Using SSM to approach complex problematical situations in learning, teaching and assessment management: a case study of a Chinese university college

Junkang Feng*, Xiaoping Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Chinese higher education has moved into a popularization and internationalization stage, which makes the traditional Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) management challenging and sometimes problematical. This paper reports an overhaul of a fundamental aspect of a college namely its LTA management, and it took seven years to complete. We concentrate on how to approach complex problematical situations in LTA management by using Checkland’s Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) at the Business College of the Beijing Union University (BCBUU) in China. Through this case study we made sense of and improved the problematical situations. It is found that SSM provides LTA managers with an innovative and fundamental methodology to appreciate otherwise seemingly unapproachable and unmanageable complex and ill-structured problem situations that they face. It is also proven that our case study of SSM in the context of LTA management in a Chinese college is practically effective.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Systems and Society (IJSS)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • Chinese higher education
  • Learning, teaching and assessment management
  • Complex problematic situations
  • Soft systems methodology
  • Business College of Beijing Union University China

Cite this