Assignment 2: problem solving | PHI 210 – Critical Thinking | Strayer University

 When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? This assignment asks you to apply a six-step to problem solving process to a specific problem scenario. You will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem using this systematic approach. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Choose one (1) of the problem scenarios as a topic choice for your paper (Note: Your professor must approve your topic choice before you begin work on the assignment.)

Scenario 1: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree, when a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees, so you know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.

Scenario 2: Your child comes home from school with an assignment sheet for a school project. He / she is very excited about the project and begins work immediately, doing research on the Internet and gathering materials. You read over the assignment sheet and notice that your child is not including all of the required items in the project, and you have some ideas for how to improve the quality of the presentation. You recently read an article in a parenting magazine about the importance of a child developing responsibility for his/ her own learning. You recall the many ways in which your parents took over your school projects. You, on the other hand, want to encourage your child’s confidence in his / her ability to complete a project independently. The next day, you are at the grocery store when you see a parent of a student in your child’s class. That parent has spent over $30 in supplies for the science project and is taking a day off of work to put the pieces of the project together.

Scenario 3: You have two jobs—one during the week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and one on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm. You are taking two classes—one that meets from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and one class online. You have two kids—one who plays soccer, and one who is in band. You have two elderly parents who no longer drive. You have two siblings—one who lives two (2) miles away, and one who lives in another state. You have two (2) papers due in your classes the same week that one (1) of your children has a soccer tournament, and the other child has a band concert. You are coaching the soccer team, and you are in charge of fundraising for the band. You have a goal to complete your degree in two (2) years. Your doctor tells you that your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your weight are too high and recommends several medications that cost you nearly $200 per month after your insurance co-pay.

Scenario 4: You are a sales representative for a company that encourages staff to log time in the field and away from the office. You are expected to begin and end your day at the office. You notice that each day when you arrive and return another co-worker is already there, and you wonder whether this person spends most of his / her time at the office. At your weekly sales meeting, you are informed of your co-workers’ outstanding sales performance. You suspect that this co-worker is spending more time flattering the boss instead of working leads in the field, and as a result is getting the best client referrals. Your own sales numbers have steadily decreased since this other sales representative was hired.

Scenario 5: Professor’s Choice – problem scenario presented by your professor.

Scenario 6: Student’s Choice – Problem scenario presented by you.

Review the six-step problem solving process outlined in the webtext, based on the article “The Problem Solving Process” located at http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html:

  • Step One: Define the problem
  • Step Two: Analyze the problem
  • Step Three: Generate options
  • Step Four: Evaluate options
  • Step Five: Make your decision
  • Step Six: Implement and reflect

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:
1. Define the problem in the scenario that you have chosen.
2. Analyze the problem in the scenario.
3. Generate options for solving the problem in the scenario.
4. Evaluate the options for solving the problem.
5. Decide on the best option for solving the problem.
6. Explain how you will implement the decision made and reflect on whether this option was the most effective.

The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:

  • Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
  • Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
  • Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • This course requires use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The format is different than other Strayer University courses. Please take a moment to review the SWS documentation for details.
  • Based on the guidelines in SWS, “A well-researched assignment has at least as many sources as pages.” Therefore, since this assignment requires you to write at least 4-5 pages, you should include at least 4-5 references.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Recognize the hindrances to the decision-making process in order to apply problem-solving skills to a variety of situations.
  • Create written work utilizing the concepts of critical thinking.
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in critical thinking skills and informal logic.
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