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    FDE Casebook volume 1
    (Ashesi University, 2020) Adomdza, Gordon
    The experiential nature of the course, Foundations of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE), provided the opportunity for students to explore real-world problems of interest, run a business simulation on the solutions concepts while going through the motions that start-up goes through in setting up. Despite being first-year students, the structure of the course made them encounter actual challenges around team formation, supply chain management, production, marketing, finance etc., where they had to make decisions considering a variety of factors. To capture some of these decision scenarios for teaching purposes, the following teaching case studies were written. Specific areas of business were identified for each case and to draw out the illustrations needed to meet the teaching objectives, some of the challenges were embellished and some of the storylines adapted for illustrative effect. The names of the characters in the cases have been altered to protect the identity of the students. The cases can be used at the undergraduate level and below. Some specific cases may be used at the graduate level if the context is of importance to the instructor. However, since the operations of the student teams were business simulations, they do not have very informative appendixes or exhibits to support a graduate school level course. In the following, we provide a navigational overview of the different business areas of interest represented in the cases. The first area of focus is team formation. This was one of the contentious areas of engagement for team members as, for many of these students, this is the first time they were participating in a project team with real outcomes. A business is only as good as the people working for it, and without a cordial and harmonious relationship, a chaotic outcome will ensue. To explore issues of teamwork, which determines whether an investor will be interested in funding, the case of Teamware outlines steps the team went through to bond and deliver value to make their business concept investible. Another case study on team formation focused on the motivation to perform. As the saying goes, a product is only as good as the attitude of the people that make them, and in the case of Ripple, the importance of human resource management became evident. The 6 CEO of Ripple had to ensure that team members felt motivated since they developed an apathetic and lackadaisical attitude towards work. The team members needed work rules and regulations. They needed to have a sense of direction and purpose. The message here was that products are not the only driving force of a business, people are as well. Thus, businesses need to invest in people, and TIPS was another case study exhibits this notion. In the case of Mollia Dormir, the team had a pending conflict which threatened the success of their business simulation. All parties involved believed they were on the right, which led to no progress. A conflict resolution process had to be implemented to curb the situation from escalating and to ensure progress and performance. Moving on from team formation to the venture development process, the case of Instalight Enterprise illustrates the 6 chronological stages of new product and business development. The team had an initial concept in mind, however, after the prototype production, they had to reevaluate certain activities they had undertaken as they spent more time and money than expected. The case modelled how to iterate and make changes as and when they are needed during the development process. When a solution concept has been developed and tested, there is the need to explore avenues for resources needed to exploit that business opportunity. The CompressiBowl case is an illustration of one of the FDE readings titled “Raising Money For New And Emerging Companies”. This reading focuses on how the life cycle of a business determines the funding source to target. It further focuses on the factors to understand when raising money for a business, specifically for an emerging business such as CompressiBowl. The case, therefore, provides a good overview of how funding works. Despite the funding available for a business, there is also the case of viability which is one of the three parts of determining a potentially successful business: desirability, feasibility and viability - as the students are taught. A business might be desirable and feasible, however, without viability, the business might not succeed in the long term. This was evidenced in the case of Easy B. This case illustrates a business concept that was constantly in search of resources as they were caught in a spending spiral with no incoming funds. The case considers whether the business was viable in the first place. 7 There are a few other cases that we have not commented on here but hold promise for teaching on various topics in an undergraduate class as noted earlier. We hope that through these scenarios, you will be able to teach your students and your teams some valuable skills about how to tackle everyday business challenges and how to succeed in the process. [NB: Taken from introduction]
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    Effect of hands-on science activities on Ghanaian student learning, attitudes, and career interest: A preliminary control study
    (Global Journal of Transformative Education, 2020-12) Beem, Heather
    A quasi-experimental study was carried out with 309 Form 3 students across 9 public Junior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The effect of Practical Education Network (PEN)’s approach of training STEM teachers to employ hands-on activities using low-cost, locally-available resources was studied in terms of student learning outcomes, attitudes towards learning science, and interest in STEM majors/ careers. Over a 2.5-month period, the science teacher at each experimental school received a weekly training on a hands-on activity and lesson observation by the respective PEN Trainer. A survey on attitudes towards science and a previous edition of the national exam (BECE) were administered to all students before and after the intervention. The mean pre-post differences were compared between the experimental and control schools. The intervention caused an average of 10.9% increase in exam scores (difference-in-differences), but the results were mixed at the school-level. Unpaired t-tests and Hedge’s g tests were used to determine statistical significance between the two groups. Student engagement increased significantly (p = 3 x 10 -7 , g = 0.85), and student enjoyment of science increased 22% more, on average. The intervention disproportionately affected the females positively, enabling greater learning gains (14.5% vs. 5.3% for the males), greater increase in engagement, and a significant shift in interest towards STEM majors and careers, which their male counterparts did not experience. Results from this study should inform the design of future studies with longer duration and which account for factors such as school infrastructure quality.
