A dozen classic tools in the futurist’s toolbox — from foresightr.com


In addition to those new tools, however,they still rely on more traditional ones, which are their versions of wrenches and ratchets. Here’s a quick outline the more popular methodologies, listed alphabetically:

  1. Backcasting
  2. Causal layered analysis
  3. Delphi surveys
  4. Environmental scanning and monitoring
  5. Forecasting
  6. Futures wheel
  7. Polling
  8. Gaming
  9. Modeling and simulations
  10. Scenario planning
  11. Trend analysis
  12. Visioning


From DSC:
K-20 students need to know about these things!  MBA’s should definitely be required to take courses on futurism. Speaking of such courses, we need more courses that focus on futurism and on helping students develop these kinds of skills. Given the pace of technological change and the level of disruption that can occur these days, these sorts of tools in one’s toolbox can come in very handy indeed.




Start your journey: Lynda.com introduces Learning Paths to help you stay ahead — from linkedin.com


We all know that the knowledge and skills required to be successful in our jobs today is accelerating. This rate of change challenges all of us to stay ahead in our roles and sets a high bar for those looking to start or change their careers. Today we are introducing more than 50 new learning paths to help you stay ahead in your current job or if you’re looking to make a career pivot.




Learning paths are step-by-step structured courses, supported with quizzes, practice, and learning reminders to encourage you and support you as you make progress towards your goal. These new learning paths include how to become a Web Developer, a Manager, a Bookkeeper, a Project Manager, a Small Business Owner, a Digital Marketer, a Digital Illustrator. Check out the full list here.

Learning paths are also a great way to continue expanding on your existing skill set. If you’re embarking on a new career, you can take advantage of these learning paths to become more knowledgeable about the skills and experience needed to secure your dream job. If  you’re a marketing manager who needs to quickly get up to speed on how to leverage social media for your job, you could take the digital marketing learning path to continue grooming and adding new skills.

We know that making the commitment to learn is incredibly tough; sticking with it can be even harder. To ensure your hard work gets noticed,  you’ll receive a certification of completion at the end of a learning path that you can share with your professional network on LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to transform your current career path, jump into a new career, or sharpen your skills in your current job, Lynda.com can be your guide.

These new learning paths will be available starting today in English around the world and we are working towards adding new paths for you to take. We look forward to hearing about your learning path stories.



Also see:

LinkedIn launches Lynda.com ‘Learning Paths’ in push to grow education business — from forbes.com by Kathleen Chaykowski


On Thursday, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company launched more than 50 Lynda.com “Learning Paths,” a package of ordered courses intended to prepare users for a specific role or to update users’ skills for their current job. Some of the new “Learning Paths” include how to become a digital marketer, photographer, digital illustrator, small business owner, project manager, bookkeeper or web developer.

“Whether you’re looking to transform your current career path, jump into a new career, or sharpen your skills in your current job, Lynda.com can be your guide,” Arthur Nicholls, a senior product manager at LinkedIn said. ”We all know that the knowledge and skills required to be successful in our jobs today is accelerating. This rate of change challenges all of us to stay ahead in our roles and sets a high bar for those looking to start or change their careers.”



Fuller profiles on candidates’ skills and qualifications will also advance LinkedIn’s efforts in building an economic graph, a digital map of the skills, economic needs, jobs, companies and people around the world.




Could Slack be the next online learning platform? — from edsurge.com by Amy Ahearn


Enter Slack. The online communication platform launched two years ago and now has more than 2.3 million users. It facilitates an online, supercharged version of watercooler conversation, enabling people to trade information and chat informally with colleagues. And it might just be a game changer for online education.

On Slack there are flexible public channels, along with small private groups for exchanges between just a few people. Media companies including the New York Times are using it as a content management system, and corporations from Walmart to Blue Bottle Coffee rely on it to keep globally distributed teams in sync.


At +Acumen we were intrigued when marketing guru Seth Godin used Slack for an experiment in online learning. In 2014 he started altMBA, an online leadership workshop, and hosted it in Slack.



Also see:






Top business schools want MBAs to monetize AI — from techemergence.com by Dyllan Furness


From Silicon Valley to South Korea, artificial intelligence has been one of the hottest tech topics of the year. In fact, 2016 was meant to be “the year that virtual reality becomes reality”, and yet AI seems to be dominating the discussion. Now, top business schools around the world – from University of California, Berkeley to National University of Singapore – are turning to AI to help bolster their programs and train MBA students to apply machine learning processes to business problems.

