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Course Information

Application open until 13 April 2017

Start Date

To be announced


7 weeks

Time required

4 hours per week







Additional material



Idea generation methods

Course categories

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Course instructors


The MOOC ‘Idea Generation Methods’ aims to explain techniques for the goal and process-oriented generation of ideas. Idea generation is part of the fuzzy front end of the innovation process. Participants have the possibility to work on specific innovation topics in the area of sustainable energy. Dr. Daniel J. Koch will discuss the methods used in idea generation and he will show you how you can put them into practice.

The MOOC is offered by KIC InnoEnergy, the European company for innovation, business creation and education in sustainable energy and was produced by the Center for Technology-Enhanced Learning (ZML) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

The course language is English, and the workload is approximately four hours per week.

The aim of the course is to enable participants to apply methods of idea generation to their own project.

What will I learn?

Participants will be able to understand and apply certain methods of idea generation on any self-chosen topic. For example, participants will understand and will be able to apply methods like mindmapping & clustering, 6-3-5, World Cafe & DeBono Hats, concept mapping, scenario techniques (e.g. STEEP), roadmapping and many more in a structured process.

What do I need to know?

No prior knowledge is necessary. You just need to be curious about idea generation methods and have an interesting topic you would like to develop further. 

Course Structure

The course consists of seven chapters:

Chapter 1 - The sketch in your head

Strategic innovation management, Idea generation process, Innovation process and Fuzzy front end

Chapter 2 - Landscape or portrait?

Defining your Search Space: Context Definition, Agenda setting, Problem representation, incl. Clustering, MindMapping, 6-3-5, World Café, Concept Map...

Chapter 3 - What's my perpective?

Scenario Method Part 1 - Defining the Scenario topic, STEEP Analysis, Influence factors and descriptors, Stakeholder analysis...

Chapter 4 - Using watercolor or oil?

Scenario Method Part 2 - Present situation and Future assumptions, Mainstream & Understream Scenarios, Wild Cards, SWOT, Proposals for Action

Chapter 5 - What to draw when?

Scenario-based Roadmapping: Introduction, Market-, Product- and Technology perspectives, Analysis of needs and potentials, Additional methods

Chapter 6 - Sketching your picture (1)

Establishing your Roadmap - Layers and Time axis, Collecting developments, Consistency Analysis and Evaluation

Chapter 7 - Sketching your picture (2)

Intuitive idea generation, Quality function deployment, Nutshell Ideas, Extension of Roadmaps


List of modules

Module 1: The sketch in your head
Module 2: Landscape or portrait?
Module 3: What´s my perspective?
Module 4: Using watercolour or oil?
Module 5: What to draw when?
Module 6: Sketching your picture - 1
Module 7: Sketching your picture - 2
Module 8: Exam - Your Proposal