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What is systems thinking and practice? The essence of systems thinking and practice is in 'seeing' the world in a particular way, because how you 'see' things affects the way you approach situations or undertake specific tasks. This free course will help you to learn about the problems of defining a system and meet some of the key concepts used in systems theory: boundary, environment, positive and negative feedback, etc.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- display confidence in using systems concepts and language
- describe accurately the set of key systems concepts
- understand what is distinctive about systems thinking as opposed to other forms of thinking
- understand how systems thinking is useful in analysing and improving situations
- understand the notion of a system as a creation of the observer, i.e. as an intellectual construct, as opposed to using the term system in other ways, i.e. as entities that exist ‘out there’.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 How to use this course
- 2 What is this systems thing about?
- 3 Ways of thinking
- 4 Systems thinking
- 5 Types of systems
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Systems thinking and practice
What is systems thinking and practice? The essence of systems thinking and practice is in ‘seeing’ the world in a particular way, because how you ‘see’ things affects the way you approach situations or undertake specific tasks. This course will help you to learn about the problems of defining a system and meet some of the key concepts used in systems theory: boundary, environment, positive and negative feedback, etc.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Systems (Computer) courses or view the range of currently available OU Systems (Computer) courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 29th March 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 29th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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