Introduction - Creating a Reflection-Based Homework Assignment
This guide is designed to help entrepreneurship professors create an effective reflection-based homework assignment for students who have recently participated in one of the entrepreneurship simulations.
The aim of the assignment is to encourage students to critically analyze their experiences, decisions, and outcomes during the simulation, ultimately deepening their understanding of entrepreneurship principles and enhancing their decision-making skills.
Step 1: Establish the context
Begin by giving a concise summary of the business simulation, its objectives, and the primary decisions students were required to make. This will provide a foundation for students to reflect on their experiences and encourage them to draw connections between the simulation and real-world entrepreneurial contexts (Kolb, 1984).
Step 2: Provide Reflective Questions
Develop a series of open-ended questions that guide students to reflect on their experiences during the simulation.
Some questions that we recommend:
- What were your primary goals during the simulation, and how did you rank their importance?
- Explain your decision-making process. What factors influenced your key decisions?
- How did your strategy change over time? What external factors contributed to this change?
- What decisions led to successful outcomes? What factors contributed to their success?
- Which decisions did not yield the desired results? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
- How has the simulation improved your understanding of the challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs encounter?
- What insights from the simulation can you apply to actual entrepreneurial endeavors?
Step 3: Promote Self Assessment
We recommend requesting students to evaluate their performance during the simulation, focusing on areas such as decision-making, strategy, and financial management.
Additionally, encourage them to recognize specific strengths and areas requiring improvement. This will foster self-awareness and help students identify skills they need to develop further (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1997).
Step 4: Incorporate a Peer Review & Submission Guidelines
Include a peer review section in the assignment, wherein students assess the performance and decisions of their teammates or classmates during the simulation. This will allow students to consider different viewpoints and refine their ability to offer constructive feedback (Topping, 1998).
When outlining submission guidelines, be sure to clearly delineate the expectations for the assignment, including format, word count, and submission deadline. Encourage students to present their reflections in a logical and structured manner, using headings and subheadings to guide the reader through their thought process.
Step 6: Evaluate and offer personalized feedback
Assess students’ reflections based on the depth of their analysis, critical thinking, and ability to connect their experiences to entrepreneurship principles (Brookfield, 1995). Provide personalized feedback, highlighting areas where students have demonstrated insight and growth, as well as areas that may benefit from further reflection or clarification.
Remember, students and instructors will both have access to the same information on the decisions that were made.
For classes ranging from 20-40 students, it may be feasible to review each student’s activity log personally.
For larger classes ranging from 100 – 400 students, we suggest asking for volunteers to review their timeline with the class.
And that's it!
A carefully designed reflective homework assignment can serve as a valuable instrument for helping students learn from their experiences during a business simulation. By fostering critical thinking, self-assessment, and peer review, this assignment can cultivate a more profound understanding of entrepreneurship principles and enhance students’ decision-making abilities (Moon, 2004). Employing best practices in pedagogy, this guide supports educators in creating an engaging and meaningful learning experience for their students.
- Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (1985). Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. Kogan Page.
- Brookfield, S. D. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. Jos