Project-Based Learning and New Venture Creation

Jeff Lowenthal, Northeastern University

Traditionally, academics use either case method learning or lecture as their delivery modality. To expand beyond problem and lecture-based learning and to provide our students with a direct experience in starting a new company, Northeastern State University incorporated a project-based learning methodology into our New Venture Creation course. Project-Based Learning incorporates methods from problem-based learning, cooperative learning, constructivist learning, active learning, and project management theory. Specifically, students were presented with a business concept and within an eight-week period had to design and fully implement a for-profit web-based entity (with the profits donated to a local charity at the end of the semester). This project-based experience was incorporated into learning about the domains of entrepreneurship and business plans development. The result was a 55% increase in retained learning. This session presents a project-based learning methodology that participants can incorporate in their courseware.

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