The EAPRIL conference in 2011 provided a variety of formats for presenters, and the CoCreat team chose to respond to the invitation to “discuss a theme or research question from an out-of-the-box perspective”.
a schematic representation of the trends, and brief notes of the material that each group presented on the future world, scenario for education and/or the issues that emerged during their discussions (click to enlarge)
Approximately 26 people joined the 45 minute workshop, which began with a brief introduction to futures thinking methodology known as scenario building (more information can be found at the Horizon Scanning Centre at foresight.gov.uk). The process typically takes months of team work and involves research into current trends and careful thinking about the future impact and level of certainty of each trend identified. Working from a set of trends to scenarios describing future possibilities is the next stage, often done by chosing two trends, treating them as axes which are used to divide conceptual space into quadrants. A plausible future world is developed for each quadrant, and, after developing a detailed description of that world, scenarios for possible futures for a particular business or other economic or social activity can be drawn up.
In a fast-paced version of this methodology, four groups collaborated to create future scenarios for learning in four plausible future worlds. The trends chosen to distinguish the four worlds from one another were of two types: a technological trend and a social trend. The technological trend related to interface design and the social trend related to the focus of assessment in education. After lively discussion, each group took two minutes to present their creation to the others.
photo from the workshop
// Sarah Eagle, University of Bristol, United Kingdom