BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
Despite an increased focused on developing and understanding engineering undergraduates’ entrepreneurial mindsets, best practices related to assessing this mindset remain nascent. In an attempt to evaluate concept mapping as a potential assessment tool for entrepreneurial mindset and identify the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) first-year engineering students associate with this mindset, we asked students to create “entrepreneurial mindset” concept maps1 . These maps were scored using the Integrated Rubric for Scoring Concept Maps (Besterfield-Sacre, et al., 2004) – a holistic tool for evaluating concept maps’ organization, comprehensiveness, and correctness.
Through the application of this assessment strategy, we not only demonstrated the promise of concept mapping, but also captured 1) the KSAs students believe are relevant to entrepreneurship and 2) students’ perspectives regarding the connections between KSAs. Our findings afford program directors and educators the opportunity to prepare educational activities that meet first-year students’ program/course objectives and build upon students’ current understanding. More generally, assessment using concept mapping offers educators a window into students’ mental models and the baseline understanding needed to enhance student learning.