MILM1302 Military Problem-Solving and Methods

Course code: 
MILM1302
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Militær problemløysing og metode
Program of study: 
Bachelor i militære studier
Credits: 
15
Level of study: 
Bachelor
Teaching semester: 
2022 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2022 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian / English
Person in charge: 
Stein Hatlem Forsdahl
Course content

The main objective of the course is threefold.  (1) You will form an understanding of how one gains knowledge through the application of academic methods; (2) you will form an understanding of how one makes good decisions through military problem-solving methods; (3) you will form an understanding of how operational planning and leadership are interlinked.

Academic methods, theory of knowledge and decision theory provides a basis for critical thinking, an understanding of the premises and frameworks for the staff programmes and the operational processes of planning and decision-making, in addition to a providing a basis for further education at the Master’s level.

The course will introduce the cadets to a range of various support and work tools within a naval context. The most important of which will be the staff programmes, tactical maritime planning, operational analysis and social science methodology.

The overall purpose is to provide the cadets with an improved ability to understand time-critical, judgement-based and beneficial decisions as a leader and member of staff.

In general, you will focus on creativity, adaptability, learning and wise decision-making, but also decision-making pitfalls, cognitive fallacies, functions of the opposition and group thinking. Counter to heuristic and intuitive decisions, the cadets will be introduced to analytical tools such as statistics and mathematical methods. The main emphasis is laid on optimising situations within deterministic and stochastic models. You will receive a basic understanding of a number of various tools for the development and identification of challenges within strategy and warfare academics, the balance between these fields, in addition to tools for communicating this in a complete and positive manner.

The course will have a significant emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach. The various disciplines will work together in order to maximise the teaching efforts and provide training within the naval context. In order to promote such an interdisciplinary approach, the course has two extensive practical arenas. One is EXER NAVAL ARCHIMEDES. Within this topic, you begin with a key security policy scenario that the Royal Norwegian Navy deal with, or help manage, analyse this, then identify gaps and challenges in order to carry out practical naval problem-solving from the identification of a problem, via factorial assessments, mission descriptions, innovative development of alternative solutions, choice of solutions, development, and testing of inclusive construction and documentation. The other arena is EXER SJØKRIGAR, where the intention is to let the cadets experience problem-solving and leadership in physically and mentally demanding situations.

The cadets will also expand their competence and skills in naval English, presentation techniques and academic writing.

The teaching and development of individual and team-orientated leadership will collectively provide the cadets with a personal, professional and ethical foundation for developing and exercising good naval leadership.

The course has three topics: (1) Academic methods, theory of knowledge and decision theory; (2) Military problem-solving, operational planning and decision-making processes; (3) Operational leadership and planning in practice.

The course is relevant to:

STCW Convention: A-III/1

STCW Function: Control of the ship's operation and care for people on board at the operational level.

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to

  • explain key concepts within academic methods, decision theory and practice theory
  • explain the ethical handling of an academic investigation
  • explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative methods and their strengths and limitations
  • explain the strengths and weaknesses of intuitive and analytical decisions
  • explain the rationale for, and an understanding of, the military planning and decision-making process
  • describe projects as a work form, including organisation, implementation and reporting
  • have a good knowledge of analytical problem-solving methods within derivation, integration, optimisation, probability and statistics
  • describe psychological and socio-psychological mechanisms such as decision theory, decision-making pitfalls, socio-psychological conditions and biological factors which affect human behaviour and performance in military operations and operational planning processes
  • describe the importance of English communication in military operations

Skills:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to

  • quote and manage references in accordance with good academic practice
  • asses the quality of arguments and sources
  • carry out the programme’s written assignments in a structured and the study of their writing physician working in a structured and appropriate manner
  • argue rigorously and discuss issues
  • master written production within academic texts and military documents
  • Apply himself/herself to the stages in the planning and decision-making process
  • present, problematise and assess naval issues, both orally and in writing in Norwegian and English.
  • carry out processes for innovation in collaboration with the solution of military problems, as well as plan and carry out simple defence projects.
  • utilise probability, statistical methods and simple mathematical modelling as tools for the solution of practical and technical military problems.

