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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP2921 Systems Thinking

10 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: O. A. Johnson
Email: o.a.johnson@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

Business Applications (Level 2, 20 credit) relates to the former degree program and will be discontinued.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will help students develop a richer understanding of the relationship between data and systems. Data is produced by business information systems and often reflects the people, processes and technologies that use it. The module introduces a range of powerful systems thinking approaches to the understanding and analysis of data through its context. Students will learn how to apply approaches to complexity and thinking including system theory, soft systems method, networks and thinking differently.

Objectives

The module will help students develop a richer understanding of the relationship between data and systems. Data is produced by business information systems and often reflects the people, processes and technologies that use it.
The module introduces a range of powerful systems thinking approaches to the understanding and analysis of data through its context. Students will learn how to apply approaches to complexity and thinking including system theory, soft systems method, networks and thinking differently.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
• Understand the nature of information systems and the relationship between data and system and be able to apply this understanding to applied computing challenges.
• Apply a range of practical systems thinking techniques to the analysis of complex, real world scenarios.
• Be able to apply a systems thinking framework to modelling, making sense of data and analytical thinking

Skills outcomes
Process modelling, Soft Systems Method, data analytics, process analytics.


Syllabus

The module will introduce students to systems thinking and develop practical skills in applying systems thinking to data and systems.
Data in Action – information and systems, the nature and role of data in modern systems, data in a layered software architecture, data in decision making, a process perspective on data capture and use.
Systems Theory – Origins ABC (Aristotle, Bertalanffy, Chaos Theory), from social systems to computer systems, using systems theory as an analytical framework, emergence, categorising problem spaces with the Cynefin framework (simple, complicated, complex, chaotic), applications of systems theory and practical work.
Soft Systems Method – Checkland, a systematic method of enquiry, rich pictures, Analysis 1,2,3, purposeful activity modelling, The SSM Method, case studies and practical work.
Advanced Systems Thinking – systems theory in cybernetics, heuristics, dynamic systems and simulation, Kahneman’s thoughts about thinking, thinking differently (de Bono, thinking hats, wordplay, breaking the rules), brainstorming, divergent and convergent thinking, mind maps.
Applications of Systems Thinking – applying systems thinking to problems, rethinking our understanding of systems, thinking about data and processes, data analytics in an uncertain world.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment22.004.00
Fieldwork28.0016.00
Lecture121.0012.00
Seminar81.008.00
Private study hours60.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will be provided with a recommended reading list including books, text book chapters, case studies and online resources. They will receive weekly guidance on where to focus this reading and advice on how it links to module content.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Eight seminars based on discussion and short exercises.
One formative peer and tutor assessed presentation will be used part way through the module.
E-mail and VLE resources will be used to provide feedback and support to students

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1000 word project report20.00
Practical1000 word description of the practical tasks20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019

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