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Major Project = Problem?

posted Jun 8, 2009, 9:46 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 17, 2009, 3:21 AM by Eddie Woo ]
"Your major project can be viewed as a "problem" in the technical sense. Where does it fit on the structure continuum, and why? Which features of the project lean towards the structured end and which lean towards the unstructured end?"
Although it is mentioned on the project sheet that the solution was unidentified & the problem was poorly defined, there was actually not all that much we could do to solve it. The major project seems to be a semi-structured problem that leans towards the structured end, as we are given that we have to design an information system that delivers online content & meets its objectives, but there are also some factors that cannot be easily controlled but can still influence the product. Although there are many systems that can be developed to meet the given objectives, & all sorts of data can be potentially useful in such systems, most of the possible solutions are beyond what we can achieve. 
The inputs would be quite structured, becaues there is a limited amount of resources that we can upload for our portfolios, consisting mainly of data from the LOTE faculty and other language-related events, and it is not all that difficult to identify some of the resources that will be helpful to other students. Although the multimedia component can be more varied & complex, they were also planned out beforehand so that people knew what content they would be creating. Participants generally have a good idea what kind of data they will be collecting.
There is only so much data that enters the system, & no extensive analysis has been done with the input data, so the outcomes are quite predictable (structured) as well. The multimedia component may be more unpredicable as there are multiple factors influencing the outcome, such as: what footage/audio can be collected & time constraints. The resultant multimedia products may be different to what was planned before. However, for the rest of the project, the outputs were quite predictable.
Result comparison, however, is rather unstructured, as there are multiple criteria to judge the system by, & the importance of each varies with the user. The effectiveness of the solution is also rather subjective, especially regarding how useful the LOTE site was in achieving its objectives.
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