The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Small Enterprise Development (CESED), UCC, has held a training workshop for Entrepreneurship Course facilitators on campus.
Coordinator, Entrepreneurship and Educational Training, Unit CESED, Dr. (Mrs.) Keren Abeka Arthur, stated that the purpose of the programme was to expose facilitators to the use of right (pedagogical methods) tools for teaching the entrepreneurship course and to solicit interest for using ‘case studies’ to teach in entrepreneurship. She also noted that the training would help the facilitators to know the essence of analysing cases (business problems) in teaching the course.
Speaking on writing and teaching with cases, Prof. Edward Marfo-Yiadom, stated that it was always good to rethink the best ways to teach business courses. He noted that the essence of the case study was to identify its reality in the business field in order to diagnose and analyse. “Therefore, the case study must be a real-life issue in the field of business and not hypothetical or fabricated,” he said. Prof. Marfo-Yiadom also explained that case studies should be real-life issues that could provide solutions to business problems. He indicated that conceptualisation was very important in a case study, therefore, it should be carefully studied, understood and analysed as a problem or issue. Prof. Marfo-Yiadom stated that “In business, a case study is used to build the gap between the theory and industry and this must interest us to read widely in order to gather enough information to prescribe better solutions.”
Prof. Marfo-Yiadom entreated the facilitators to be mindful of case writing by considering idea generation; data collection and critical analysis of data collected. He advised that in case of analysis, “one has to know the industry and its competitors; identify successful or failed ones in the industry; political or legal, economic, social and technological forces.” He stated that a good understanding of business would help provide full solutions to problems.
Director, CESED, Dr. (Mrs.) Mavis Benneh Mensah described the ‘Blended Teaching and Learning’ method as one of the best ways to teach entrepreneurship courses. She explained Blended Learning (BL) as “a combination of conventional classroom learning and online learning.” She added that was BL also known as hybrid learning or flipped classroom. Indicating the benefits of BL, Dr. Mensah stated that it provided effective use of classroom time; accessible education to larger groups; improved learning outcomes; encourage learner’s autonomy and enhanced the international image of the institution. However, she said that some of the challenges included a reduced risk of student interaction; lack of time to prepare online content and activities; limited flexibility and difficulty in online accessibility. Director of CESED recommended that the adaptation of the "BL approach" would require sufficient infrastructure, technological support, pedagogical support and others.
Speaking on ‘Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE Learning System), ;the Deputy Director, Students Record Section, Mr. Gideon Enoch Abbeyquaye, explained that it was an IT-based software for teaching, learning, and assessment. He stated that MOODLE Learning System has an open-source; user-friendly interface and offline accessible features. He added that the system could also be customized, simplified and it is free. Mr. Abbeyquaye noted that “MOODLE can be used for learner collaboration, communication, knowledge creation and reflection on teaching and learning practices. Other uses include the gathering of evidence of progress; provision of feedback and adaption of teaching strategies.
The Dean, School of Business, Prof. John Gartchie Gatsi, commended the Centre for organising the workshop to train the facilitators on the need to adopt new teaching and learning strategies for delivery. He appealed to the lecturers to use the opportunity to connect theory and practice in business during teaching. He was hopeful that the facilitators would benefit from the workshop in order to present the right business message.
In attendance were the facilitators (lecturers) that teach Entrepreneurship Course in UCC.