General competence:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to

  • collect, analyse and assess various forms of information
  • assess which methods lend themselves to answering various problems
  • utilise standardised procedures, and discuss the relationship between theory and practice within their own profession.
  • apply staff methodology as a tool for clarifying problems and making decisions
  • exchange views and experiences with others in Norwegian and in English and thereby help develop good leadership and team-spirit
  • communicate theories, issues and solutions both in writing and orally in English
  • formulate mathematical models and find solutions analytically, numerically or through simulations.
Working and learning activities

The topics should be seen in relation to one another and are partially taught and developed collaboratively. Therefore, the various subject fields/topics do not have a fixed percentage.

The cadets will be trained in English through written assignments and oral presentations within Naval Archimedes, and operational analyses will also be made in English.

All problems you will handle within the course will, as much as possible, be based on operational, technological or logistic aspects of maritime operations. 

Work methods

The course will have a great deal of exchange between traditional forms of teaching such as classroom teaching and assignments, group project work and various practical arenas. 

There will be a focus on the arenas where the cadets and the cadet cohort shall solve problems. The cadets will prepare presentations and put forward a viewpoint, and a long-term approach to work requirements. This means that the individual cadet will both do his/her own work assignments and provide feedback to the other cadets under qualified supervision. Beyond this, self-study under supervision will be the basis for a common methodological approach within the course, both for teams and individuals. This means that the learning powers in lessons will focus on openness and feedback, before traditional teaching methods (lectures).

Sensor system

Examination is carried out according to the Regulations for Admission, Studies and Examinations (in Norwegian, “Forskrift om opptak, studier og eksamen”) at the Norwegian Defence University College.

Curriculum
  • Andersen, S,. Hærem, T. & Kost, D. (2019). Kognitive og organisatoriske utfordringer i et navigasjonsteam. I Statens Havarikommisjon for transport, rapport sjø 2019/18. Delrapport 1 om kollisjonen mellom fregatten KNM Helge Ingstad og tankbåten Sola TS utenfor Stureterminalen i Hjeltefjorden, Hordaland, 8. november 2018.
  • Douven, I. (2011). "Abduction", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/abduction/>. Del 1. 
  • Eid, J.,Johnsen B-H. & Laberg, C. (2018). 'Introduksjon til operativ psykologi'. I Eid, J. & Johnsen,B-H. (red.)  Operativ psykologi. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget. S.11-30.
  • Espevik, R. (2013). Samlet mot det uventede-og å kunne stå i det. Betydningen av godt teamarbeid. Pacem, vol 16(1), 91-103. 
  • Forsvarets stabsskole. (2010). Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret. Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole. 
  • Grimen, H. (2008). ‘Profesjon og kunnskap’. I Molander, A & Terum, L.I. (red.). Profesjonsstudier. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. S.71-86. 
  • Hebditch, D. (2017). ‘Planning, fast and slow: or how to make military planning work for you’. Hentet 12.04.2018 frahttps://www.cove.org.au/breakin/paper-planning-fast-and-slow-or-how-to-m... 
  • Høiback, H. (2012). ‘Hva er militærteori’. I Høiback, H. & Ydstebø, P. Krigens vitenskap – en innføring i militærteori. Oslo: Abstrakt forlag. S. 31-77. 
  • Jacobsen, D.I. (2015). Hvordan gjennomføre undersøkelser (3.utgave). Oslo: Cappelen Akademisk. Kap 1-11,16 
  • Johnsen, B-H. (2018). 'Beslutningstaking i operative situasjoner'. I Eid, J. & Johnsen,B-H. (red.)  Operativ psykologi. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget. S.251-264.
  • Kahneman, D. og Klein, G. (2009). Conditions for intuitive expertise: a failure to disagree. American Psychologist, 64(6), ss. 515-526. 
  • Kjeldstadli, K. (1992). Kapittel 2 ‘Hva er historie?’ og kapittel 12 ‘Kildegransking’. I Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i historiefaget. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. S. 27-43, 161-174. 
  • Krabberød, T. & Jacobsen, J.O. (2018.). 'Military Strategies for Samhandling in Unforeseen Situations - A Historical Perspective'. I Torgersen, G-E. (red). Interaction: 'Samhandling' under risk. Oslo: Gyldendal. S. 467-481.
  • Lavik, T.,  Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J. (2014). ‘Kunnskapens grunnlag’. I Lavik, T.,  Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J., Filosofi for samfunnsvitere. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. s. 116-156 
  • Meen, K. (2019). Operasjonsanalyse for sjøkadetten. Bergen: HOS Grafisk. (ca. 170 sider) 
  • Olsen, O.K., Hystad, S. & Harris, A. (2018). God under press. En operasjonalisering av moralsk robusthet i krevende operative situasjoner, Necesse, vol 3(1), s. 72-82.
  • Seksjon for sjømilitær teknologi (2019). Naval Archimedes. Bergen: HOS Grafisk. (ca. 150 sider) 
  • KNM Tordenskjold (2013). STP-41 Stabshåndbok for Sjøforsvaret: Taktisk maritim planlegging (TAMP). Bergen: HOS Grafisk. (s. 9-65).  
  • Richards, C. (2020). Boyd’s OODA loop. Necesse, Vol 5(1), 142-165

