John G. LaBrie
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
College of Professional Studies, Department of Education
education, business education, commercialization, entrepreneurship, experiential education, online education, virtual teams
Technological Entrepreneurship is both an art and a science. As such, the education of a technological entrepreneur requires both an academic and an experiential component. One form of experiential education is creating real new ventures with student teams. When these ventures are created in an online modality, students work in virtual teams and never meet each other face-to-face. The impact of working in a 100% online environment with a focus on experiential learning was unclear and needed investigation. This study explores the processes that these virtual teams undertook to start new ventures and how these students established a sense of community, created a culture of trust and resolved conflicts that are inherent in creating a new venture.
A cohort of 17 master's students in a technology commercialization program was studied for one year by tracking their steps from idea generation to the creation of a business plan. Since the problem being explored was unknown and crossed multiple disciplines, grounded theory was used. At the end of each of the program's four quarters, students were interviewed and given a survey to measure their sense of community and satisfaction. At the completion of the program, the students produced a business plan and were evaluated by their instructor and a team of three outside reviewers who are business executives experienced in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization.
Thomas R. Ermolovich
Ermolovich, Thomas R., "Online experiential education for technological entrepreneurs" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 5. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002129
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