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: 
2022 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2022 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Norwegian
Person in charge: 
Fredrik Nilsen
Course content

The course is about solving problems using scientific and military decision-making methods, and with it be credible as a military leader and decision-maker.

The purpose of the course is: (1) to create an understanding of how to arrive at knowledge through scientific methods; (2) create an understanding of how to make decisions through military problem-solving methods; (3) create an understanding of how operational planning and leadership in practice are related; (4) increase one’s credibility as a decision maker; (5) add experience from one's own army branch, and increase understanding of how contextual factors affect military problem solving.

The officer development takes place by increasing the understanding of requirements placed on one as a military professional and participant in military problem solving. The learning project on credibility is continued from the previous topic and will focus on credibility as a military decision-maker. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on further developing the basic leadership and methods for leadership development with emphasis on communication, learning from practice, feedback, as well as professional and personal reflection.

Internship 1 is an internship period in one's own weapon, and will be a reference for further education and development as an officer. The cadets will here gain knowledge and experience as a troop commander, and become familiar with tasks and requirements such as these roles in their own weapon.

In this course, military training will build on the cadets' expected progression, as well as prepare the cadets for the study's various practice arenas and work after graduation.

The course has five following topics: (1) scientific method; (2) military problem solving: staff study; (3) military problem solving: the planning and decision-making process, leadership and planning in practice; (4) learning project: credibility as a military problem solver; (5) internship 1.

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

After completing the course, the cadet can:

• explain basic concepts in scientific methods

• explain the strengths and weaknesses of intuitive and analytical decisions

• explain the rationale for the military planning and decision-making process

• explain basic psychological mechanisms that influence decision making

• explain the relationship between decision-making, methodological competence and credibility as a military leader

• explain the Army's expectations and requirements of officers

Skills:

After completing the course, the cadet can:

• master written academic presentation

• master the use of military templates

• use military planning and decision-making process

• use the troop's firearms

• use the staff study as a tool to shed light on problems and make decisions

• put your own plan into practice

• apply theory, practice and reflection to develop as a credible officer

General competence

After completing the course, the cadet can:

• collect, analyze and critically evaluate various forms of information

• analyze problems and assess which problem-solving methods are best suited to solve the problem

• analyze standardized procedures, and discuss the relationship between theory and practice in one's own profession

• consider how one can gain credibility as a military decision maker

Working and learning activities

Scientific method, epistemology and inference theory provide a basis for critical thinking. This basis is a premise for the staff study and the planning and decision-making process, as well as a methodological starting point for any master's studies. Military problem solving in the framework of peace staff service (Staff Study) and war staff service (Planning and Decision-Making Process), enables the cadet to make decisions as a leader and staff officer.

Operational planning represents leadership in practice and Exercise fire support provides a basic understanding of the use of fire support weapons in the troop framework. Through the course's final simulator exercise, the cadets get to practice operational planning, and at the same time they get a first insight into the connection between operational planning and practical leadership at a tactical level.

Theoretical parts of the course use adapted pedagogical teaching arrangements, including self-study, colloquium groups, ordinary and digital lectures, as well as seminar teaching. The course has clear practice components to give the cadets experience of how operational planning works in practice. The various theoretical elements will thereby meet in a central aspect of the profession's practice, namely operational planning as a basis for operational leadership.

By using different learning and reflection methods before, during, and after larger and smaller practice arenas, learning and development are enhanced. This with a focus on individual and collective ability to make decisions, as well as to create support and interaction for these decisions.

The learning project (Credibility as a Military Leader) will in this course have a special focus on how to create credibility using method for decision-making. The learning project ends by systematizing one's own reflections and submitting it as a written project report. The project report is included as part of the assessment in the course LED3201 The Officer.

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

Scientific methods:

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

Høiback, H. (2012). Hva er militærteori. I H. Høiback & P. Ydstebø. (Red.). Krigens vitenskap –

en innføring i militærteori (s. 31-77). Oslo: Abstrakt forlag.

Johannessen, A. Christoffersen, L. & Tufte, P. A. (2016). Introduksjon til samfunnsvitenskapelig

metode (5. utg.). Oslo: Abstrakt.

Kjeldstadli, K. (1992). Hva er historie? I Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i

historiefaget (s. 27-43). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Kjelstadli, K. (1992). Kildegransking. I Fortida er ikke hva den en gang var – en innføring i

historiefaget (s.161-174). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Lavik, T., Fjørtoft, K. & Pedersen, J. (2014). Kunnskapens grunnlag. I Filosofi for

samfunnsvitere (s. 116-156). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

 

Staff Study:

Forsvarets stabsskole (2010). Stabsstudien. I Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret (s. 109-143).

Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole.

 

Planning and Decision-Making Process:

Forsvarets stabsskole (2021). Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret (s. 1-108; 145-204). Oslo:

Forsvarets stabsskole.

Hæren (2017). Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – bataljon. Hefte 1. Rena: Hærens

våpenskole. 

Hæren (2017). Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – kompani og eskadron. Hefte 2. Rena:

Hærens våpenskole.

Hæren (2017). Håndbok for plan- og beslutningsprosess – tropp. Hefte 3. Rena: Hærens

våpenskole.

Hæren (2021). Stabshåndbok for Hæren: Plan- og beslutningsprosessen. Rena: Hærens

våpenskole.

Planning and Decision-Making Process, Additional Litterature:

Hæren (2012). Stromtroppen i felt. Rena: Hærens våpenskole.

Hæren (2012). Stridsvogntroppen i felt [gradering: hemmelig]. Rena: Hærens våpenskole.

 

Learning Project:

Kahneman, D. og Klein, G. (2009). Conditions for intuitive expertise: a failure to

disagree. American Psychologist, 64(6), s. 515-526.

Williams, Blair S. (2010). Heuristics and Biases in Military Decision Making. Military Review,

71(6). Fort Leavenworth, KS: US Army Command and General Staff College.

Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
Home examIndividual 8Week(s)A-F 25Not requiredWritten assignment in Scientific Methods (essay). The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Home examGroup8Week(s)A-F25Not requiredStaff Study. A joint subnission is provided for the working group that is part of the Staff Study and a common grade is given for the group. The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Home examIndividual8Week(s)A-F50Not requiredWritten home exam in Planning and Decision-Making Process. The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Vurderinger:
Form of assessment:Home exam
Grouping:Individual
Duration: 8
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion: 25
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:Written assignment in Scientific Methods (essay). The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Home exam
Grouping:Group
Duration:8
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion:25
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:Staff Study. A joint subnission is provided for the working group that is part of the Staff Study and a common grade is given for the group. The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Supported materials:
Form of assessment:Home exam
Grouping:Individual
Duration:8
Type of duration:Week(s)
Grading scale:A-F
Proportion:50
Oral examination:Not required
Comment:Written home exam in Planning and Decision-Making Process. The Exam is handed out at the beginning of the course, approx. 2 months before the submission deadline. Submission dates are given at the start of the course.
Supported materials: