AN ANALOGY CONCEPT IN UNIVERSITY EDUCATION. CASE OF CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS
An analogy, simply stated, is a process of identifying similarities between different concepts familiar concept (the analog) and the unfamiliar science concept (the target). Different studies (empirical as well as analytical) confirm that analogies can play an important role in helping students to understand new unfamiliar concept and construct their own knowledge. Often new concepts represent complex, hard to visualize systems with interacting parts. Therefore the educational power of analogies has widely and successfully demonstrated for teaching physics, chemistry, engineering and other exact sciences. Analogy based teaching concept so far has been seldom used in the field of social sciences, particularly in economics and finance.
The aim of the research is to develop a Teaching-With-Analogies model (Glynn, 2004; Glynn, Duit, and Thiele, 1995) to clarify new alternative sources of funding, particularly crowdfunding in early stages of entrepreneurship and student’s competencies-oriented education. The article analyses crowdfunding as a new source of funding implemented in a curriculum of the study course of business management or entrepreneurship for the undergraduate university students. Introduction of students to thousands of existing worldwide crowdfunding platforms is a challenge for the educator. Teaching-With-Analogies is developed in this research to help students understand this complex source of funding.
The classical study courses usually deal with traditional sources of funding such as 3F, business angels, venture capital funds and bank loans. All of them have some limitations and in many cases they are not accessible to new entrepreneurs. The development of crowdfunding during the last decade is so fast that it is hard to determine different types and particularities of new crowdfunding platforms, as well as develop students’ practical skills. To develop an analogy-based teaching model for crowdfunding the research was carried out by using qualitative and quantitative methods. Regarding the data collection techniques, both primary and secondary data were used. Secondary data to assess the applicability of crowdfunding sources as alternative to classical funding were obtained through literature review, statistical data, analysis of public databases, media and websites. Primary data were collected with the help of survey, carried out to verify the level of knowledge of new entrepreneurs about classical and alternative sources of funding. Representatives from 300 enterprises with experience less than 3 years were selected for further analysis. All of the statistical information has been analyzed using Microsoft Excel and Chi-Square method to verify statistical proof of the results. The quantitative data have been enriched by semistructured face-to-face in depth interviews with the industry experts.
A new, theoretically validated analogy based teaching model has been developed and evaluated in practice; the findings are analysed in this article. This new teaching approach proposed by the authors has been approbated at undergraduate study courses of business management program of RISEBA University.The authors propose to integrate the concept of crowdfunding by using Teaching-With-Analogies model in academic study courses of business management. Conclusions and statements for discussion are suggested.