All Resources

Course : T552_1 Systems Diagramming - OpenLearn (2002)

T552_1 Systems Diagramming - OpenLearn

Publisher:The Open University


Published: 2002 • Delivery Format: Online (Internet)


Provided by The Open University under their OpenLearn website as a free study units with a discussion forum. Study independently at your own pace or join a group and use the free learning tools to work with others


Time: 12 hours

Level: Introductory

From the Open University:

Pictures speak louder than words. But how can you use diagrams to help you? This unit looks at how diagrams can be used to represent information and ideas about complex situations. You will learn how to read, draw and present diagrams to help illustrate how ideas or processes are connected.

After reading this unit you should be able to:

  • appreciate diagrams as a powerful aid to thinking and acting;
  • distinguish between systems diagrams and diagrams helpful in systems work;
  • demonstrate sufficient skills to ‘read’ and ‘draw’ a wide range of diagrams, following given conventions, that help improve your understanding of a situation;
  • select diagrams suited to the needs of the situation you are investigating and the purposes/preferences of you as the diagrammer.

Content / Structure


Current section: Learning outcomes

1 How to use this unit

2 What is a diagram?

  • 2.1 Diagrams are all around us
  • 2.2 Diagrams as models
  • 2.3 Features of diagrams
  • 2.4 Structure and process

3 Why do people use diagrams?

  • 3.1 Influences on how we perceive diagrams
  • 3.2 Conveying information to others
  • 3.3 Thinking through diagrams
  • 3.4 Working with other people's diagrams – representing text as diagrams
  • 3.5 Working with other people's diagrams – reading diagrams

4 Why do systems thinkers use diagrams?

  • 4.1 Systems thinking and concept
  • 4.2 Systems diagrams and diagrams helpful for systems work
  • 4.3 Diagrams for understanding
  • 4.4 Diagrams for connectivity
  • 4.5 Diagrams for further analysis and quantitative model building
  • 4.6 Diagrams for diagnosis
  • 4.7 Diagrams for planning and implementation
  • 4.8 Diagrams for communication



The T552 course team

Original Copyright © 2002 The Open University. Now made available within the Creative Commons framework under the CC Attribution – Non-commercial licence (see


Be the first to review this course - T552_1 Systems Diagramming - OpenLearn

Related Resources

Elsewhere On The Internet

Return to Previous Page

Chosen at random from all the resources listed:

All articles/posts © of the respective authors

Site design and architecture © 2010 - 2019 Eclectica Systems Ltd.