CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING

SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2L122838
Module Leader Thomas Dudley
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
Trimester
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Introduction to Economic Data Analysis, or equivalent

Summary of Content

-360b7 The fundamental objective of the module is to further enhance students' numeracy and problem solving skills for organisational and academic application, including a consideration of the uncertainty that pervades all business and economic decisions. b7 Intermediate Quantitative Methods (Regression, Financial Arithmetic) b7 Introductory Inferential Statistics (Hypothesis Testing, t-tests, Chi-squared, non-parametric methods) b7 Intermediate-level quantification- and data-handling skills are imparted via the Excel Spreadsheet, @Risk & SPSS programmes, using a variety of business- and economics' related scenarios. b7 The module also further develops students' intellect, via a programmed sequence of logical 'puzzles', with the aim of considering and proposing solutions to a variety of relevant problem scenarios using, where appropriate computer-derived solutions. Summary of how PRME-related issues / topics are covered in this module: -360d8 Principle 1 (85.. develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society 85..); d8 Principle 2 (85. incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility 8585.); d8 Principle 3 (85. create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership); -360d8 Principle 4 (85. engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value85.). -360b7 Improved data-use and intellectual skills will lead to a better understanding of the role for, and limitations of quantitative analysis in complex decision-making; b7 Improved intellect and an ability to see the 'World' from other perspectives will further enhance the students' citizenship values and leadership skills; Improved data-use and intellectual skills will lead to a better understanding, and ability to model highly complex interactions between organisation in their short-, medium- and long-term operations and objectives.

Syllabus

Using examples related to the relevant disciplines: -360b7 Ordinary Least-squares Regression b7 Financial Arithmetic b7 Non-calculus approach to Optimisation for decision-making b7 Probability and Probability Distributions b7 Elementary Hypothesis Testing and Inference b7 Intermediate critical and lateral thinking skills, developed via 'Puzzle'/problem solving

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:" Understand, comprehend and analyse relevant data as presented in various forms, using intermediate level techniques." Use information technology and software packages for business- and economics applications." Adopt a logical and structured approach to the consideration and analysis of complex individual, organisational and societal problems" To use the quantitative- and logical techniques to propose feasible solutions to a variety of complex discipline-relevant problems, accounting for the needs and objectives of all affected constituencies.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is delivered through two direct modes of contact and through independent learning. The directed modes of learning over the session will include: -360b7 The Lecture : will involve the illustration of the basic methods of data analysis and principles & methods of a logical, programmed approach to the consideration of problems and how solutions may be obtained. b7 Computer Lab ('Practicals') will involve instruction in the use of software packages to collate and analyse data, and to construct simple 'logical' models to derive workable solutions to set problems. b7 Seminar will be used to facilitate the consideration of set problems, in small groups, to develop approaches to the problem's solutions. Students' directed and independent learning will be supported by online modes of learning through GCU-Learn. Students will be encouraged to develop both independent and collegiate approaches to the work of the module. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

-360b7 Anderson, D. R., Sweeney, D.J. & Williams, T.A. (2009) Essentials of Modern Business Statistics, 4th Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press. b7 Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument, 2 nd ed.: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Davis, G. & Pecar, B. (2012) Quantitative Methods for Decision Making Using Excel, Oxford University Press. b7 De-Bono, E. (1976), Practical Thinking: Four Ways to be Right, Five Ways to be Wrong, Five Ways to Understand: Penguin b7 De-Bono, E. (2010), Lateral Thinking: a textbook of creativity: Penguin b7 Houston, J. & Murray, A. Introduction to SPSS 21: In-house lecture/lab guide to descriptive and inferential statistics, 2013 b7 Oakshott, L. (2009) Essential Quantitative Methods, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. b7 Taylor, S. (2007) Business Statistics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Exemplar Web-based resources b7 www.badscience.net <http://www.badscience.net> b7 www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learningareas/criticalthinkingandreflection/resourcepage.htm <http://www.learnhigher.ac.uk/learningareas/criticalthinkingandreflection/resourcepage.htm> b7 <http://www.criticalthinking.org/articles/the-role-socratic-questioning-ttl.cfm> b7 <http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/socratic/second.html> b7 <http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/dedind.php>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360b7 Analytical and critical thinking skills b7 Communication skills (oral and written) b7 Discussion skills b7 Problem solving skills b7 Interpersonal skills b7 Time management skills b7 Team working skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 22.00
Lectures (FT) 11.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Seminars (FT) 11.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 35% Group-based Assignment: description of, and proposed solution to, a set problem
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Unseen, written examination to test competence in QM/statistical techniques