be much more facilitating and guiding than usual.

Course design

Hiim and Hippe’s relational model is a tool that helps you integrate your reflections on important factors for the course. (Undervisningsplanlægning for faglærere/Hiim H. & Hippe E. Hans Reitzel, 2018)
Framing the analysis with Hiim and Hippes model let us unfold six important angles in relation to I&E teaching

  1. Prerequisites for learning (læringsforudsætninger),
  2. Framing for the teaching (Rammer)
  3. Learning objectives
  4. Content
  5. Learning activities
  6. Exam

Unfold and see the consideration in an I&E context

Prerequisites for Learning

Notice that students’ prerequisites for learning can be very different in at least six areas: A. job market experiences; B. subject knowledge; C . innovation knowledge; D. entrepreneurship knowledge; E. personal competences like eg. outreach competences; F. collaboration abilities
When you plan I&E courses you should clarify these areas thoroughly.
Be aware of differences if the course is an elective with participants from different educations.

The Framing

The framing contains matters like the time span of the course, the number of lessons, the number of students, room size, multiple campuses involved, which lecturers you can draw on, number of facilitators for groups, the e-learning platform, the online learning tools, involvement of SDU consultants from RIO (pitch workshops, makerspaces, etc.), consuntants from CTL/SDUUP to help with relevant learning activities, elearn tools etc.), library, SDU regulations and strategies, etc. Last but not least external companies or institutions involved in your I&E course is an important framing factor, which is highly motivating for your students.
Run through this list before planning your course and iterate it from time to time to make sure that you have considered the optimal framing for the course

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives are the guideline for everything that goes on in the course and the level of freedom that students should reach during their work. Also, The learning objectives are the guideline for the exam format and a proper conduction and assessment during the exam. Aim at constructive alignment!
Regarding the learning objectives for I&E teaching you need to consider how high in blooms taxonomy you should aim. Often we find that “creating” is the aim – of course related to the “innovation” and “entrepreneurial mindset” in the nature of I&E teaching. This requires a high degree of methodological and subject overview for students and you should be quite precise in your formulations and mentoring to help students to survive in a world of massive knowledge … and even with an intention of being innovative and entrepreneurial.
If groups works on different projects, be aware that a learning objectives could very well be formulated by the group themselves within a given framework of of requirements for the objectives.
Furthermore learning objectives in I&E teaching often are very focused on the competences like students teamwork competencespersonal development, and professional competences.
The Entrecomp Wheel is a good inspiration for the competence overview in I&E courses
This opens for severe considerations to define an exam format that can evaluate themes like students ability to define goals, their learning journey through a project, and their competence development.


The content now becomes more than the traditional subject items themselves. Besides treating the subject content you need to relate to relevant innovation content (awareness of the chosen innovation processes and specific innovation methods) and entrepreneurial content like understanding business models etc.. but besides the relevant blend of the former three, also be aware that students might need a skeleton to understand their professional development – like 21 century skills models, the basics of collaboration formats, communication etc.

Learning Activities

Regarding the learning activities, your students must be actively participating if they need to reach a first hand experience with innovation methods, first hand engagement in entrepreneurship. Innovation and entrepreneurship are typically characterized by an element of risk and uncertainty. Students' active participation is extremely important for getting the opportunity to experience and handle some of the many pitfalls, the uncertainty, and the risk taking as preparation for the future professional life.
Usually students work in groups in I&E courses. Be aware to build a firm knowledge structure for students regarding good group-work and likewise good mentoring, support, and guidance for students
Group-work processes and the ability to teamwork are often a part of the competence goals in the I&E coursedescriptions.
It will be relevant to consider in which periods the learning path should be very firm and ruled by the lecture plan and teacher directed activities and in which periods the lecture plan should be more student driven with suggested learning activities.


Examination of students’ “soft skills” development is not easy. We usually have a good understanding of examining students in traditional subject matters but to evaluate student’s personal development we must look for a set of methods like portfolioeksams, presentation formats for students’ reflections on their learning processes, formats from the professional field like boardpresentations, evaluating company’s feedback on products and pitchs etc etc.
To overcome and reduce bias and subjective assessments we often crate a rubric to get a systematic and fair assessment for every student. This is recommended for I&E assessments because students are often examined in processes and experiences.

