Teaching Systemic Design in the Context of Organizational Communication
Courses emphasizing systemic design are taught in the Communication Management and Design program at Ithaca College for undergraduate students who seek to positively impact organizations and society through communication and learning. In a first-year course, students engage in a wide variety of learning activities and challenges through which they come to a basic understanding of systems thinking, design, and systemic design. This understanding creates a broad foundation for, and begins to develop connecting threads across, their studies of corporate communication, and workplace learning and performance. Then in their senior year capstone course students engage in a systemic design inquiry, which combines research and design in an attempt to address a critical current issue in organizations. Described here is the pedagogical approach for these courses, including underlying assumptions, links to strategy, and a rich set of concepts and tools that promote systems thinking in design, and which have potential applications beyond pedagogy. Also described is how these have all been informed by research.
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