Knowledge Creation & Assessment in Business Model Design Teaching

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPosterForskningpeer review


Entrepreneurship teaching has been included in many study curriculums for various reasons (Hindle, 2007) and is regarded as one of the most important and impactful topics in universities worldwide (Robinson and Heynes, 1991; Morries et al., 2014). According to Blank et al. (2014), entrepreneurship teaching has evolved from a business plan-centric understanding towards a business model-centric understanding. However, how entrepreneurship teaching is best performed and in which contexts remains a subject of investigation (Thomassen et al., 2020).

A key challenge in entrepreneurship teaching is how to evaluate the students (see e.g. Maritz and Brown, 2013). The conflict arises in the cross-field between the traditional requirements of higher education, such as theorizing, applying methodology, examination, and evaluation on the one hand. And on the other hand, the general purpose of the Lean start-up is to show practical knowledge and “go where the customer takes you” (Blank and Dorf, 2012), thus heavily focusing on the process rather than the final product. Biggs and Tang (2011) differentiate between declarative and functioning knowledge; functioning focuses on the learner being actively involved in putting knowledge to work and not only reciting pre-existing knowledge. Whereas declarative knowledge refers to knowledge being taught purely from teachers, books, etc., which is also known as content knowledge. Both types of knowledge are connected and interdependent as functioning knowledge needs theory to inform decision-making and problem-solving, which stems from declarative knowledge (Biggs and Tang, 2011).
The NVC course follows the general guidelines of the lean start-up approach by Blank and Dorf (2012), with some slight alterations to match the AAUBS PBL. The NVC course is structured with a three-week boot camp followed by a 10-week business model process concurrent with a customer development process.

In other terms, the learning objectives in the NVC course following the Lean start-up approach would mainly be classified as functional knowledge in Biggs & Tangs (2011) terminology. The students are building declarative knowledge through the boot camp that they turn into functional knowledge by applying the toolbox and creating a new venture.

However, from a learning and progression perspective, there is a disconnect between; 1) how the students learn and acquire entrepreneurial capabilities and 2) the traditional project/exam at the end of the course. It could be argued that there is a stronger alignment between teaching practice and assessment type by assessing engagement and functioning knowledge on a weekly basis.

The next iteration of the NVC course could abandon the traditional grade-based exam format and instead evaluate the learning process by introducing “active participation” as the assessment criteria. "Active participation,” meaning that there will not be a formal exam at the end of the course. Instead, the student must be present and active in all activities and handing in assignments throughout the course showcasing the learning progression from declarative to functional knowledge. Thus, assessing the students on a continuous basis rather than rationalizing at the end of the course.

Therefore, what we propose as a discussion point for the poster session is; How do we access business model and entrepreneurial courses most constructively? Are we accessing declarative or functioning knowledge when teaching BM?
Publikationsdatojun. 2023
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023
BegivenhedBusiness Model Conference - Forlì, Italien
Varighed: 6 jun. 20238 jun. 2023


KonferenceBusiness Model Conference


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