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Project Entrepreneurship: A Study of the Influence of Peer Mentorship on Entrepreneurship

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The purpose of this action research study was to understand better student perceptions of entrepreneurship opportunities, with a particular focus on exploring how a peer-mentor might play a helping role supporting the entrepreneurial activities of their peer students in a

The purpose of this action research study was to understand better student perceptions of entrepreneurship opportunities, with a particular focus on exploring how a peer-mentor might play a helping role supporting the entrepreneurial activities of their peer students in a college environment. This action research study focused on the experience of a five-week, virtual mentorship program. The theoretical perspectives guiding the research included the work of Ajzen, Bandura, and Stets and Burke. In this mixed method study, quantitative data were collected for three constructs—self-efficacy, entrepreneurial identity, and entrepreneurial mindset. Quantitative data were gathered using pre- and post-intervention surveys. Qualitative data were gathered through written journal reflections and semi-structured interviews at the end of the study. Participants were undergraduate students serving as mentors and first-year, full-time students engaging as mentees. The study was conducted during the fall 2020 semester and occurred in a fully, virtual format in response to COVID-19 public health considerations. Modest increases in levels of agreement with entrepreneurial self-efficacy and relational support for entrepreneurship were indicated from the analysis of the quantitative results. A slight decline for entrepreneurial identity also occurred. Qualitative data provided richer understandings of student perspectives. Themes around the perception of self, relationship with others, entrepreneurial focus, and feelings towards entrepreneurship emerged from the mentee’s qualitative data. Central themes for the mentor data included helping, focusing on the college experience, and feelings as a mentor. The perspectives of mentors and mentees were also explored in analysis of journal entries. Students indicated they valued entrepreneurial activity and mindset, with the majority expressing future goals relevant to entrepreneurship. The discussion focused on the complementarity of the data, connection of the outcomes to the theoretical frameworks, personal lessons learned, limitations of the study, and implications for research and my own practice.

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Date Created
2021

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An evaluation of business students' perceptions about their personal everyday creativity

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With organizations’ rising interest in creativity as one of the most sought out skill sets for graduates, it has become crucial to infuse creativity training in academic programs. This study evaluated freshmen business students’ perceptions about their personal, everyday creativity

With organizations’ rising interest in creativity as one of the most sought out skill sets for graduates, it has become crucial to infuse creativity training in academic programs. This study evaluated freshmen business students’ perceptions about their personal, everyday creativity and examined the influence of infusing creativity training in their freshmen seminar course.

This action research study drew upon the intersection of three creative self-belief theories from management and education psychology literature: Jaussi, et al (2007) Creative Identity Theory; Karwowski (2014) Creative Mindset Theory; and Tierney & Farmer (2002) Creative Self-efficacy Theory. These theories arguably stemmed from Burke (1991) Identity Theory; Dweck (2006) Mindset Theory; and Bandura (1977, 1997) Self-efficacy Theory, respectively. This approach was used to understand what factors influenced students’ perceptions about their personal, everyday creativity.

Freshmen business students participated in the study. A concurrent mixed methods approach was used to gather data from the students. Quantitative data came from a post- and retrospective pre-intervention survey that assessed four constructs: creative identity, creative self-efficacy, growth mindset, and fixed mindset. The data also came from the quantitative section of a post-workshop feedback survey asking to rate the effectiveness of each workshop. Qualitative data were gathered in several ways. Student interviews focused on asking how they defined creativity, shared reasons that motivated or inhibited them to practice creativity, and explained to what extent the workshops influenced them. Additional qualitative data came from student reflection essays and the qualitative section of a post-workshop feedback survey.

Research results suggested students gained an increased understanding in the importance of adopting a growth mindset, designating ‘creative’ as a critical identity and building confidence in their creative endeavors. The students’ interview and reflection essay data were consistent with the survey data. Finally, research results from the study highlighted the benefit of creativity training as a crucial, complementary, and iterative form of study in an academic setting allowing students to know themselves better and to prioritize their creative performances as part of their program learning outcomes.

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Date Created
2019

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Harnessing Emotions: The Impact of Developing Ability Emotional Intelligence Skills on Perceptions of Collaborative Teamwork in a Project-Based Learning Class

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The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability

The purpose of this action research study was to implement and analyze an intervention designed to improve perceptions of working with others as well as practice and improve emotional tools related to such interactions through the systematic development of ability emotional intelligence (EI) related skills. The present study sought to: (1) explore high school students’ perceptions of their role as part of a team during teamwork; (1a) investigate how perceptions differed by EI level; (2) examine how students’ perceptions of their role in teamwork were influenced by being paired with more advanced (ability EI) peers or less advanced peers, based on ability emotional intelligence test scores; (3) determine if ability emotional intelligence related skills could be developed over the course of a 7-week intervention.

The intervention took place in a 12th grade US Government & Economics classroom with 34 participants for examination of general trends, and 11 focal participants for focused and in-depth analysis. Students were taught about emotion theory and engaged in two weeks of ability emotional intelligence skills training, followed by a five-week project cycle in which students were required to work together to achieve a common goal. The research design was mixed methods convergent parallel. Quantitative data were collected from post- and retrospective pre-intervention surveys regarding student perceptions about working with others and their ability EI related skills. Qualitative data were collected through on-going student reflective journal entries, observational field notes, and interviews with the focal group of participants.

Results suggested the intervention had a significant effect on students’ perceptions of working with others and perceived ability emotional intelligence related skills. Significant positive change was found through quantitative data analysis, revealing students’ perceptions about working with others in teams had improved as a result of the intervention as had their perceptions about their ability EI related skills. Qualitative analysis revealed rich, thick descriptions exploring this shift in perception among the 11 focal students, providing the evidence necessary to support the effectiveness of the intervention. Results suggested the possibilities for improved teamwork in the classroom.

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Date Created
2019