Comparison of Two Team Learning and Team Entrepreneurship Models at a Finnish University of Applied Sciences. Setting the Scene for Future Development
International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP)
This team learning and team entre-preneurship model of education has been deployed at the Bachelor's level in the degree programmes of IT and Business Administration (BA). In BA studies the students who take part in team learning have specialized in marketing since 2009 at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (SUAS). The model called ICT entrepreneurship study path (ICT-ESP) has been developed for IT education. The ICT-ESP has been built on the theory of experien-tal learning and theories
... rning and theories of knowledge creation and knowledge management. The students study and complete their degree as team entrepreneurs. The model has been further developed in the Business Administration Degree Programme with students who specialize in marketing. The Degree Programme in IT at the Bachelor's level was terminated in 2011 by Finnish Min-istry of Education and Culture. Cur-rently, there are severe discussions on bringing it back – not as an IT but as an ICT Degree Programme. This article makes a cross-section of what has already been explored with the team learning and team entrepreneurship model and what the next steps will be. It makes a comparison of two originally sep-arately developed models and dis-cusses their best practices. The arti-cle also argues whether the upcom-ing ICT education should be orga-nized in a conventional way – as curriculum of courses, or as expan-sion of the current team learning and team entrepreneurship model. The data consists of field notes, meeting memos, and dozens of un-official discussions with colleagues and company representatives. Liter-ature studies made during the ongo-ing research, development, and in-novation (RDI) projects offered an extra view of how the business con-text is changing and what should be done to make benefit out of the change. The results suggest that the up-coming ICT Degree Programme at SUAS should be integrated into the existing deployment of team learning and team entrepreneurship learning environment. This would foster col-laboration between different disci-plines, e.g. marketing and ICT. Fur-thermore, the emerging ideation, ser-vice design and experimentation eco-system which we are developing in ongoing RDI projects, would be strengthened by adding more students focused on ICT competencies into it. The article was later extended to include interview data from 12 theme-based specialist interviews where the thoughts of original article were tested among administration of our campus, RDI funder, experienced and former team entrepreneurs, and local entre-preneurs. The results validated the author's previous suggestions of how future ICT education should be organized and also provided some new targets for development. The essential find-ings were: The future ICT education should be deployed in a way that it a) develops students' entrepreneurial mindset b) offers versatile coopera-tion possibilities with existing market-ing team entrepreneurs and other en-terprises, and c) the current ecosystem should be internationalized.