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Mentor Guidelines

Here are some "rules of the road" for venture team mentors that we used at the University of Arizona, not only as mentors but as teachers as well with students learning the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship ...

1. Appropriately implements a teacher-designed lesson plan
2.  Communicates specific standards and high expectations for learning
3.  Links learning with students’ prior knowledge, experiences, and backgrounds
4.  Models the skills, concepts, attributes, or thinking processes to be learned
5.  Demonstrates effective written and oral communication
6.  Uses appropriate language to communicate with learners clearly and accurately
7.  Uses strategies that are appropriate to students’ development or functional level
8.  Incorporates strategies which address the diverse needs of learners
9.  Encourages critical thinking
10.  Connects lesson content to real life situations when appropriate
11.  Uses technology and a variety of instructional resources appropriately to promote student learning
12.  Uses a variety of effective teaching strategies to engage students actively in learning
13.  Maximizes the amount of class time students are engaged in learning
14.  Provides opportunity for students to use and practice what is learned
15.  Adjusts instruction based on student feedback
16.  Promotes student self-assessment
17.  Uses a variety of appropriate formal and informal assessments aligned with instruction
18.  Maintains records of student work and performance and uses them to guide instructional decisions
19.  Offers students appropriate feedback on progress towards learning expectations
20.  Maintains privacy of student records and performance
21.  Works with students to enhance learning at home and at school
22.  Collaborates with other professionals, faculty, and staff to improve the overall learning environment for students
23.  Accesses community resources and services to foster student learning
24.  Demonstrates productive leadership or team membership skills that facilitate the development of mutually beneficial goals
25.  Demonstrates knowledge of disabilities and their educational implications
26.  Demonstrates knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations
27.  Demonstrates knowledge of a variety of assistive devices that support student learning
28.  Applies specialized diagnostic and assessment procedures to assist in determining special education eligibility for all areas of suspected disability
29.  Assists in the design and implementation of individual educational programs through diagnostic teaching, instructional adaptations, and individual behavior management techniques
30.  Utilizes para-educators and para-therapists effectively through training and supervision
31.  Addresses physical, mental, social, cultural, or community differences among learners
32.  Addresses prior knowledge of individual and group performance
33.  Reflects long-term curriculum goals
34.  Includes appropriate use of a variety of methods, materials, and resources
35.  Includes learning experiences that are developmentally or functionally appropriate for learners
36.  Includes learning experiences that address a variety of cognitive levels
37.  Includes learning experiences that are appropriate for curriculum goals
38.  Includes learning experiences that are based upon principles of effective instruction
39.  Includes learning experiences that accurately represent content
40.  Incorporates appropriate assessment of student progress
41.  Establishes and maintains standards of mutual respect
42.  Displays effective classroom management
43.  Encourages the student to demonstrate self-discipline and responsibility to self and others
44.  Respects the individual differences among learners
45.  Facilitates people working productively and cooperatively with each other
46.  Provides a motivating learning environment
47.  Promotes appropriate classroom participation
48.  Listens thoughtfully and responsively
49.  Organizes materials, equipment, and other resources appropriately
50.  Applies own best judgment at all times

Conjoint Analysis

Conjoint analysis is a statistical technique used in market research to determine how people value different features that make up an individual Product or Service. The objective of conjoint analysis is to determine what combination of a limited number of attributes is most influential on respondent choice or decision making. A controlled set of potential products or services is shown to respondents and by analyzing how they make preferences between these products, the implicit valuation of the individual elements making up the product or service can be determined. These implicit valuations (utilities or part-worths) can be used to create market models that estimate market share, revenue and even profitability of new designs.

Advantages
  • Estimates psychological tradeoffs that consumers make when evaluating several attributes together
  • Measures preferences at the individual level
  • Uncovers real or hidden drivers which may not be apparent to the respondent themselves
  • Realistic choice or shopping task
  • Able to use physical objects
  • If appropriately designed, the ability to model interactions between attributes can be used to develop needs based segmentation
Disadvantages
  • Designing conjoint studies can be complex
  • With too many options, respondents resort to simplification strategies
  • Difficult to use for product positioning research because there is no procedure for converting perceptions about actual features to perceptions about a reduced set of underlying features
  • Respondents are unable to articulate attitudes toward new categories
  • Poorly designed studies may over-value emotional/preference variables and undervalue concrete variables
  • Does not take into account the number items per purchase so it can give a poor reading of market share
[Thank you, Wikipedia]

Potential Sources of Differentiation

Every successful business is differentiated from its competition ... it could be very unique and significant, or it may be seemingly small and minor. But customers choose one enterprise over another for a reason. Following are some potential sources of value and differentiation to use as a guide when creating a competitive advantage strategy ...

ambiance ... branding ... business model ... community service ... contrived deterrence ... convenience ... copyrights ... cost advantages ... cost advantages independent of scale ... customer relations ... customer responsiveness ... customer service ... delivery ... distinct unique competencies ... economies of scale ... effective sales methods ... efficiency ... experience of doing business ... features ... functionality ... government regulation ... high quality ... image ... innovation ... intellectual property ... limited resources ... location ... low-cost ... manufacturing innovation ... market positioning ... market segmentation ... operational methods ... patents ... performance ... price ... product design ... product differentiation ... product innovation ... product selection ... product-line breadth ... quality ... rarity ... relationships ... reliability ... reputation ... selection ... service ... shopping experience ... supply chain relations ... switching costs ... trademarks ... trade names ... unique capabilities ... value

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