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Stage 5: Formulating measures of performance (how will we know when we have arrived?)

The hard systems approach emphasises the need to have measurable means of assessing the efficacy of any potential solution or design, but recognizes that this may not always be possible.


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Conclusion

This free course provided an introduction to studying Computing & IT. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and learning at a distance, and helped to improve your confidence as an independent learner.


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3.2 Making sense of the metaphor

The metaphor of the juggler keeping the four balls in the air is a powerful way for me to think about what I do when I try to be effective in my practice. It matches with my experience: it takes concentration and skill to do it well. But metaphors conceal features of experience, as well as calling them to attention. The juggler metaphor conceals that the four elements of effective practice often seem to be related. I cannot juggle them as if they were independent of each other. I can imagine
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8.5 Review

We can sum up the distinctive features of wet etching with a few key points:

  • Wet etching, in general, is a simple process to operate. Wafers are immersed in a solution for a while before being taken out, rinsed, and dried. However, certain etches require more sophistication. They may need one or more of the following: heating and agitation of the solution; reflux of vapours to maintain concentrations; protection of back side of the wafer; incorporation
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8.3.6 Deep silicon etching

MEMS structures often require etching to a much greater depth than is needed for microelectronics. A rate of 1–2 μm min−1 may be quite sufficient for making transistors less than 1 mm deep, but to etch through 600 mm of silicon to form an accelerometer would take all day. The advent of MEMS and wafer-level packaging applications, therefore, brought a need for yet faster anisotropic etches, requiring advances both in the process and in the etching equipment.

Capacitive co
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5.13 Conclusion of the BoT enquiry

The BoT enquiry issued two reports at the end of the enquiry, one authored by the chair, Mr Rothery, the other by the two other assessors. The Rothery report is Paper 3, linked below. They agreed about most of the issues in contention, as follows (Paper 3, page 47 of report).

  1. There is no evidence to show that there has been any movement or settlement in the foundations of the pier
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5.11 Further evidence on stability

Given the importance of establishing the nature of the stability of the bridge, further witnesses were called at a later stage in the enquiry to shed some light on the problem. If Mr Noble had observed chattering of the joints in the tie bars, had similar phenomena been observed earlier?

The key witnesses were the engineers in charge of erecting and finalising the structure before it was opened in May 1878, Major-general Hutchinson, the BoT inspector who approved the structure for publi
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3.4 Building the bridge

The contract for the bridge was won by the firm of Charles de Bergue, and a contract signed on 8 May 1871, whereby the contractor undertook to have the bridge ready for traffic in three years at a price of £217 000. In the event the bridge was opened on 31 May 1878, by which time it had cost £300 000.

Work started on the south bank of the Tay, with piers laid on to solid rock foundations. As the piers advanced into the estuary, foundations needed to be sunk onto the river bed, and cai
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5.6 Developing the Open University hard systems method

When the writers of the course T301 Complexity Management and Change, the predecessor to T306 (the course from which this unit is taken), started in 1982 they had to decide what to include and what to leave out (just as we have). They started with the systems analysis approach of the engineers De Neufville and Stafford (1971), which had been developed in a civil engineering group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). De Neufville and Stafford defined systems analysis as
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5.2 What are systems approaches?

An approach is a way of going about taking action in a ‘real world’ situation, as depicted in Figure 20. As I have outlined earlier, an observer has choices that can be made for coping with complexity. Here I am assuming that because this unit is about systems approaches, a cho
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3.6 Learning and effective action

I claim that learning is about effective action. It is distinguished when I, or another observer, recognise that I can perform what I was unable to perform before. Following Reyes and Zarama (1998), I am going to claim learning is an assessment made by an observer based on observed capacity for action. From this perspective, learning is not about ideas stored in our mind, but about action. So what makes an action effective? Reyes and Zarama (1998, p. 26) make the following claims:


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3.3 Appreciating your basis for understanding

In my experience, the explanation that Fell and Russell suggest (i.e. that we each construct our own version of reality and therefore cannot be an objective observer; which in turn means we have to take responsibility for our observations and explanations) is challenging for many people. When I attend workshops where these ideas are expressed for the first time, people often become angry. You may be able to identify with them. If so, please try to use your discomfort productively for your own
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2.2 The nature of systems thinking and systems practice

There are no simple definitions for either systems thinking or systems practice. It's difficult to find definitions that capture all the perspectives that the ideas carry for people who think of themselves as systems thinkers and systems practitioners. Most systems practitioners seem to experience the same kind of difficulty in explaining what they do or what it means to be systemic in their thinking. Through experience I've developed some criteria by which I characterise systems thinking, bu
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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material within this unit:

Course image: liz west in Flickr made available under Creative C
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16 Part 3: Innovation

You can experience this free course as it was originally designed on OpenLearn, the home of free learning from The Open University: Author(s): The Open University

8 Part 1: 7 Key points of Part 1

You can experience this free course as it was originally designed on OpenLearn, the home of free learning from The Open University: Author(s): The Open University

5.6 Improver

At different stages of the process of invention, design and innovation there's a role that can be played by improvers. The improver is an individual or group whose concern is to do things better by making improvements to existing products or processes.

Such people can help transform an inventor's first prototype and early design into a commercial product. Edison's team at Menlo Park included a number of engineers, chemists and mathematicians who contributed to the improvement of the ele
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Introducing philosophy
Ever wondered what it would be like to study philosophy? This free course, Introducing philosophy, will introduce you to the teaching methods employed and the types of activities and assignments you would be asked to undertake should you wish to study philosophy and the human situation. First published on Mon, 01 Jul 2019 as Author(s): Creator not set

Introducing the philosophy of religion
In this free course, Introducing the philosophy of religion, Timothy Chappell, Professor of Philosophy, asks what the words 'God' and 'religion' mean, and what it means to ask philosophical questions about them. First published on Mon, 01 Jul 2019 as Author(s): Creator not set

5.2 The ‘answer’ in your dictionary

Exercise 9

Please now look at the definition of ‘religion’ given in a dictionary. We have used the Concise Oxford Dictionary definition for this exercise.

  1. Do you think that the
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