By poorly structured, I mean a problem situation in which there are at
least two parties with apparently differing goals (i.e., one appears to
want to see one option happen, the other appears to want another option to
happen, and the two options appear to be incompatible). The goals are
usually imprecisely framed and may be derived loosely from more fundamental
beliefs about how the world should be. Examples of this kind of problem
situation include (1) Should genetically engineered crops be allowed in
organic production? (2) Should nitrogen use be restricted or reduced in
midwestern corn? (3) Should agricultural price supports be eliminated in
the U.S.? (4) Should the CRP be renewed?
In addition, I need the problem situation to be small enough that students
can understand it in some detail after reading approximately 40 pages of
material. The detail should provide information about roles, norms, and
values of the participants in the problem situation, and a sketch of the
power relations among them.
Please send me any examples of poorly structured problem situations that
you may have encountered (whether they fit my needs or not), and if you use
any of them in a course, I would appreciate hearing about what you do.
Thanks for your help.