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    Ashesi’s 360 approach to the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM), 2021) Agyepong, Sena Agbodjah; Owusu-Ansah, Angela; Annoh, William Ohene
    Following the government directive to close schools in March 2020, a meeting of the academic leadership of Ashesi University devised a 360-degree response to the COVID-19 pandemic with decision making underpinned by simplicity and flexibility. The Admissions Department, supported by Student Life, led the evacuation and safe return home of all students, with students with challenging situations placed in homes the week of the announcement. Concurrently, the Academic Affairs team suspended all regular activities for two weeks, and with the assistance of the Operations and IT teams, developed the operational response plan, piloted the following week. Faculty and Academic Affairs stressed best practices, and in response to Student Life, emphasised the quality of instruction over quantity; rigour and higher-order thinking over the amount of learning. Pursuance of quality assurance was through weekly and clear master plans on teaching. Student Life, Admissions, and Academic Affairs used a devised student activity sheet to provide support to students to mitigate attrition, which was less than 0.2 per cent at the end of the semester. They regularly engaged students in virtual town hall meetings. Parents were included in students’ study needs and invited to visit classes. Vendors for the grounds, cafeteria, security and cleaning services have been supported during this period. Most faculty and students have begun to enjoy the online teaching and learning experience with no request for a tuition refund, but rather, high student demand for summer school.
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    The global and the local: Programs that predict critical thinking and cultural appreciation development in students
    (International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 2018) Johnstone, Christopher; Soria, Krista; Bittencourt, Tiago; Adjei, Millicent
    Increasingly, colleges and u niversities across the U nited States are encouraging students to study abroad , citing enhanced cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as intended outcomes. However, on every campus , there are students who cannot participate in learning -abroad opportunities because of visa, financial, familial, or other personal reasons. At the same time, some students are more drawn to opportunities for engagement in their own communities than outside the United States. This article discusses a study that focused on student outcomes for alumni of domestic and international programs designed to be cross -cultural and experiential in nature. The findings suggest that U .S.-based service - learning opportunities that are inten tionally experiential and contain cross -cultural elements may be just as effective in developing students ’ cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as international experiences . Results also indicate that programmatic elements may be as strong of a predictor of student outcomes as location.
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    Asset-based approaches to supporting the education abroad experiences of first-generation low-income students in an African university
    (Diversity Abroad, 2020) Amoako, Vanessa; Adjei, Millicent; Buckman, Rosemary Kotei
    Education abroad (EA) experiences offer tremendous long-term gains for college students by influencing their personal growth, career paths, and overall worldview (Dwyer & Peters, 2004). According to Dwyer and Peters (2004), college students report increased maturity and self-confidence, stronger awareness and understanding of their personal biases, an interest in exploring other cultures, and improved intercultural skills upon engaging in EA programs. Thus, educators, colleges, parents, and employers should, as a priority, support young people to gain access to and participate in EA programs.