The following are specific fields of interest related to I&E teaching.

Constructive Alignment

Constructive alignment means that you must fit these three nicely together

Biggs J. and Tang, Teaching for Quality Learning at University, 2011

Example: If learning objectives aim at students being creative in designing new products and creating value for a company, you should aim for learning methods that allows students to design and work together with real companies. The examination format could be an “academic defense” for the method that the group chooses in their design process, a recording of the pitch presentation for the company, and finally assessment also of the group responding to the company’s feedback; but then again, notice that the assessment format(s) will have to match the learning objectives and learning methods.

These articles could deliver inspiration for the constructive alignment of your course:

Teaching a sense of initiative and entrepreneurship with constructive alignment in tertiary non-business contexts
by Daniele Morselli, Finland, https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-06-2017-0093
The purpose of this paper is to focus on a course in entrepreneurship education for students studying for a Masters in Educational Sciences at a Finnish university. The…

Redesigning the Assessment of an Entrepreneurship Course in an Information Technology Degree Program: Embedding Assessment for Learning Practices
by Pardede, Eric; Lyons, Judith IEEE transactions on education, 11/2012, Volume 55, Issue 4

Threshold concepts in entrepreneurship – the entrepreneurs’ perspective
by Lucy Hatt, Education & training (London), 2018, Volume 60, Issue 2
Findings: The threshold concepts identified are “I can create value” (or self-efficacy), “I see opportunities” (or opportunity), “I can manage risk” (or risk), “I know what’s important” (or focus) and “I take action” (or impact).

Constructive (mis)alignment in team-based experiential entrepreneurship education
by Scott, Jonathan Matthew et al, Education & training (London), 02/2020, Volume 62, Issue 2

Find inspiration specifically for I&E teaching:

Learning Objectives

Often Learning Objectives for I&E courses have a focus on

  • creating value
  • creativity
  • understanding the process
  • self activation (foretagsomhed)
  • collaboration
  • activating subject knowledge and skills in the new context
It is very important to clarify if your course is about, for, or through I&E. You can find help and look at the differences here
Learning Activities
Processes and relevant methods - to links to inspire you:
Exam - formative and summative

Further topics …

Also, remember to watch the videos which relates to the themes below (opens in a new tab)

Group work
Teacher roles and student roles

A systematic approach to questioning

A systematic approach to questioning

Successful Speaking Secrets Quick Reference, Written by Chris Davidson, Published in 2010, ISBN 9780955604126

St-Jean, E., Audet, J. The role of mentoring in the learning development of the novice entrepreneur. Int Entrep Manag J 8, 119–140 (2012) doi:10.1007/s11365-009-0130-7
St-Jean and Audet "attempt to shed light on the different types of learning outcomes that occur as a result of a mentoring relationship, as well as the means used by the mentor to achieve them. "


Examples of RUBRICs used at SDU for the Course Experts in teams
(click on the pictures to go to the rubrics

Rubric for innovation report and pitch

Cocreation with students

Here are two examples of student initiated workshops on inter-cultural and collaborative learning on https://itc.sdu.dk/

Blended learning in I&E teaching



Fei Yu, Md. Saifuddin Khalid (2019) Cross-location and Cross-disciplinary Collaborative Prototyping Using Virtual Reality in Higher Education (2019) Conference paper. Conference: 18th European Conference on e-Learning
VR and AR technology blend for cross-location teaching in physical movement and health domain: Investigation with two innovation and entrepreneurship programmes’ students

Nicolai Steinø and Md. Saufuddin Khalid. (2017) The Hybrid Studio-Introducing Google+ as a Blended Learning Platform for Architectural Design Studio Teaching. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325973241_The_Hybrid_Studio-Introducing_Google_as_a_Blended_Learning_Platform_for_Architectural_Design_Studio_Teaching.

Peer feedback
Curriculum design and ecucational approach