Business Because reports that the MBA program at HEC Paris in France turned to Watson’s computing power to see how business practices could use the technology to explore revenue-generating opportunities. “The objective was to integrate Watson with business applications,” said Benoit Banchereau who directs HEC Paris’s business school development.

Hult International Business School is another elite program that sought to monetize Watson’s cognitive computing power for the betterment of business. MBA students at Hult International were asked to define and investigate ways to use AI technology to “create revenue generating business opportunities.”


Also see:



SMU’s pioneering pedagogy, SMU-X, recognised globally for innovation, creativity and impact — from by smu.edu.sg


SMU launched the SMU-X initiative in 2015 following three-and-a-half years of study and conceptualisation.  Through SMU-X, the University introduced across all its six Schools innovative and fresh curriculum that is multi-disciplinary and hands-on, and also created unconventional, flexible spaces for 24/7 use that meet the usage patterns and behaviours of the millennial student.

Four key principles characterise all SMU-X courses:

(i) inter-disciplinary content and activities;
(ii) experiential learning via an actual problem/issue faced by an organisation;
(iii) active student-mentoring by faculty and industry; and
(iv) three-way learning by faculty, student and partner organisation, in the form of a tripartite sharing forum at the end of the course.









EdTech: These four b-schools are exploring virtual reality with Oculus, Google, Samsung — from businessbecause.com by Seb Murray
Elite schools place bets on next big innovation in online learning


The immersive potential of virtual reality has Silicon Valley’s finest pouring vast sums of money into headsets and other whizzy innovations.

Google, Apple and Samsung are betting that these sci-fi concepts will become a staple of everyday life, with potential uses in gaming, advertising, marketing and increasingly, education.

The hype surrounding VR and the more complex augmented reality, is not lost on universities and business schools, who are eyeing its early pioneers and conducting secretive trials of head-mounted VR displays.

Four of the world’s top-ranked schools have told BusinessBecause they are exploring VR in tie-ups with Oculus, Samsung, and Google, as they place bets on the next big innovation in online learning.



From DSC:
Big data is a big theme these days — in a variety of industries. Higher ed is no exception, where several vendors continue to develop products that hope to harness the power of big data (and to hopefully apply the lessons learned in a variety of areas, including retention).

However as an Instructional Designer, when I think of capturing and using data in the context of higher education, I’m not thinking about institutional type of data mining and the corresponding dashboards that might be involved therein.  I’m thinking of something far more granular — something that resembles a tool for an individual professor to use.

I’m thinking more about individual students and their learning.  I’m thinking about this topic in terms of providing additional information for a faculty member to use to gauge the learning within his or her particular classes — and to be able to highlight issues for them to address.

So, for example, when I’m thinking about how a mathematics professor might obtain and use data, I’m thinking of things like:

  • How did each individual do on this particular math problem?
  • Who got it right? Who got it wrong?
  • What percentage of the class got it right? What percentage of the class got it wrong?
  • For those who got the problem wrong, where in the multi-step process did they go wrong?

So perhaps even if we’re only obtaining students’ final answers — whether that be via clickers, smartphones, laptops, and/or tablets — data is still being created. Data that can then be analyzed and used to steer the learning.  This type of information can then help the mathematics professor follow up accordingly — either with some individuals or with the entire class if he/she saw many students struggling with a new concept.

Such data gathering can get even more granular if one is using elearning types of materials.  Here, the developers can measure and track things like mouse clicks, paths taken, and more.  So like the approaching Internet of Things, data can get produced on a massive scale.

But very few mathematics professors have the time to:

  • manually track X/Y/or Z per student 
  • manually capture how an entire class just did on a math problem
  • manually document where each student who got a problem incorrect went wrong

So in the way that I’m thinking about this topic, this entire push/idea of using data and analytics in education requires things to happen digitally — where results can automatically be stored without requiring any manual efforts on the part of the professor.

The ramifications of this are enormous.

That is, the push to use analytics in education — at least at the personalized learning level that I’m thinking of — really represents and actually requires a push towards using blended and/or online-based learning.  Using strictly 100% face-to-face based classrooms and environments — without any digital components involved — won’t cut it if we want to harness the power of analytics/data mining to improve student learning.

Though this may seem somewhat obvious, again, the ramifications are huge for how faculty members structure their courses and what tools/methods that they choose to utilize.  But this goes way beyond the professor.  It also has enormous implications for those departments and teams who are working on creating/revising learning spaces — especially in terms of the infrastructures such spaces offer and what tools might be available within them.  It affects decision makers all the way up to the board-level as well (who may not be used to something other than a face-to-face setting…something they recall from their own college days).

What do you think? Are you and/or your institution using big data and analytics? If so, how?



Also see:

Big data and higher education: These apps change everything — from bigdatalandscape.com


Big Data is going to college. The companies on this list have been developing innovative higher education analytics apps. Universities are realizing the importance of harnessing Big Data for the purposes of helping students to succeed, helping instructors to know what students still need to learn, analyzing efficiency in all areas, boosting enrollment, and more.

For example, CourseSmart embeds analytics directly into digital textbooks. These analytics provide an “engagement index score,” which measures how much students are interacting with their eTextbooks (viewing pages, highlighting, writing notes, etc.). Researchers have found that that the engagement index score helps instructors to accurately predict student outcomes more than traditional measurement methods, such as class participation.

In addition, there are dashboards that enable Big Data analytics and visualization for the purpose of monitoring higher education KPIs such as enrollment, accreditation, effectiveness, research, financial information, and metrics by class and by department. Read on to find out about the companies that are shaping Big Data analytics in higher education.



How five edtech start-ups are using big data to boost business education — from businessbecause.com by Seb Murray
MOOC platforms explore analytics with b-school partners


“Data is an amazing resource for teachers, who glean detailed feedback on how learners are processing information,” says Julia Stiglitz, director of business development at Coursera, the online learning site with 17 million users.

Coursera, which works with the b-schools IE, Yale and Duke Fuqua, offers a dashboard that gives teachers insight into when students are most likely to stop watching a video, and the percentage who answer assessment questions correctly the first time around.

“By carefully assessing course data, from mouse clicks to time spent on tasks to evaluating how students respond to various assessments, researchers hope to shed light on how learners access information and master materials,” says Nancy Moss, edX’s director of communications.



Meet the 2015 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies — from cnbc.com


In the third annual Disruptor 50 list, CNBC features private companies in 16 industries—from aerospace to financial services to cybersecurity to retail—whose innovations are revolutionizing the business landscape. These forward-thinking upstarts have identified unexploited niches in the marketplace that have the potential to become billion-dollar businesses, and they rushed to fill them.

Here are the first 10:

1 Moderna Therapeutics Reprogramming cells to fight disease.
2 SpaceX Elon Musk’s mission to Mars.
3 Bloom Energy Live off the grid; keep the lights on.
4 Uber A $50 billion on-demand ride.
5 Airbnb The newest idea in room service: Renting one.
6 Dropbox Saving a billion files every day.
7 Palantir Tech Helped find Bin Laden. Don’t like to talk about it.
8 TransferWise Getting bankers out of the forex biz.
9 Slack Giving “slacker” a whole new meaning.
10 Warby Parker Taking on the Luxottica eyewear machine.

World’s first open online MBA to be launched by MOOC platform Coursera — from by Seb Murray
The world’s first open digital MBA degree will be launched in a tie-up between Mooc maker Coursera and US b-school the University of Illinois.


The world’s first open online MBA will launch in 2015 after a landmark decision from a top business school which is expected to pave the way for further digitization of the business degree and disrupt an already shaken education market.

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign College of Business has received the seal of approval from its senate to launch the “iMBA”, in collaboration with Coursera, the $300 million-plus Silicon Valley start-up that produces MOOCs and has amassed nearly 13 million users.


Also see:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans to start a low-cost online M.B.A. program in partnership with Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based MOOC provider, hoping to meet its land-grant mission of improving access and also to create a new stream of revenue at a time of shrinking state support for higher education.

Students enrolling in the new online master’s program, dubbed the iMBA, could complete the entire degree for about $20,000 — far less than the approximately $50,000 for the on-campus version or the $100,000 for the university’s executive M.B.A.

© 2016 Learning Ecosystems