Critical Thinking for the IT Professional Major Assignment Instructions
Aim of the Assignment
The aim of this assignment is to give you a chance to research the dynamic relationships in large systems.
You will be assigned a topic containing three things:
1 a potential, and arguably realistic, disaster scenario
2 a linked and plausible cause for this scenario 3 a wildcard element.
This assignment gives you the opportunity to do the following things:
• research a genuine existing or possible future systems problem
• examine possible elements of the systems contributing to the problem
• separate fallacies and conspiracy theories from factual information
• organise and present the information in a way that engages others
• inform others.
The three element that are assigned to you have been chosen randomly from three lists. This ensures that your assignment is unique to you. While others might have some of the same elements, no-one else will have exactly the same combination.
Your individual combination has been posted in the form:
[ Disaster ] caused by [ cause ] and triggered by [ wildcard ].
For example: Global Food Shortage caused by Excessive immigration and triggered by Ecstasy.
The wildcard element has been included to give you a chance to be creative and have some fun with the disaster movie trailer part of your submission (see page 2). The wildcard needs to be an integral part of the “story” you put together and also of the systems analysis; however, in the systems analysis, we do need facts and/or plausible system dynamics.
In some cases, the link with your “disaster” and its “cause” will seem obvious. However, your job will be to ensure that you are not trapped by confirmation bias or by focusing too much on the one “cause”. The whole point of systems thinking is to identify other interrelated elements of the systems and note the dynamics between them. Therefore you will need to consider questions such as:
• Is the linked “cause” directly connected to the main element, or elements, of the “disaster”, or are there other factors between them?
• What other elements of the system are connected to the cause and are either affected by it or affect it?
• How many causal loop arrows come to and go from the cause?
• Is the cause really as significant as it seems?
In other cases, you might at first wonder if there is any connection between your allocated “cause” and “disaster” at all. One of the keys of systems thinking is often referred to as the 10,000-metre view. If you are high enough (as in a plane at 10,000 m) you get a very different perspective of the scene below you. So it is with systems thinking, you might need to expand the size of your system and what it contains in order to determine where your allocated cause fits and what effects it has and what effects it causes.
What do you have to produce?
A slideshow (which looks like video – so it is a video really) or video comprising three parts:
1 An introductory section in the style of a dramatic trailer for a disaster movie. This should be standard trailer length: i.e. between 90 seconds and 3 minutes.
2 A systems analysis of a real or potentially real system dynamics whereby your assigned disaster could actually happen (or may be actually happening) and how the dynamics are creating that. Where possible, you should use verifiable facts. At the very least, your arguments for the cause–effect dynamics in your systems analysis should be strong inductive arguments (but cogent arguments would be better).
3 Final slides which list your sources, properly referenced, and any credits.
Dramatic Trailer of the Disaster Movie Systems Analysis References & Credits
The minimum output is a self-playing slideshow with voiceover. This can be achieved using any standard slide application (e.g. PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides and various open source applications).
You can, of course, go all out and use something like Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, iMovie or similar to produce a full movie-quality video. While you might gain some bonus marks from doing this, you will not lose any marks if you don’t.
The minimum duration of your slideshow/video is 6 minutes.
The maximum duration of your slideshow/video is 10 minutes.
Notes on quality
Required features of the slideshow/video:
• It must have a high quality script.
• The narration voice needs to be audible, clear, articulate.
• The sound quality should be high quality.
• Video must be high quality: i.e. no blurry, shaky stuff.
What do you have to submit?
• You will upload your video to a suitable place (YouTube, Vimeo, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.).
• In Moodle you will post a link to your video.
How will you be marked?
Each video will be marked by six or seven other students.
Note: that means you will have to mark six or seven other videos.
You will be provided with a rubric to guide your marking.
When is this due?
Your submission must be made by 2355h on 22 October.
You must complete marking of the assignments assigned to you by 2355h on 5 November.