General Learning Goals:
• Problem solving and decision-making abilities through critical analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of business information. Students will practice problem solving and decision-making skills during projects and in-class discussions (e.g. feasibility assessments of others’ ideas, critiques of elevator pitches). Assessment will occur during course quizzes, home works, and the business plan project.
• Teambuilding and collaboration to achieve group objectives. These objectives will be practiced as students work in teams to generate entrepreneurial ideas, win the football shoot-out, develop a business plan, and present the business plan to a panel of visiting experts. Instructor observation, project evaluation, and peer evaluation of team members will be used to assess these abilities.
• Competency in speaking and writing for common business scenarios. Students will practice their oral presentation skills in numerous in-class presentations. The student’s ability to speak clearly to an audience will be included in the score for these exercises. An entrepreneurial analysis, idea journal, and the written portion of the business plan will also be assessed for writing ability.
These general learning goals are among those established by the Dillard College of Business Administration. General learning goals represent the skills that graduates will carry with them into their careers. While assessing student performance in obtaining these general learning goals, the Dillard College is assessing its programs. The assessments will assist us as we improve our curriculum and curriculum delivery.
Course Specific Learning Goals: After completing this course, students should be able to:
• Know the economic and personal underpinnings of entrepreneurship.
• Understand the sources of entrepreneurial ideas and be able to generate ideas.
• Conduct a feasibility study of an entrepreneurial opportunity.
• Understand the process of implementing a business plan, with particular emphasis on financial considerations.
Student performance will be assessed using the following elements.
Quizzes (7): In lieu of exams, there will be a total of 9 quizzes during the course. The last 2 quizzes will be offered during the final exam period. Only the 7 highest scores will count toward your overall grade (in other words you get to drop your two lowest scores). Each quiz will be worth 50 points and will have a mix of true/false questions, multiple choice questions, fill in the blank questions, short essay questions, and financial exercises. Lectures, discussions, readings, homework assignments, and handouts are the sources of the quiz questions. The quizzes are not cumulative in coverage; the material for each quiz will be the topics discussed in class since the preceding quiz unless you are told otherwise. You can use an index card (3” x 5”) with notes (one side only) for each quiz.
Projects: As entrepreneurship is very much an applied science, we will accomplish several projects that contribute to your grade in the course. Below are brief introductions to these projects. More detail will be available on these projects via WebCT later in the semester.
Idea Journal (IJ): This is a series of short projects to stimulate your creativity and help you toward a feasible idea for a new venture.
Entrepreneurial Analysis (EA): This is an individual project where you provide a written analysis of a conversation / interview you had with an entrepreneur / small business owner.
Financial Homework (FH): This is an individual project (with cooperation allowed within teams) where you complete a financial worksheet.
The Great Football Shootout Project (FS): This is a team project where you will have a contest to make the greatest profit at the October 30th MSU-Tarleton State game. The graded portion is an individual short paper you write that discusses what you learned from the experience. Also, the winning team will get a grade benefit on the written assignment.
Business Plan (BP): This is a group project and the capstone of the course. In teams of 2-3 people you develop some elements of a business plan for an entrepreneurial opportunity. You make two verbal presentations: a 90 second “elevator pitch” to the class and, later, a 5 minute presentation to a panel of experts. You also provide a written portion of a business plan. Much more detail will be available on this project later in the semester.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I expect that everyone will pull their fair share during the group work, especially the business plan. There will be anonymous peer feedback to me on individuals’ level of contributions to the group. Those that did not contribute their “fair share” in the group can expect significant reductions from the overall “group grade” given for the business plan.
Participation/Attendance: As I said earlier, this class should be highly participatory! I have tried a variety of options to motivate excellent participation/attendance. For this semester I will use a class vote on the second day to decide which option I implement:
Option 1: Attendance/participation is a graded item (100 points total). You earn 3 points for every class period you are present for the entire period (excludes the first day of class). You earn the remainder of the participation points (25) by actively, verbally participating in the sessions.
Option 2: Attendance/participation is ungraded but you can earn bonus points as follows. First, I select 4 days (which I keep secret) where those in attendance will receive 5 bonus points (per day). Second, I also award bonus points to students that make significant verbal contributions in class.
Points are allocated to each component as follows.
Grades will be assigned using the following schedule.
Semester grades will be reported through normal University channels with no exceptions.
My intent is to motivate and educate you toward excellence. Therefore, for each assignment you will see a clear definition of what constitutes excellent work. My comments back to you will focus on what was excellent about your work rather than what was wrong. If you would like more detailed comments on how you can improve, I am anxious to give you that feedback too. The best time to have those discussions is in my office. Because I want you to produce excellent work, I give you the option to redo the IJ, EA, and FS assignments with these guidelines:
• Any redone assignment must be resubmitted by the beginning of class 7 days after I handed the material back (the clock starts ticking even if you missed class on the day I handed the assignment back). For example, redos would be due by 12:30p on Tuesday, October 12th if I gave the assignment back on Tuesday, October 5th.
• For “redos,” your final grade will be an average of the first score and the “redo” score.
The business plan will be turned in late in the course so there isn’t a realistic “redo” option. Therefore, groups can dry-run their presentations with me (or just have me review the slides) in advance, and I can look over your draft business plans prior to the presentation/turn-in date. All of these reviews will be done in my office and my feedback is verbal (e.g., you can’t email me your material and expect me to respond via email).
Attendance Policy: Regular attendance is expected. Participation in class discussion is expected, so reading the assigned material and completing assignments prior to coming to class is also expected. See the MSU Student Handbook page 39-40, for University Class Attendance Policy.
Missed Examination Policy: Only students with authorized absences (see University Class Attendance Policy) may make up missed quizzes. Students must make up a missed quiz before they are allowed to return to class. As a professional courtesy, please notify me of the absence prior to the quiz if possible.
With regard to academic honesty, students are referred to the “Student Honor Creed” on p. 19 of Midwestern State University Undergraduate Catalog, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 1. Academic dishonesty (cheating, collusion, and plagiarism) is taken seriously and will be investigated. Cutting and pasting text from the internet without citing the source and setting off the “pasted text” in a form that identifies it appropriately constitutes plagiarism. Please know that integrity is very important to me.
Americans with Disabilities Act:
If a student has an established disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request accommodation, that student should please see me as soon as possible (i.e., within the first two weeks of the semester). Refer to my office hours and phone number shown on page 1. This class follows the guidelines suggested by the Center for Counseling and Disabilities Services for those students who qualify for disability services. See Midwestern State University Undergraduate Catalog, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 1, p. 21.
Syllabus Change Policy:
This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change. Syllabus changes may be communicated via WebCT or in class.
Written Assignments: All written assignments are to be single-spaced, have one inch margins, and use an 11 or 12-point font (specific font must present a business appearance and be similar in “size” to Times New Roman or Arial).
Assignments: Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the specified due date. Assignments submitted less than 8 hours after being due will receive a 5% deduction. Assignments submitted more than 8 but less than 24 hours after being due will receive a 10% deduction. Assignments will not be accepted beyond 24 hours.
Words of Wisdom / General Policies: Perhaps the most important things you can understand about me are that I am deeply interested in your success in the course (and beyond), and I am convinced this course can make a major difference in your future. Therefore, I invest a lot of effort into this course and hope you’ll do the same. Just as in the “real world,” I try to run my course in a supportive yet professional and business-like manner. Here are some key points for professional behavior:
• Class time is like a business meeting:
o Be on time! Attendance is taken at class start time and the quizzes begin at class start time.
o Turn off your cell phones and put them away.
o Laptops are for business use during class—not surfing, emailing, or networking.
• Always show respect for others, especially if they make comments in class.
o Packing up before class is over disrupts others.
• The assignments you hand in should reflect your professionalism
• Don’t embarrass yourself with questions like: “Did I miss anything important,” “Will I miss anything important,” or “Can I skip today?” How would you expect your “boss” to answer those questions?