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This assignment should not be started until the readings for module 3 have been completed, especially Warren Berger's chapter from A More Beautiful

This assignment should not be started until the readings for module 3 have been completed, especially Warren Berger's chapter from A More Beautiful Question. This assignment is designed to test and exercise students' divergent and convergent thinking skills, as well as the ability to stay problem-minded and to consciously delay solution-mindedness.

Fuzzy Situation: Wandering Residents

The situation described in the paragraph below has been selected because it is familiar to most people, either through direct personal family experience with a loved one or through the experience of extended family or friends, or coverage in various media.

In this assignment you are to assume the position of the executive director of the facility asked to define the problem as accurately as possible.

"In an intermediate and skilled care nursing facility housing about 100 residents, the staff are concerned about senior residents who wander into rooms of other residents and cause a disturbance. At any one time there seem to be several residents who have difficulty finding their rooms. One of the facility administrators has suggested that the residents be escorted back to their rooms. However, this will require some time to be freed up from an already overworked staff."

Your assignment is not to solve the problem, but to define it: All problem definition statements must be in challenge form beginning with "How might we...?"  

"How might we...?" is a solution-finding question. The value in it is that it prevents stagnation and demotivation that occurs when faced with difficult, negative facts. Instead of "We can't because...", "How might we" gets people thinking of solutions that might work given the understood facts of the situation. Refer to the Berger chapter

The process to use:

  1. Using divergent thinking, brainstorm a long list of tentative problem definitions (each starting with How might we...?")
  2. When you are finished diverging, select the one "How might we...?" from your list that you most prefer as the definition of the situation in your opinion.

Present your final problem definition, with your rationale for selecting it. What fact(s) in the brief description of the situation most impacted your thinking about the situation? What facts, or ideas that were not in the fuzzy situation description - if any - impacted your thinking and therefore your "How might we..." challenge statement?

Consider your problem definition in light of obvious - and, in some cases, quite obvious - solutions that would result from the "How might we" challenge statement in terms of legality, ethicality and appropriateness. What steps might have to be taken to prevent any illegal and/or unethical courses of action, if any?

Expectations: 

Your assignment must include:

  • your entire list of brainstormed problem definitions,
  • the problem definition you chose as the best, most preferred option, and
  • your rationale supporting for selecting it (as described in the assignment)

Any outside information and perspectives you bring into the assignment must be supported by research. In such cases, use a minimum of 2 references to defend your proposal. References and credible sources cannot come from Wikipedia or any other open content websites. Use 6th edition APA form and style and the provided writing template.

Due at the end of Module 4

Course Learning Outcomes: A, C & D.

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