What is it?
The OpenLearn Systems Thinking hub is a collection of free resources - articles, videos, audios, and courses - that explore systems thinking in practice (STiP). The hub has drawn on content already on OpenLearn, but also includes new content created specifically for the hub.
Many of the courses are derived from modules, some no longer taught, but still relevant to today’s challenges. Some courses deal with systems thinking in general while some deal with the use of systems thinking within particular domains such as environmental management or international development. Some of the courses may cover similar topics but do note that they are set at different levels - introductory (Level 1) through intermediate (level 2) to advanced (level 3) - or can take different times to study, from 1 hour to 75 hours! One of them, Mastering systems thinking in practice, is specifically designed as a primer for the OU postgraduate programme in Systems thinking in practice.
Many of the videos and audios show key techniques being demonstrated, such as systems diagramming. Some are older case studies of complex, and some offer interviews with key systems thinkers.
Overall, these resources fall into five main groups:
1. Resources that deal with key ideas and concepts used in systems thinking in practice
2. Resources that show the application of systems thinking to complex environmental situations
3. Resources that show the application of systems thinking to other complex situations
3. Resources that explain how to draw and use systems diagrams to support your system practice
4. Resources that showcase the thoughts of key systems thinkers
All these free resources reflect our record of teaching systems thinking in practice to tens of thousands of students on our qualifications over 50 years, and reaching hundreds of thousands of learners for over 20 years.
The content has been created by experts within (and sometimes outside) the OU and pulled together by the OpenLearn team in conjunction with the OU Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) group.
Who is it for?
The short answer: everyone.
The long answer: Utilising the experience of staff within the OU, the hub will not only showcase some of the university's high-quality teaching and research in STiP, but also provide a necessary and important source of knowledge and skills for all who use it. These resources will begin to help you to understand the ideas, concepts and techniques that underpin systems thinking and systems practice and enable you to use those ideas, concepts and techniques to help inform your decisions and interactions.
If your interest grows through your visit to this Hub you may like to follow up by visiting our OU sites related to:
- A new Level 7 Apprenticeship called the Systems Thinking Practitioner
- The post-graduate suite of qualifications in STiP
- Undergraduate and postgraduate modules in environmental management with a strong STiP flavour
- ASTiP group members’ research and scholarship