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Exploring threshold concept when teaching Systems Thinking and Soft Systems Methodology
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics. (Information Management)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics. (Information Management)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4437-8297
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics. (Information Management)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3670-6537
2018 (English)In: OR60 Annual Conference, 11-13 Sept. 2018, Lancaster University, Birmingham: The Operational Research Society, Birmingham, UK: The Operational Research Society , 2018, p. 202-202, article id OR60A3581Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It has been argued that the threshold concepts of a discipline are the gateways to a deeper understanding of disciplinary knowledge. These are also keys to improving student learning outcomes and progressive learning. Research has been done on systems as a threshold concept for understanding other disciplinary issues, like sustainability. However, we explore the threshold concepts of understanding systems itself, that is, in this case the disciplinary framework of systems thinking and Soft Systems Methodology. The term threshold concept is stated as having emerged from the UK project Enhancing Teaching and Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses. It is argued to be a means leading to a transformed way of understanding or learning. Five key characteristics of threshold concepts have been identified in previous research. These are troublesome knowledge, transformation, irreversibility, integration, and boundedness. Later on, reconstitution, discourse and liminality were added.

We have explored threshold concepts for teaching systems thinking and Soft Systems Methodology in a mixed knowledge environment, including students from different disciplines, in a developing country. The students were presented with an issue related to their everyday life as university students and with the aim of applying systems thinking ideas and techniques for the betterment of their university and, in the long run, their society. They were also asked to write a reflection paper related to the learning objectives of the course and on what they have learnt about Soft Systems Methodology (theory) and when applied to the specific case. We report on which pertinent threshold concepts we have identified, both of our own experience as teachers and of the students’ reflection papers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Birmingham, UK: The Operational Research Society , 2018. p. 202-202, article id OR60A3581
Keywords [en]
Systems thinking; Threshold concept; Soft Systems Methodology, Kosovo, developing country
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-77806OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-77806DiVA, id: diva2:1248535
Conference
OR60 The OR Society Annual Conference, 11-13 September, 2018, Lancaster
Available from: 2018-09-16 Created: 2018-09-16 Last updated: 2018-10-22Bibliographically approved

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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Elm, PatrikIqbal, SarfrazMirijamdotter, Anita

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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