Course Title: Systematic and Inventive Problem Solving

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Systematic and Inventive Problem Solving

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2010

Course Coordinator: Dr. Iouri Belski

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2984

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.07.03

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None. Knowledge of science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc.) is advantageous.

Course Description

The course will introduce a student to tools of systematic thinking, inventive problem solving and idea generation, which are based on the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ).
Topic areas: Systematic thinking, Situation Analysis, Substance-Field Analysis, Method of the Ideal Result, the Contradiction Table, the Algorithm of Inventive Problem Solving.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information (;ID=eyj5c0mo77631).

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Analyse and model various systems (system: a group of things, pieces of equipment, etc. that are connected or work together) which require improvement
• Apply the following tools: Substance-Field Analysis; Method of the Ideal Result and the Contradiction Table to generate ideas capable to improve the original system
• Synthesise the ideas into concept solutions and choose the most appropriate concepts for implementation
Students will further:
• Develop ability to work as a team member
• Improve their confidence in tackling unfamiliar problems
• Develop the ability to plan his/her own work and
• Develop skills in reflecting on the solution outcomes and the solution process

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:
• Attendance at lecture/tutorial classes where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
• Active participation in lecture/tutorial classes, where numerous problems will be considered and resolved;
• Completion of tutorial questions designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
• Completion of written assignments on each tool separately and of a project requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter as well as usage of all the tools learnt; and
• Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving problems of different level of complexity.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be able to access course information and some other materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT) and will be able to buy a package of learning materials. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided.
The recommended learning materials for this course will be announced to the students at the beginning of the semester.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course include:
• Home Assignments
• Class Exercises
• Project work (home and class)