Scenario Planning for Educators

What futures are possible in education? Learn how to plan for uncertain education futures using scenario planing.
What’s it about?

Education is rapidly changing locally and globally stimulated by the evolution of digital technologies worldwide. While it is difficult to predict the future, foresighting techniques can help us to capture the dynamic of change by placing today's reality within the context of tomorrows' possibilities.  In this course we introduce educators in all sectors of education to the technique of scenario building to improve strategic planning with the aim of drawing us towards better futures.

The Change with Digital Technologies in Education elective comprises three complementary micro-courses:

  1. Technology diffusion and models of change;
  2. Scenario planning for uncertain futures (this course); and
  3. Capability maturity evaluation of e-learning within the organisation. 

What will I learn?

In this course we will simulate the scenario planning process for navigating uncertain education futures. You will:

  • Discover the world of scenario planning with a focus on the structural components of deductive scenarios.
  • Explore the utility of scenarios for decision-making from the perspective of an educational manager and decision-maker.
  • Research the drivers of fundamental change in education today.
  • Generate and share your own scenario for alternate futures in education.
What’s involved?

You will participate in an open international online course for 10 working days (2 weeks). You will need to allocate about 1.5 to 2 hours per day for the duration of open course. During the course you will:

  • Work through online materials and open access resources
  • Openly publish and share the outputs from designated eLearning activities
  • Interact and share of ideas with educators from around the world 

Learners aiming for the Certificate of Achievement and/or credit towards the Change with Digital Technolgies in Education course elective will need an additional 30 hours of self directed study to prepare the final assessment for this course.


There are no pre-requisites to participate in the course. An internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.)  

Learners aiming to submit assessments for formal academic credit will need to meet the normal university admission requirements of the conferring institution (eg language proficiency and school leaving certificates).  Learners aiming for the 3rd year Bachelor level are advised to have completed the majority of their 2nd year level subjects to have sufficient capability and experience for preparing assignments for 3rd year level of Bachelor study.

Image credit: Universe in a dewdrop by Luc Viatour, Creative Commons Attibution-ShareAlike 

Estimated Start: 2016Q4
Duration: 2 weeks,10 hours per week
Type: Micro course
Assessments: 30 hours

Credentialing: Microcredential Official course credit
Course Credit: Requirement for Change with Digital Technologies in Education elective
Credential: Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education
Level: 3rd year Bachelor’s

Who are the developers:
Prof Niki Davis, is the University of Canterbury Professor of e-Learning and Director of the College of Education e-Learning Lab. She is recognised internationally as a Read More
Dr Wayne Mackintosh, is the founding director of the OER Foundation and is the designated UNESCO and ICDE Chair in OER at Otago Polytechnic. He is Read More
Who are the lead facilitators:
Dr Wayne Mackintosh, is the founding director of the OER Foundation and is the designated UNESCO and ICDE Chair in OER at Otago Polytechnic. He is Read More

The course materials were originally developed by the e-Learning Research Lab at the University of Canterbury as a research project in collaboration with the OER Foundation as the University's contribution to the OERu network. The core materials were successfully trialled in 2013 in the Change with Digital Technologies in Education course (EDEM630) as part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (e-Learning and Digital Technologies) at the University of Canterbury. Openly licensed, this iteration of the course is designed for vocational educators at the 3rd year bachelor's degree level.