In this professional development module, you will be a learner, using media to deepen your understanding of simple and more complex, dynamic systems and some of the tools you can use to model systems. Here are the big ideas you will encounter:
- A system, unlike a collection or a "heap of stuff," is composed of parts and processes that interact over time to serve some purpose or function.
- Systems as a whole can exhibit properties and behaviors that are different from those of their parts.
- Simple systems can work in predictable ways; dynamic systems exhibit more complex and unpredictable behaviors.
- Making systems visible, using tools such as connection circles, behavior over time graphs, causal loop diagrams, and stock and flow models, can help you understand and test ideas that are applicable throughout science, engineering, history, literature, and more.
- Constructing a simpified model of a system by defining a boundary in which it operates enables us to better understand and predict system behaviors.
- Change occurs through closed loops of cause and effect called feedback loops. There are two types of feedback loops: reinforcing and balancing, which either amplify or control change.