This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 15.872 Introduction to System Dynamics as it was taught by John Sterman and Hazhir Rahmandad in Fall 2013.

15.872 System Dynamics II is the second half-semester continuation of 15.871 Introduction to System Dynamics. Students can take 15.871 alone, or combine it with 15.872. Taken in sequence the courses constitute the introductory sequence in system dynamics. Successful completion of both 15.871 and 15.872 is a prerequisite for advanced courses in system dynamics, work as a research or teaching assistant in the field, or careers using system dynamics.

During this second half of the semester, 2 class sections were taught by John Sterman and Hazhir Rahmandad. Sloan Fellows wishing to complete the course sequence were combined into these sections.

Professor Sterman gives an introduction to system dynamics and an overview of the course sequence in this video.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

15.871 and 15.872 introduce students to system dynamics modeling for the analysis of business policy and strategy. Students will learn to visualize a business organization in terms of the structures and policies that create dynamics and regulate performance. The class uses simulation models, case studies, and management flight simulators to develop principles of policy design for successful management of complex strategies, and to improve our understanding of the ways in which an organization’s performance is related to its internal structure and operating policies as well as those of customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

15.871 Introduction to System Dynamics

Requirements Satisfied

H-Level Graduate Credit https://ocwcms.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-871-introduction-to-system-dynamics-fall-2013/this-course-at-mit/preview

Offered

Every fall and spring semester

The Classroom

  • View of the classroom from the very back of the room facing the sliding chalkboards, showing the tiered student desks.

    Lecture

    Tiered seating with room capacity of 85. This room has sliding chalkboards, screens, annotatable computer, LCD video projector, and document camera.

  • View of the seating from side of the instructor’s workstation at the head of the room.

    Recitation

    Tiered seating with room capacity of 57. This room has sliding chalkboards, screens, annotatable computer, LCD video projector, and document camera.

 

Assessment

The students' grades were based on the following assessment elements:

The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by assignments. 70% Assignments
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by class participation. 15% Class participation
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by peer evaluation. 15% Peer evaluation
 

Student Information

On average, about 120 students take this course each year.

Enrollment

A total of about 120 students were split among 2 sections for this course.

Breakdown by Year

Mostly graduate students, a few undergrads.

Breakdown by Major

Mostly Sloan MBAs and Sloan Fellows, some LGOs, students from the Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) and PhD programs, and a few students from Harvard Kennedy and other local schools.

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 7-10 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

3-4 hours per week
  • Course met 2 times per week for 90 minutes per session; mandatory attendance.
  • Recitation for review, where TAs fielded questions about the materials; optional attendance.
 

Out of Class

4-6 hours per week
 

Semester Breakdown

This half-term course ran during the second half of the fall semester.

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
3 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
4 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
7 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
8 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
9 Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Recitation session scheduled.
10 Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Recitation session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Recitation session scheduled.
12 Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Recitation session scheduled.
13 Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled; assignment due date. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
14 Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Recitation session scheduled.
15 Lecture session scheduled. No session scheduled. Lecture session scheduled; assignment due date. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lecture sessions are held. Lecture session
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when assignments are due. Assignment due date
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when recitation sessions are held. Recitation session