Delivering effective enterprise education – the role of learning design and technology

Professor Pauric McGowan (UU), Dr Richard Blundel (OU) & Dr Kristen Reid (OU)

Public policy statements on enterprise and entrepreneurship education have emphasised its importance in relation to the promotion of economic growth, community development and resilience. However, there is continuing debate over the nature, scope and effectiveness of existing approaches. For example, a recent United Kingdom government study found that while there is evidence of an overall strengthening of provision, enterprise and entrepreneurship, education is not yet widely embedded across the full range of vocational learning (BIS 2013). In a joint statement in 2003, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Department of Education and the Department of Employment and Learning stated that, “The future prosperity of society depends on all our young people, including the brightest and the best and their parents coming to regard the business sector and in particular setting up their own business, as a valid and realistic career option”, thus underlining their determination both to embed entrepreneurship skills across the curriculum and to promote awareness of entrepreneurship across the education system in Northern Ireland. This presentation will review developments in the field of enterprise education, with a particular focus on the potential contribution of new technologies and associated learning designs. It will also consider some key challenges in delivering effective educational opportunities for students, including the requirement for contextualised and experience-based learning, and encourage sharing of innovative practices among participants.