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Using Critical Systems Thinking to Improve Student Performance in Networking

Authors: Albertus G. Joubert, Roelien Goede


This paper explores how Critical Systems Thinking and Action Research can be used to improve student performance in Networking. When describing a system from a systems thinking perspective, the following aspects can be identified: the total system performance, the systems environment, the resources, the components and the management of the system. Following the history of system thinking we observe three emerged methodologies namely, hard systems, soft systems, and critical systems. This paper uses Critical Systems Thinking (CST) which describes systems in terms of contradictions and conflict. It demonstrates how CST can be used in an Action Research (AR) project to improve the performance of students. Intervention in terms of student assessment is discussed and the impact of the intervention is discussed.

Keywords: Higher Education, Computer Networks, action research, critical systems thinking

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