Feel free to use the material below to structure projects on which students -- in the form of "problem-based learning" (PBL) -- can work more or less autonomously over several weeks. This list of deliverables has been developed for the "problems" listed here. The underlying idea is that complex, "wicked," "fractious," or ill-structured problems can be approached by a procedure that includes the following steps:

  1. Identification of possible stakeholders and their respective positions on the problem in question. Stakeholders are people, or groups of people, who, in one way or another, significantly affect or are affected by a decision—they have a legitimate stake in what happens.
  2. Development of an understanding and appreciation of the needs, interests, values, and ideological positions of the stakeholders by reconstructing arguments and more complex argumentations for these positions in AGORA. The idea is that students gain understanding when they can see the legitimacy of positions, and that this is possible when they reconstruct justifications of these positions in form of argument maps.
  3. Development of "synthesis position” based on a reflection on all the stakeholder positions discussed that should be more convincing than any of the stakeholder positions individually, and justification of this synthesis position in a final argument map.

1. First individual Homework to prepare the group work

  1. For the rest of this semester, you will work in your group and individually on a wicked problem. Each problem is described in a document that you can find [...]. Download and print the problem description for the problem you signed up for.
  2. Do steps 1 and 2 of the Reflect! approach to wicked problems.
  3. Search material that you will need for your group work on the remaining steps of the problem description. Provide scientific references [here ...] , together with a short description about why this material is relevant for this problem, and for which step. You can use abstracts and other things verbatim, but you have to quote according to scientific standards.
  4. For the following weeks, you have to work step by step on the task in your group, starting with the first step. Keep the deadlines for deliverables and presentations in mind. These are listed [here ...]. Some of them are group submissions, others—those for which you divided the labor in your group—are individual submissions. If the time in class is not sufficient to complete all the tasks, you have to meet with your team outside of class. However, please talk to me if you feel you need much more time than is feasible.
  5. After class start with your “Learning Journal.” You have to keep a journal in which you reflect after each team-meeting on (a) your learning experience, (b) on problems of your project and your collaboration, and (c) on possible solutions to these problems. Each entry needs to be dated.

2. Group submission after first group meeting

  1. Submit a table (as attachment) in which you list all the stakeholders that you distinguished with all their positions (Step 1. and 2.). You should upload this table also to your group folder [here ...]. Alternatively, you can produce this also in or other places in the cloud and submit a link  [here ...] (add the link also to your group folder). Make sure that I can open the link. It is sufficient that one group member submits for all.
  2. In the same document, provide a list of tasks that each group member agrees to complete for the next group meeting. Each group member has to document his or her work in an individual assignment. This individual work should focus on doing research in areas that you need to cover.

3. Individual submission after the first group meeting

This is an individual submission, not a group submission. Submit the results of the tasks that you agreed to complete in your last group meeting [here ...]. Follow the standards of scientific quotation and referencing.

Start with argument mapping only in class. This assignment is about doing research in preparation of that. Start with reading and collecting material. The argument maps that you create then in class should primarily be created for positions that you can defend by scientific evidence. Gather the evidence. Each group member needs to read, first, material about the case so that stakeholder positions can be distinguished more precisely. Focus on Step 3 of the Reflect! approach to wicked problems. Based on the research of each group member you should talk on Thursday about how to approach the problem, and then collaborate on mapping the arguments. For the next weeks then, part of the argument mapping can be done individually at home.

4. Intermediate presentations in class

After working over three class meetings on the project, each group presents one or two argument maps in class. They have to select those maps that are most problematic for them, where they are struggling the most. The goal is to get class input.

5. GROUP SUBMISSION After step (5.)

  1. Write down [here ...] the exact names of all the maps for justifying stakeholder positions that you think are good enough for submission. Name only those map that you, as a group, agree are good enough for submission (discuss your individual maps in your group and collaborate to improve them).
  2. Additionally, submit a pdf of each map  [here ...].
  3. List here the names of all group members that participated in this project.

6. Individual submission, any time after the first presentation (maybe skip this because it might distract students from their group work and pose unnecessary burden)

Submit material that you individually prepared as contribution for your team work. This can be references to the literature with abstracts or summaries, or argument maps.

7. Final presentations in class

After working another three class meetings on the project since the intermediate presentation, the teams present and discuss their final argument map (step 6.) in class

8. Peer-evaluation

Assess the amount and quality of the contributions that each of the other members of your team provided for the teamwork. Scores range from “0” (did not attend most of the meetings) to “5” (excellent).

9. Group submission after final presentations

  1. Based on the feedback you got in class after your presentation, revise your final argument map (it should be helpful to arrange a meeting outside of class for that)
  2. Write down  [here ...] the exact name your final map and specify its location on the AGORA server.
  3. Additionally, submit a pdf of this map [here ...] .
  4. List here the names of all group members that participated in this project.

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