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Maintaining stock and flow: A constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists

Journal Article


Abstract


  • System dynamics in higher education influences the quality of future system

    dynamics professionals, practice, research and, hence, the field of system

    dynamics itself (Pruyt, 2009). Educators strive to propagate knowledge by

    assembling effective courses1 that challenge and educate future generations

    of system dynamicists. Educators have adopted the notion that every element

    in a course (learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessments,

    to name a few) must be aligned to maximize learning, also known as

    the theory of constructive alignment (Biggs and Tang, 2011).

    This research note explores how university-level educators can develop

    systemdynamics courses that take full advantage of recent advances in teaching

    and learning theory. A conceptual example is provided, whereby constructive

    alignment is applied to the recent reported consensus of system dynamics best

    practices (Martinez-Moyano and Richardson, 2013) to develop learning objectives

    aligned with teaching and learning activities and assessments (e.g. Biggs

    and Tang, 2011; Angelo, 2013). In doing so, we extend empirical contributions

    from university-level system dynamics educators (e.g. Pruyt, 2009; Richardson,

    2014a, 2014b, 2014c) to further clarify the necessary components and structure

    of effective system dynamics university courses.

    For students, as with all individuals, to think in terms of causality, dynamic

    environments and seeing a phenomenon as part of a system is cognitively

    demanding, as the level of complexity lies beyond normal bounded rationality

    (Simon, 1982; Sterman, 1989; Senge, 1990; Dörner, 1996; Sterman et al., 2007;

    Sloman, 2009). Pala and Vennix (2005) suggest students experience great

    difficulties in constructing dynamic models and applying a general understanding

    of systemconcepts. Yet evidence suggests that formal systemdynamics

    teaching has a significant impact on the ability of individuals to better understand

    and apply key system dynamics principles (Sterman, 2010).

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Munoz, A. & Pepper, M. (2015). Maintaining stock and flow: A constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists. System Dynamics Review, 31 (4), 271-283.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84963604340

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/buspapers/868

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 271

End Page


  • 283

Volume


  • 31

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • System dynamics in higher education influences the quality of future system

    dynamics professionals, practice, research and, hence, the field of system

    dynamics itself (Pruyt, 2009). Educators strive to propagate knowledge by

    assembling effective courses1 that challenge and educate future generations

    of system dynamicists. Educators have adopted the notion that every element

    in a course (learning objectives, teaching and learning activities, and assessments,

    to name a few) must be aligned to maximize learning, also known as

    the theory of constructive alignment (Biggs and Tang, 2011).

    This research note explores how university-level educators can develop

    systemdynamics courses that take full advantage of recent advances in teaching

    and learning theory. A conceptual example is provided, whereby constructive

    alignment is applied to the recent reported consensus of system dynamics best

    practices (Martinez-Moyano and Richardson, 2013) to develop learning objectives

    aligned with teaching and learning activities and assessments (e.g. Biggs

    and Tang, 2011; Angelo, 2013). In doing so, we extend empirical contributions

    from university-level system dynamics educators (e.g. Pruyt, 2009; Richardson,

    2014a, 2014b, 2014c) to further clarify the necessary components and structure

    of effective system dynamics university courses.

    For students, as with all individuals, to think in terms of causality, dynamic

    environments and seeing a phenomenon as part of a system is cognitively

    demanding, as the level of complexity lies beyond normal bounded rationality

    (Simon, 1982; Sterman, 1989; Senge, 1990; Dörner, 1996; Sterman et al., 2007;

    Sloman, 2009). Pala and Vennix (2005) suggest students experience great

    difficulties in constructing dynamic models and applying a general understanding

    of systemconcepts. Yet evidence suggests that formal systemdynamics

    teaching has a significant impact on the ability of individuals to better understand

    and apply key system dynamics principles (Sterman, 2010).

Publication Date


  • 2015

Citation


  • Munoz, A. & Pepper, M. (2015). Maintaining stock and flow: A constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists. System Dynamics Review, 31 (4), 271-283.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84963604340

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/buspapers/868

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 271

End Page


  • 283

Volume


  • 31

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom