What is it about?

The study highlights an approach to teaching entrepreneurship to Higher National Diploma (HND) students combing traditional and experiential teaching methods to enhance student learning, comprehension, and entrepreneurial skills. The results of the study were collected from student and instructor reflections on the module, highlighting both the success and challenges of this approach, and ultimately finding that the experiential elements of the course most greatly helped students conceptualize and understand the entrepreneurship process.

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Why is it important?

While research has documented the benefits of active and experiential learning environments, little research has focused on the impact of these learning environments on learners enrolled in HND programmes, particularly for students who intend on continuing towards a Bachelor’s degree. As universities increasingly include HND programmes into their repertoire of teaching, it is important for university educators to understand the unique needs of HND students. This research examines the success and challenges of utilizing an active learning environment for HND student studying entrepreneurship.


The study showed improvements in students’ group work skills, confidence/self-efficacy, creativity, and comfort with uncertainty. Students thus developed skills that are both entrepreneurial and may have a positive impact on their post-graduation employability if they choose not to be an entrepreneur. The literature has argued that effective group-work skills gained during education can translate in to job skills, and that employability may be improved by possessing entrepreneurial traits.

Professor Robin Bell
University of Worcester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Applying enterprise: active learning environments for business Higher National Diploma students, Journal of Further and Higher Education, May 2017, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/0309877x.2017.1302567.
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