A Problem of Fear, Motivation, Communication, Busyness, or Laziness?

Here are Michael Luchies‘ latest reflections, in his own words

Grab HoldOpportunities take a motivated and willing participant to grab a hold of them in order to provide value. Even when presenting an obvious and valuable opportunity, there is no guarantee that an audience will bite. In MQM 224, which I am sitting in with Doan at Illinois State University, we have an awesome group of bright students, but they aren’t taking advantage of opportunities or engaging at a high level.

From the outside, I always thought teaching entrepreneurship would be a pretty easy gig. I loved my time as an entrepreneurship student and thought that my passion and interest in small business and startups would easily transition to students if I were to ever become a professor.

Sitting in on Doan’s class has helped me realize the difficulty of teaching in college, but I can’t put my finger on the core problem.

Doan is one of, if not the most interesting and engaging entrepreneurship professor I’ve ever met (not trying to stroke your ego Doan, we both know you don’t need help with that), so I don’t think the problem has to do with his teaching style, and it certainly isn’t due to lack of trying or effort. Maybe it’s different for each student, but is it possible to overcome all of the barriers and problems preventing students from actively participating in the class?

If giving students money and a chance to earn hundreds more over a couple of days in an exercise doesn’t motivate them, what will?

I don’t think there is a clear answer in site, but I like the track we are taking to find out the real answer and how to get them closer to taking advantage of these opportunities.

In this week’s class, Doan opened the floor to find out what students wanted to learn that hasn’t been covered yet. The students created a great list of things they wanted to learn. Here are the topics they want to cover:

  •        Legal help/aspects
  •        Local marketing
  •        Starting with no money
  •        Real-life cases and scenarios
  •        Development/building
  •        Creating a proper internet presence
  •        User experience
  •        Things to include in a business plan

How can we fully capture the full body of students in the class and get them to take advantage of the opportunities we’re trying to provide?


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