Kristin Joos

Social entrepreneurship course recognized for ingenuity, creativity

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dr. Kristin Joos’s Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship course received a 2015 Online Education Excellence Award (OEEA) from the University of Florida’s Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence.

Dr. Tawnya Means, Director of the Warrington College of Business Administration’s Center of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, was the course’s Instructional Designer.

The OEEAs recognize exemplary and innovative teaching and course production in fully online or blended courses. Eligible courses must have 50 percent or more of the content and activities available to students online.

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship, which is offered through UF Online—one of the nation’s first fully online undergraduate arms at a public university— is an undergraduate business course that exposes students to the major challenges and opportunities facing social entrepreneurs and their ventures. The course analyzes the skills and strategies these entrepreneurs use to innovatively and sustainably solve social, environmental and economic problems.

The course blends assignments and quizzes, with innovative online learning tools like discussions and multimedia content, and experiential learning via a consulting project with local social entrepreneurs. Students worked to take what they were learning online into the “real world” addressing the global problem of hunger by partnering with two local ventures focused on sustainable food systems: Gainesville Harvest and Gainesville Compost.

Among the course’s exemplary features are an introductory quiz to measure student comprehension of the syllabus, course requirements, required tools and technologies; multiple assessment strategies to measure content knowledge, attitudes and skills; utilizing Storify to interweave more than 100 short lecture videos, film and audio clips; synchronous (chat tools) and asynchronous (quizzes/assignments) activities; and a rich, online experience using Canvas—UF’s new course management system.

Student feedback about the course was overwhelmingly positive. Students lauded the courses’ interaction through online discussions, flexibility, varieties of educational materials utilized and online format via Canvas among other advantages.

Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (3503), which counts toward a major or minor in Sustainability Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and/or a minor in Entrepreneurship at Warrington, will be offered each fall (Module 2).