e-Learning Activity: Decision-making simulation

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e-Learning activity summary

Title: Decision-making simulation
2 hours

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Example scenarios (Choose one or search for an alternative.)

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The purpose of this e-learning activity is to:
  • simulate the decisions required for an organisation based on the reading of a selected scenario.
  • consider the transferability of these decisions across different scenarios from the same set
  • reflect on the requirements of a scenario for effective decision-making.

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  1. Search for a published scenario set on the internet that would fit your organisation or context, or use one of the scenarios provided in the stimulus list above. Try to find scenarios which extend well into the future and ones which were published recently. If you are unable to find recently published scenarios, you can use the value of hindsight and consider the decisions the organisation should have taken at the time.
  2. Share resources you find by including the references in your blog post.
  3. Assume the position of manager or decision-maker in your chosen organisation and choose the level of management for your prospective decisions (for example, executive, senior manager, head of department or school, course leader, classroom leader etc.)
  4. Choose one of the scenarios options which you think provides the most viable alternative for the future from those provided in the scenario set.
  5. Prepare a brainstorm list of decisions that would be required under the respective scenario.
  6. Prioritise these decisions and refine your list to the two most important decisions required.
  7. Consider whether these three decisions would be appropriate or equally effective for the other scenarios in the published scenario set.
  8. Think about the features or characteristics of your published scenario which facilitate or enable effective decision-making.

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Learning outcome actions

Research and publish a blog post where you reflect on scenario from the perspective of a decision-maker. Used the following headings for your post:
  1. My decision-making context: Summarise your context for this activity in a sentence, for example,
    • I am reviewing the scenario through the lens of of a Head of Department of a secondary city-based school in Canada. My school is characterised by ....; or
    • I am reviewing the scenario through the lens of Chief Executive Officer of a campus-base university in Kenya. My university is characterised by ...;
  2. Overview of the scenario: Summarise the major elements of the scenario storyline you have selected in no more than 150 words providing the significant drivers of change. Remember to include web site links to the original scenario you have selected.
  3. Brainstorm list of recommended decisions: Generate a bullet list of the decisions you would recommend based on your reading of the scenario, taking into account your decision-making context above.
  4. Two most important strategic decisions: From your brainstorm list, identify the two most important decisions based on your reading of the scenario providing justifications for your recommendation (150 words)
  5. Transferability of recommended decisions for the scenarios alternatives: Evaluate the transferability of the top two decisions for the remaining scenario alternatives provided in your scenario set. Would these decisions work equally well for the alternative scenarios? Do you recommend any strategic decisions which would contribute to future success in each scenario? Summarise your findings (150 words).

Need more direction?

If you are a participant who prefers less choice, then we recommend that you choose our DEANZ 2016 guide for programme leaders (see below). Niki has been able to apply it to higher, further and K-12 school level orgaisanistions, but early childhood education might be a step too far. In the guide you will find a range of worked examples that you can adapt to the tasks above. To make it easier still choose the first scenario called Articulation, which is also the least futuristic. Then push yourself with the requirement to contrast the applicability of your selected two decisions with the other scenarios in the set.


  1. Davis, N., Higgens, A. & Zaka, P. 2012. 2016 scenario guide to effective tertiary education in New Zealand: Planning resource for programme leaders. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.
  2. Davis, N., Higgens, A. & Zaka, P. 2012. 2016 scenario guide to effective tertiary education in New Zealand: Planning resource for senior managers. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.