Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

This free course is adapted from a former Open University course called 'Living in a globalis
Author(s): The Open University

System dynamics diagrams, also sometimes called â€˜stock flowâ€™ diagrams, can be derived from causal diagrams, although in some cases it might be easier to start directly with the system dynamics diagramming technique, especially if you need to explore around one particular objectâ€™s attribute, such as population number.

System dynamics diagrams are drawn using four symbols: boxes representing attributes or â€˜stocksâ€™ of objects (e.g. level of water in a tank); valves representing
Author(s): The Open University

This free course provided an introduction to studying Environment & Development. It took you through a series of exercises designed to develop your approach to study and Author(s): The Open University

After studying this course, you should be able to:

When the temperature of an object increases (say, by Î”T) it expands. According to the linear model of thermal expansion the length increase is described by

What if there is a temperature change, but some constraint prevents the proper thermal size
Author(s): The Open University

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Course image: The Cookiemonster in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Licence.

Various pages:
Author(s): The Open University

The approach begins with a situation in which one or more people perceive that there is a problem. It will not be possible to define the problem or its setting with any precision and, in any event, the different people involved will have different ideas.

Author(s): The Open University

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce
Author(s): The Open University

I think for most people, the National Health Service would be experienced as a complex situation. If so this would be a good example of perceived complexity. Remember though, if you engaged with it as if it were a difficulty you would not describe the situation as one of perceived complexity. I could not call it a complex system unless I had tried to make sense of it using systems thinking and found, or formulated, a system of interest within it. This means I would have to have a stake in the
Author(s): The Open University

Most of us have a fairly accurate understanding of what is meant by resonance â€“ it's what causes a bell to continue to make a sound long after it has been struck. Yet this is just one example of resonance, a phenomenon that occurs in nature in a surprisingly large number of places.

It is all to do with the reversible transfer of energy from one form to another in a system. The common feature associated with mechanical systems that are able to store energy by oscillating is that they h
Author(s): The Open University

Computers in the last few decades have, in many cases, made mathematical modelling a lot easier. Models that used to require hours of manual cranking through long equations can now be created on a screen using specialist software. Processes can be recreated â€“ modelled â€“ in the time it takes to press a few buttons.

For example, when designing a pipe network to carry a gas or fluid, such as in the village water supply problem, you might wish to know how the flow would be distributed w
Author(s): The Open University

This free course provided an introduction to studying Engineering. 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.

Author(s): The Open University

Divers found the high girders lying on their sides in the shallow water of the river bed a short distance away (Figure 22), within which the almost intact remains of the train itself was found. No bodies were recovered because they had all been washed away by the river or tide. Although bodies were recovered
Author(s): The Open University

The final part of the survey deals with the two standing piers connected to the lower girders left after the high girders section fell during the disaster. The whole of pier 28 is shown in Figure 34, and two close-ups of the columns are shown in Figures Author(s): The Open University

Of course, our bodies can't just be made up of squidgy bubbles of phospholipid, or we would collapse in a heap on the floor! Stiffer frameworks, both inside and outside the cells, also exist and help to define shape and add strength. These frameworks are formed largely from structural proteins, a class of polymeric materials that form fibres and filaments to provide mechanical support for cells and tissues. Structural proteins are made inside cells but are often then moved into the spa
Author(s): The Open University

The first three activities in Figure 4 are to plan a strategy, then to immerse yourself in an example of complexity, and then represent that complexity through drawing a rich picture. I've selected a rich picture as the focus of this task because it is a means of bringing you into a
Author(s): The Open University

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

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

Before I go any further I will establish the meaning of some of the key concepts that you will encounter throughout this unit.

The key concepts elaborated in this unit are:

• inventor

• invention

• design

• product champion

• entrepreneur

• improver

• innovation

• dominant design

• robust design

• lean design