Wednesday 11 November

Afternoon session

Times shown in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time UTC +11 hours
Current date and time in Launceston:

1.45 pm Registration
2.00 pm Dr John Molineux
Deakin University (Australia)
Workshop 6
Soft systems methodology – A great technique for complex problem solving with groups
3.30 pm Comfort break
3.50 pm Bob Cother
The Action Learning Institute (Australia)
Workshop 7
Developing 21st century skills through action learning
5.15 pm ALARA & BALT Reflection and review
5.45 pm Learning Lounges Dinner break
Breakout rooms remain open for casual networking until 6.00pm
Registration for next session commences 6.15 pm

Dr John Molineux

Deakin University
Department of Management

Soft systems methodology – a great technique for complex problem solving with groups

This workshop will outline the process of using Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) by working through participants’ own problem contexts. SSM was developed in the UK by Peter Checkland and colleagues using action research, and is a great tool for creating new solutions or rethinking complex problems with groups or teams. SSM uses systems thinking and other creative tools such as rich pictures, in developing understanding of complex problems or systems. The process enables designing possible new or alternative systems and solutions, and then determining feasible actions and outcomes. Active group participation and involvement is a key feature of the design of the process.


Bob Cother

The Action Learning Institute

Developing 21st century skills through action learning

In Australia, as in other OECD countries, employers report difficulties in finding young people with the required workplace skills. Employers seek young people not only with technical skills, but also ‘21st Century skills’’(sometimes referred to as ‘employability’,‘enterprise’, ‘deep’, ‘future’ or ‘human’ skills). Job seekers with these skills earn higher wages. Future jobs will require more of these skills. They are common across all occupations and industries.

Such skills are difficult to develop in a classroom with traditional instructor-led delivery. They are acquired through practice and experience, working with others in a work environment.

This session is presented by Bob Cother, Director of the Action Learning Institute (ALI). ALI is an edtech start-up and one of the most innovative registered training organisations in Australia. Their unique approach to formal qualification comes from over a decade of action research in education and training, and the development of supporting technology, to deliver nationally recognised qualifications entirely through action learning.

ALI contends that action learning lends itself admirably to the development of 21st Century skills. They believe the time is right for action learning to take centre stage in post-secondary education and training.

An overview of the action learning approach to developing 21st Century skills will be presented. Best practice experiential learning programs will be evaluated against the action learning approach. Criteria and methodologies for assessing 21st Century skills will be explored and compared and a concept for formal recognition of action learning skills will be shared for critical evaluation by the audience.