MILM1202 Military Problem-Solving and Methods

Course code: 
MILM1202
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Militær problemløsning og metode
Program of study: 
Bachelor i militære studier
Credits: 
15
Level of study: 
Bachelor
Teaching semester: 
2021 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2021 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian
Person in charge: 
Fredrik Nilsen
Course content

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

Academic methodology, theory of knowledge and decision theory provide a basis for critical thinking, an understanding of the premises and the frameworks for the staff study and the planning and decision-making process, as well as a foundation for the progression to master's studies. Military problem-solving within the framework of staff studies and the planning and decision-making process for the peacetime service and wartime service respectively allows the cadet to make decisions as a leader and staff officer.

Operational planning represents leadership in practice. Through the course's final simulator exercise, the cadets practise operational planning, and at the same time, gain their first insight into the connection between operational planning and practical leadership at a tactical level.

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

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • explain key concepts in academic methodology, decision theory and practice theory
  • 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 of the military planning and decision-making process.
  • understand the military planning and decision-making process.
  • explain basic psychological mechanisms which affect decision-making

Skills:

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • master good citation skills and referencing in order to write undergraduate assignments
  • asses the quality of arguments and sources
  • argue rigorously and discuss issues
  • master written presentation in an academic text and in military documents.
  • analyse the stages in the planning and decision-making process
  • apply the military planning and decision-making process.
  • put his/her own plan into practice in a simulated exercise

General competence

After completion of the course, the cadet is able to: 

  • collect, analyse and assess various forms of information
  • assess which methods are appropriate to answer issues relevant to the Norwegian Armed Forces.
  • analyse standardised procedures, and discuss the relationship between theory and practice within his/her own profession.
  • apply staff methodology as a tool for highlighting problems and making decisions.
Working and learning activities

The theoretical section of the module employs customised educational lessons, including, among other things, self-study, group seminars, e-courses, mainstream and digital lectures and seminar lessons. The course will have a distinct practical component, so that the cadets can experience how operational planning works in practice (from theory to practice). The various theoretical elements will thereby meet within a key aspect of the profession's practice, namely operational planning as a basis for operational leadership.

The development of the officers is ensured through an increased understanding of the demands imposed on the military profession's practitioners and leaders (officer identity) as a participant within military problem-solving. Through the use of various learning and reflection methods in the forefront, during and after major and minor practice arenas, individual and collective learning and development (learning skills) are strengthened. The development of the officers is ensured through an increased understanding of the demands imposed on the military profession's practitioners and leaders (officer identity) as a participant within military problem-solving. Through the use of various learning and reflection methods in the forefront, during and after major and minor practice arenas, individual and collective learning and development (learning skills) are strengthened. This is achieved through a focus on the individual and collective ability to make decisions (professional expertise) and the ability to provide support and interaction (relationship skills), including creating good decision-making processes within teams and groups.

Sensor system

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

Curriculum

Doughty, R. A. (1977). ‘The art and science of tactics’. Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College, 7(3), 39-45.

Douven, I. (2011). "Abduction". In Edward N. Zalta (Ed.)The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 ed., Part 1), , Retrieved from: <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/abduction/>.

Enstad, K. (2016). Hvordan skrive en god tekst? Oslo: Krigsskolen.

Forsvarets stabsskole. (2010). Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret. Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole.

Grimen, H. (2008). ‘Profesjon og kunnskap’. In Molander, A & Terum, L.I. (Ed.). Profesjonsstudier (p.71-86). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Hebditch, D. (2017). Planning, fast and slow: or how to make military planning work for you’. Retrieved April 12,.2018, from: https://cove.army.gov.au/article/planning-fast-and-slow-or-how-make-mili...

Hæren. (2015). Stabshåndbok for Hæren : Plan- og beslutningsprosessen. Hærens våpenskole.

Hæren. (2017). ‘Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – bataljon. Hefte 1.’. Hærens våpenskole. 

Hæren. (2017). ‘Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – kompani og eskadron. Hefte 2.’. Hærens våpenskole.

Hæren. (2017). ‘Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – tropp. Hefte 3.’. Hærens våpenskole.

Høiback, H. (2012). ‘Hva er militærteori’. In H. Høiback & P. Ydstebø. (Ed.). Krigens vitenskap – en innføring i militærteori (p. 31-77). Oslo: Abstrakt forlag.

Johannessen, A. Christoffersen, L. & Tufte, P. A. (2010). Introduksjon til samfunnsvitenskapelig metode (4. ed.). Oslo: Abstrakt.

Kahneman, D. og Klein, G. (2009). Conditions for intuitive expertise: a failure to disagree. American Psychologist, 64(6), 515-526.

Kjeldstadli, K. (1992). ‘Hva er historie?’. In Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i historiefaget (Chapter 2, p. 27-43). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Kjelstadli, K. (1992). ‘Kildegransking’. In Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i historiefaget (Chapter 12, p.161-174). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Lavik, T.,  Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J. (2014). ‘Kunnskapens grunnlag’. In T. Lavik, K. Fjørtoft & J. Pedersen, Filosofi for samfunnsvitere (p.116-156). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

NATO (2013). Allied command operations comprehensive operations planning directive COPD interim v2.0. Brussel: NATO.

 

 

Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
MappevurderingIndividual Week(s)A-F 100%Not requiredThe folder must contain a written product attached to each of the three sub-topics. The folder must contain a written product attached to each of the three sub-topics. Each sub-topic will be evaluated A-F and are weighted 33,3% Each sub-topic has to be passed.
Vurderinger:
Form of assessment:Mappevurdering
Grouping:Individual
Duration:
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion: 100%
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:The folder must contain a written product attached to each of the three sub-topics.
Supported materials: The folder must contain a written product attached to each of the three sub-topics. Each sub-topic will be evaluated A-F and are weighted 33,3% Each sub-topic has to be passed.