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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Education, Data and Change (fusion online) (EFIE11061)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryIn this course, students will analyse, respond to, and lead change agendas in education, both in their communities, sectors, and organisations, and more broadly. They will use data to analyse and devise theories of change for addressing educational challenges, such as inequalities, migration or climate change. Using a blend of on-line and on-campus activities, students will consider the impact and mechanisms of change. They will especially examine the role of data, individual and collective agency, and networks in understanding and enabling change - both locally and for international change agendas, such as Sustainable Development Goals.
Course description The course will be divided into pre-intensive (weeks 1 and 2), intensive (week 3), and post-intensive components (weeks 4 and 5).

The pre-intensive component of the course will lay the groundwork for students' change project plans. Students will be able to access academic input, support materials, and guidance to devise initial ideas for their plans, which should involve change in an educational setting. The academic input will include reading and recorded input on theories of change, the role of educators in both shaping and responding to change, the drivers and primary areas of change in education in today's world, and on the intersection between data, networks, and educational change.

Support materials will include case studies of change projects (examples will also be presented to the students during the intensive week), as well as on-line tools for change projects (e.g. the Agents of Change Toolkit (ACT) for schools (, and the log for Teacher Reflection on their Agency for Change (TRAC) (

Finally, guidance will be provided for students to apply any data skills they have acquired in other EFI courses to their planned change projects. In particular, ACT toolkit guides users through 5 steps of the process of change towards the achievment of SDGs that will be followed over 5 weeks of the course as follows:

Week 1:
In week 1 students will identify an area of change or improvement they would like to propose in their chosen setting. They will be encouraged to write a blog and share their initial ideas with peers and tutors, as well as use chat rooms and fora to comment on each other's ideas and blog posts.

Week 2:
In week 2 students will use TRAC log to map their support networks for change and gage diverse actors' perspectives. They will also attend sessions covering the use of data for evaluating and understanding change processes.

Week 3:
Week 3 will focus on devising a plan of action. Students will be encouraged to bring a draft plan of action which they will have an opportunity to present, discuss, get feedback on during the intensive component.

In the 2-day intensive component of the course (in week 3), students will be able to engage directly with examples of case studies of change projects, pitch their own budding change project plans, and network with their peers to build student teams.

In day 1, guest speakers from different fields, which could include non-academic speakers from local and international organisations, and areas of change (e.g. migration and diversity; inclusion and equality; technological change; sustainable development) will present the case studies. The case studies will illustrate the use of tools that students had opportunities to access in the pre-intensive component. During Q&A sessions, including student discussants, students will be encouraged to critically engage with these presentations. In particular, they will be asked to scrutinize how the projects respond to broader changes, devise theories of change, and use data to plan and evaluate change processes and outcomes.

In day 2, students will make short pitches about their change projects to their peers, and provide written feedback on each other's pitches. In the last part of the day, students will be asked to form teams that will be instrumental in the post-intensive period, using the pitches to identify areas of common interest with their peers.

The intensive period will be followed by a post-intensive component, where students will work to revise their change plans in the light of feedback from peers and staff.

Week 4:
In week 4 they will elaborate their plans further using the on-line platform to collaborate within their teams to discuss common issues, and give and receive constructive feedback. Students will be encouraged to peer-review each other's written plans and suggest areas of improvement. Each student group will be facilitated by a member of staff.

Week 5:
In week 5 students will revise their change plans, including any data they would use or collect to evaluate the impact of their change projects. They will keep collaborating within their teams, and will be encouraged to do so until they hand in their assessment (3 weeks after end of week 5).

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically examine educational change processes and their impact.
  2. Develop an understanding of educators' roles in shaping change to address challenges, such as inequality and sustainable development.
  3. Make critical links between educational change and data, exploring existing and new forms of measurement to gauge the impact and processes of change.
  4. Understand how diverse data sources and methodologies, as well as interdisciplinary team-working, can reflexively address structural challenges relating to education futures.
  5. Apply their learning to a change project plan defined by the students themselves, their organisation, or an EFI industry, government, or community partner.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Fullan, M. (2020). Leading in a Culture of Change (2nd edition). Jossey-Bass.

Daly, A. J. (Ed.). (2010). Social Network Theory and Educational Change. Harvard Education Press.

Borgatti, S. P., Everett, M. G., & Johnson, J. C. (2013). Analyzing Social Networks. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Carolan, B. V. (2014). Social Network Analysis and Education: Theory, Methods & Applications. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Grek, S. (2009). Governing by numbers: The PISA 'effect' in Europe. Journal of Education Policy, 24(1), 23-37.

Ozga, J. (2009). Governing education through data in England: From regulation to self-evaluation. Journal of Education Policy, 24(2), 149-162.

Castells (1996, 2000, 2010). The Rise of the Network Society.

Ball, S. J. (2012). Global education inc: New policy networks and the neo-liberal imaginary. Routledge

Lawn (2013). The rise of data in education systems: Collection, visualization and use. Symposium Books.

Earl & Katz (2006) - Leading schools in a data-rich world : harnessing data for school improvement. Corwin Press OR Earl & Katz (2011). Leading schools in a data-rich world. In Leithwood & Hallinger (eds.) Second International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Administration. Springer

Fullan, M. (2006). The future of educational change: System thinkers in action. Journal of Educational Change, 7(3), 113-122.

Pantic, N., Galey S., Florian, L., Joksimovic, S. Viry, G., Gasevic, D., H. K. Nyqvist, Kiritsi, K. (2021) Making Sense of Teacher Agency with Social and Epistemic Network Analysis, Journal of Educational Change.

Pantic, N. (2021). Tool for Teacher Reflection on their Agency for Change: Tool for teacher development and professional inquiry. Teacher Development: An International Journal of Teachers' Professional Development.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Data literacy, critical thinking, independent research and enquiry, analytical skills, communication, collaborative skills.
KeywordsEducation,Change,Agency,Data,Social Networks
Course organiserDr Natasa Pantic
Tel: (0131 6)51 6626
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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