Get Out Of the Classroom: and Into Sustainable Enterprise!
Setting Up Field-Based Coursework
These information sheets are a guide to field-based coursework for business students all around the world based on experiences in Latin America. In field-based learning, students, guided by faculty, work directly with organizations to solve real problems and offer feasible solutions. The guidebook provides proforma and other materials such as suggested project timeline that the New Ventures Program at World Resources Institute (WRI) has used to administer our own field-based learning programs.
Download information sheets
- The concept of field based learning
- Field-based learning, a powerful tool for management education
- Field based learning and sustainable enterprise
- Setting up field-based learning programs
- Running field-based learning programs
In order to run a successful business in today’s complex global market, firms have to develop and pursue new opportunities to build competitive advantage. The ability to do this depends on the development of top managerial talent with skills and capabilities to manage innovation and entrepreneurship. Management education can play an important role in the development of such talent. Field-based learning enhances traditional management education by providing students with the opportunity to come into contact with and apply all of the skills taught in the classroom to practical management situations. Therefore, field-based learning can give students a competitive advantage.
The benefits of field based coursework are numerous:
- Students gain an opportunity to apply newly learned theories in real world situations. They develop a broader perspective on the challenges faced in today’s marketplace and the ways in which to deal with them. Furthermore, they develop a broader network within the business community and beyond.
- Businesses and organizations that host field-based coursework also benefit. Often field-based coursework provides a way for companies to address an issue they know needs attention but do not have either the time or the resources to attend to it themselves. Such projects can provide an injection of new ideas and approaches into a company. Also, building working relationships with students can facilitate recruitment and reduce uncertainty in hiring new employees.
- Academic management programs benefit from field-based coursework because they provide a context in which to apply theories and find out what is happening in the field. In addition, the projects provide a method for curriculum innovations that keep course offerings up-to-date and relevant. These projects can also build relationships and increase understanding between the private and academic sectors.
While field-based coursework may be easy to understand and justify, it can be difficult to execute successfully. WRI invites cutting edge management educators, students, and firms to use this guide to establish and improve on field-based projects and fully benefit from all field-based learning has to offer.
(developed by the New Ventures project)
- Project Evaluation for Faculty
- Project Evaluation for Project Sponsors
- Project Evaluation for Students
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Checklist for students conducting a project
- Checklist for faculty/program administrators overseeing a project
- Project timeline for students
Programs Offering Field-based Learning Opportunities
- Environmental Enterprise Corps
- New Ventures
- Net Impact Service Corps
- Agora Partnerships
- Endeavor (summer internships)
- TechnoServe (summer internships)
This information was developed and compiled by World Resources Institute and funded by the Alcoa Foundation. Many thanks to James DeVaney (University of Michigan) and John Fay (University of North Carolina) for their contributions to this work.