USING THE COACHING APPROACH IN DEVELOPING STUDENTS’ ENTREPRENEURIAL COMPETENCIES IN A TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:The coaching approach can be an important contributing factor in teaching soft skills to students from a technical university. It comes with several benefits, such as: lowering the distance between professors and students by enhancing trust; empowering students by envisioning the hero approach, accepting individuality in diversity and obtaining higher involvement of students due to their participation in establishing goals.
It is already known that the Z-Generation is characterized by a very low trust in formal source of information, thus, the continuous decrease in the students’ motivation. Moreover, during the Pandemic, the main problem that the educational system has faced was particularly the lack (or very poor) of communication between the involved actors.
The present article aims at analyzing students’ opinion on integrating the coaching approach during the teaching process, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using this particular method for improving soft skills. The method consists in using 3 tools for coaching groups and validating the impact with five focus groups of engineering students by discussing their views and opinions related to the results, the process and the content of the used methods. The focus groups are made out of students from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, from different specializations, such as economical engineering, automation, computer sciences, electrical engineering and building engineering.
The results reveal that the students feel empowered due to the role they are given in the process. The fact that they could choose the method (not in all cases) was the most frequent declared advantage. Also, they consider that the motivation increased because of their position in the teams, as equal partners. Finally, they appreciated the non-judgmental atmosphere, the opportunity to discuss about their values, facts that increased their self-esteem and their confidence.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship education, coaching approach, Pandemic, focus group.