More hands-on learning please?

Calling for more action-based learning, including app-creation?:

Universities have failed to react to changes in the labour market that render some traditional business teaching methods defunct, according to an expert in entrepreneurship.

That is the view of Colin Mason, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, who said that a more hands-on approach to teaching entrepreneurship was required to prepare students for “the new world of work”, which is increasingly reliant on the self-employed and agency staff.

“Many universities have not cottoned on to the fact that the labour market is changing, and changing very rapidly. Blue-chip companies are not picking up as many graduate students as they used to,” he said.

“Currently, entrepreneurship is taught from far too academic a point of view. A lot of what is masquerading as entrepreneurship [education] is actually just teaching about what it is. It is often taught from a managerial [perspective] and is too focused on what big companies do.”

Read full story.

Digital Event

Technology Enhanced Pedagogy & Assessment

A session that I’m running this afternoon:


The Research Lab in Your Pocket @timeshighered

When George MacKerron set out to investigate how people’s happiness is affected by their environment, he hit upon the idea of using mobile phones. What if an application could be developed to ask study participants – at regular intervals – how they were feeling, where they were and who they were with?

The research project Mappiness does just that via an app that beeps phone owners once or more a day to enquire about their state of mind while simultaneously taking a noise measurement and tracking the participant’s location with global positioning system technology. Richard Layard, the British economist and Labour peer known for his research on well-being, has described the project as “a revolutionary research idea”, but for MacKerron, the concept was obvious.

“The technology was there: it seemed a no-brainer,” says the PhD researcher at the London School of Economics.

What took MacKerron by surprise was the scale of the response. At the start of the project, he and his supervisor Susana Mourato had a “crazy pipe dream” that it might be possible to get as many as 3,000 people to volunteer to participate in the project. Instead, to date nearly 43,000 people have experienced “the warm glow of helping increase the sum of human knowledge”, in the words of the Mappiness website.

Read full story (to find out more about other possible apps). I used to use the Mappiness app, but turned all the reminders off, as after about 2 months I kept not being able to respond at the time sent…

See more about ‘Happiness’/Mappiness (not the same project!):

Academic Digital

Facebook for Education


“Facebook has been making many inroads into education over the last few years. Many institutions are using Facebook sites to publicize events on campus, as well as to aid in their recruiting.

As well, many students, instructors and administrators are using a number of Facebook applications for a wide variety of academic purposes.

Recently we’ve been examining a number of Facebook apps that are relevant for educational use. We’ve assembled a small list of 20 facebook apps here and are happy to have others add additional apps to the list that you’ve found helpful.”

Find list of applications.