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Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 5: Assessing Entrepreneurial Competence in Entrepreneurship Education and Training
Thomas Lans and Judith Gulikers Introduction While entrepreneurship education1 is a ‘hot’ topic these days, the individual assessment of entrepreneurial competence from a learning paradigm remains an issue that has not been explored extensively in entrepreneurship education literature (Béchard and Grégoire, 2005). Entrepreneurship education is enjoying considerable growth worldwide, both in initial education as well as post-initial and more work-based learning trajectories (Katz, 2007). These courses can have various purposes ranging from raising awareness of what entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial behaviour entails to increasing an entrepreneurial spirit or culture among certain employees or aiming at creating successful start-ups in a specific context. The enormous number of courses at different levels suggests that there is also a diversity of educational assessment strategies adopted to assess students in all sorts of entrepreneurial courses and trajectories. Entrepreneurship education scholars and practitioners in this matter face several assessment challenges. First, due to the lack of definition of the concept ‘entrepreneurship’ as well as the meaning it can take in different settings, conceptions of entrepreneurship differ between individuals, but also between sectors, countries and systems; these in turn differently influence (potential) learning trajectories in entrepreneurship education and training (that is, ‘couleur locale’) (Kirby, 2004). For instance, emphasizing entrepreneurial behaviours, entrepreneurial attitudes and culture, rather than viewing entrepreneurship as mainly the creation of new ventures (Fayolle and Klandt, 2006) has serious consequences for entrepreneurial courses, including for what and how students are assessed. Second, with the contemporary focus by governments on the accreditation of prior...
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