Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Although Corporate Entrepreneurship is a management course, most students come from other subject areas. This is an elective class taken by students from programmes across the University of Strathclyde (c.100) with a significant 'Professional Practice' cohort of engineering students (c.60) and a cohort of 'Professional Studies' students (c.40) studying product design at the Glasgow School of Art. The course gives students an understanding of how companies innovate and encourage the development of entrepreneurial capabilities of their employees. It also helps develop innovative thinking in students. Peer review was introduced into this course as a means of engaging students in reviewing the literature on corporate entrepreneurship, to develop critical thinking and graduate attributes valuable for future employment. 


School: Business School

Course: Corporate Entrepreneurship, Professional Practice and Professional Studies

Students: Elective (c. 100), Engineering (c.60) and Product Design (c.40)

Task: A key aspect of this course is a series of visits by industry guest speakers who present a live case study and answer questions posed by groups of students. The questions are prepared in advance, through a review of the literature, and are focused on the central themes of the course; organisational structure and size; culture; leadership; management.  A series of peer review activities were used to assist groups in formulating good questions for these visits. The four themes are subsequently used to structure an individual report, a major assessment item. No coursework marks were awarded for the peer review activity. 

Peer Review: Four peer review tasks were set one for each theme. Each task was allocated one week. For each week, students worked in groups of four to compose a question, based on their reading of the literature on the that week's course theme. Reviewing was carried out individually with each student reviewing the questions formulated by other groups. Every group thus received up to eight separate reviews from peers on their question, The groups remained the same throughout the course and the peer reviewing was double blind. Students used a lecturer provided rubric for peer reviewing. The rubric requested the reviewer to write one to three sentences on the quality and nature of the question, its clarity, the language used and the references upon which it was based. It also asked the reviewer to provide 'any other 'positive and constructive feedback'.

Findings: A mixed methodology was employed to evaluate and capture students' perceptions and experiences of peer review and feedback and to assess the extent to which students perceived peer review might enhance key graduate attributes. A survey was administered to the whole class, before (response 68%) and after (response 46%) the peer review activities. Three focus groups were held with around 6 students.

The lecturers reported that the students produced better questions than in previous years. However, the survey data and focus groups revealed that  that student reactions to the peer review activity was variable: some found it useful and others considered it tedious.  Issues of trust were also reported  with some students voicing concern about the potential for theft of ideas or plagiarism.

Improvements: The lecturers believed that the tasks was not sufficiently challenging and that a a series of short writing task might be a better focus for the review activity. The lecturers also felt that more time should be spent explaining why peer review was important and about the benefits in future employment.

Software: Aropa developed by John Hamer

Course Leader: Sheena Bell, University of Glasgow [].  

Evaluation: Judy Pate, University of Glasgow helped with the evaluation.  []



David Nicol identifies some key features and suggests some possible enhancements in this peer review design