  • Waaler, G. (2011). Det flerstemte» – en hjørnestein i klokt lederskap. Pacem, vol 14(2), 9-20. 
Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredPresence requiredComment
Praksis11Required
Øvinger55Required
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Praksis
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Presence required:Required
Comment:
Mandatory coursework:Øvinger
Courseworks given:5
Courseworks required:5
Presence required:Required
Comment:
Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
ProsjektoppgaveGroup -A-F2/3Not requiredThe project assignment counts for 2/3 of the course’s grade. The paper must follow the format for a "Løsningsorientert stabsstudie" in accordance with the Stabshåndbok for Forsvaret, section 6.2.
MappevurderingIndividual -A-F1/3Not required The portefolio consists of sessions of Team Based Learning (TBL). Each Session must be passed. Each session will be listed on the schedule. The grade will be the sum of points from all three sessions. A TBL session will have these elements(timing depends on number of questions): 20 min: Indiviudal test (mulitple choice) 25 min: Grouptest (multiple choice, same questions) Pause 30 min: Minilecture based on cadets requests 60 min: Group assignments
PraksisIndividual1Week(s)Pass / fail Not required Officer assessment EXER SJØKRIGAR
Vurderinger:
Form of assessment:Prosjektoppgave
Grouping:Group
Duration:
Type of duration:-
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion:2/3
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:The project assignment counts for 2/3 of the course’s grade. The paper must follow the format for a "Løsningsorientert stabsstudie" in accordance with the Stabshåndbok for Forsvaret, section 6.2.
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Mappevurdering
Grouping:Individual
Duration:
Type of duration:-
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion:1/3
Oral examination:Not required
Comment: The portefolio consists of sessions of Team Based Learning (TBL). Each Session must be passed. Each session will be listed on the schedule. The grade will be the sum of points from all three sessions. A TBL session will have these elements(timing depends on number of questions): 20 min: Indiviudal test (mulitple choice) 25 min: Grouptest (multiple choice, same questions) Pause 30 min: Minilecture based on cadets requests 60 min: Group assignments
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Praksis
Grouping:Individual
Duration:1
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Proportion:
Oral examination:Not required
Comment: Officer assessment EXER SJØKRIGAR
Supported materials:
Authors: