Learning objectives consist in reaching a good level as of knowledge and skills, which are seen in a continuous interaction during the class work. Of particular importance, to this end, is the skill in modelling development, which requires capabilities in selecting the aspects of the real systems that deserve to enter in the modelling description, identifying their interactions and representing them appropriately. Knowledge and skills about modelling are framed in a dialectical view of the systems, that is wholes as contingent structures in reciprocal interactions with their own parts and with the greater whole of which they are parts.
Independence of judgment is vital for a discipline in which deciding which modelling representation of a real system is the most appropriate becomes crucial. Independence of judgment is needed to decide which elements and interactions in a system are really important and which ones can be instead discarded as irrelevant. In this framework independent judgment will be improved through:
1. creation of models to describe specific systems;
2. analysis of alternative model to highlight similarities and differences and identify the importance of variables and relationship in the dynamics of the models;
3. capturing robust results while analyzing alternative models of the same system.
Communication skills will be strengthened through:
1. the creation of cognitive maps to fix the concepts that are really important for a model representation;
2. debating around alternative choices for modelling representation of real systems: choice of variables, description of their relationships, weighting the dynamical factors, etc.