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A comparison of a first and third year UG enterprise unit: lessons from experiential learning and interdisciplinarity

Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd'18)
Universitat Politècnica València
Publication Date
Jun 16, 2018
DOI: 10.4995/head18.2018.8110


Drawing from several years of experience, this work describes lessons learnt in designing, delivering and assessing two interdisciplinary enterprise units offered undergraduate students from any discipline studing at the University of Manchester (UK). Both units are electives (optional). One unit is delivered to first year undergrdaute students whereas the other unit is delivered to third/fourth year undergraduate students. Experiential learning and interdisciplinary cohorts are core aspects of both units. Students work on ‘real-world’ projects to develop a credible and competitive solution within a tight dead-line. In this paper, findings are drawn from data collected from staff and teaching assistants observations, students’ reflective diaries and students’ feedback. Findings showed that in general, students at both levels, year 1 and year 3/4, regarded the experience challenging at first due to the ‘unusual’ learning environment when compared to the education that most students have experienced prior to the units here discussed. However, most students highly regarded the interdisciplinary experiential learning experience. The paper contributes to the growth of knowledge and aids understanding of how experiential learning and interdisciplinarity have been effectively combined and introduced in the university curriculum. Although this works focused on enterprise education the experience-based guidance here described is also applicable to a much wider range of situations and academic areas of study.

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