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Title: An exploration of the suitability of design education approaches in enabling enterprise and entrepreneurship educators to enhance undergraduate students' opportunity recognition attributes, behaviours and skills in Higher Education in Ireland
Author: Tynan, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 7568
Awarding Body: University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Current Institution: University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Date of Award: 2017
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Enterprise and entrepreneurship (EE) education aims to equip students with the attributes, behaviours and skills to recognise and respond to opportunities. However, evidence suggests that this does not happen in practice. Opportunity recognition (OR) is frequently cited as a competence from EE education, yet studies suggest it is rarely developed as such. This has resulted in calls for practical guidelines and frameworks on OR to be made available to EE educators. While OR is recognised as a creative process, there is a distinct lack of creativity driven approaches available to educators. Similarly, a growing awareness of the potential value of ‘design’ in EE has resulted in calls to consider education and assessment methodologies used in Design Education (DE) for the creative aspects of EE education. This study responds to those calls. The research explores the potential suitability of DE approaches to OR education (ORedu), within the context of Higher Education (HE) in Ireland. A qualitative approach was taken, involving both semi-structured interviews and observation of educators in practice. This research is the first of its kind to reveal the existence of an ORedu process, which was found to lack prominence in existing EE education. The current ORedu process was considered sub-optimal, with students rushing into the process or selecting unsuitable or convenient opportunities. DE was found to develop ‘designerly ways of thinking’ in students, facilitating the generation and development of new ideas, thereby making it relevant from an OR perspective. This was enabled by its delivery, the requirement for students to explore, continuous educator challenge and exposure to managed risk in safe learning environments. Key theoretical contributions include a refined ORedu process and an ORedu framework to enable the progressive development of student OR competence. Practical implications of this research include recommendations for EE educator training.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education