Teaching, learning and assessment methods
You gain knowledge and understanding mainly from the module texts with supporting study material provided via reference texts, online forums and web based resources. You will assess your own progress and understanding by using the in-text problems and exercises within each unit. Tutors, who are selected for their knowledge of the subject area and experience in its practical application, support your learning by phone, letter, email or online discussion forums when required.
You engage with what is taught by attempting the assignment questions, which are completed at fixed intervals throughout each module. Your understanding is reinforced by support from tutors in the form of feedback based on your assignment answers and a summary of your strengths and weaknesses for each assignment.
Formal assessment of the taught modules is by way of continuous assessment in the form of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) (two to three for each of the compulsory 30-credit modules and a similar proportion across the rest of the curriculum) and the end-of-module assessments (EMAs) for the compulsory modules will take the form of a written assignment.
The principles and methods will be described in the module texts with many examples. You will be provided with practical activities to develop your cognitive skills in the field of systems practice. These skills will be assessed in the TMAs and examinations of the various modules. TMAs will be carefully designed, complex pieces of work, which will test your ability to analyse situations and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of systems practice.
The programme is aimed at people with a professional interest in using systems thinking. It is assumed that they will have already gained some of these key skills in the workplace. You are expected to work largely under your own direction, reflecting on your own performance, identifying your own learning needs and developing learning strategies. Using the self-assessment questions in the module texts you can assess your own progress and ask for help if needed. You are encouraged to reflect on the response to your TMAs in order to improve your understanding and your performance in future assessments.
The programme introduces you to various situations from which you can learn. TMAs develop your skills in learning, communication, and understanding of problematic and complex situations. Communicating this activity to your tutor in a coherent form is a requirement of assignments while tutor feedback on these supports your learning.
You will be encouraged to participate with other students and tutors using online discussion forums to discuss both module specific issues and related topics of wider interest. These skills are delivered through the core study materials with worked examples and exercises. The emphasis is on supported individual learning.