About This Book

This book is an Open Educational Resource (OER) designed specifically for you, a Plymouth State University student enrolled in the “Tackling a Wicked Problem” course. The book contains material written specifically for it as well as material from other openly licensed material including the OER written by the Fall 2017 First Year Seminar Fellows at Plymouth State University. That earlier OER was designed specifically for Plymouth State University’s First Year Seminar and can be found here:


“Tackling a Wicked Problem” is the first course you will take in which you will engage in PSU’s Integrated Cluster model of education. This project-based course is required of all students entering the University with fewer than 24 credits and is designed to be an introduction to the kind of work students will engage in during their time at PSU. The course provides opportunities for you to understand and begin to develop the Habits of Mind that PSU faculty, staff, and alumni feel are most important to your success both during and after college.

Copyright & Licensing

OERs are “free.” This means that you do not have to pay for the information contained in the OER (although you may have to pay for printing costs if you want a physical copy of the book). “Free” means much more than that, however. You are free to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the information contained in the text. What do each of these permissions mean? Here’s what David Wiley says about these permissions:

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
(This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at http://opencontent.org/definition/.)

Except where otherwise indicated, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. This means you are free to share and adapt the information in this book as long as you give appropriate credit to the author(s) of the particular material you use. You also must provide a link to the license and indicate whether you made any changes to the material. Exceptions to this license include:

  • embedded videos in Our Mental Shortcuts, Identifying a Topic, and SIFTing Information
  • image from Oatmeal Comic, George Washington’s Teeth in Our Mental Shortcuts
  • SIFT image in SIFTing Information
  • subsections, Special Interest Groups and Fact Checking, in Types of Information (licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)


Cover image credit: PSU Spring taken by Cathie LeBlanc

Like all works, this one was not done in isolation.  Thank you to all creators who enrich the commons by sharing their works under open licenses, particularly the following creators whose work has been integrated into these chapters:

Thank you to the TWP/INCAP cohort of the 3rd Cluster Pedagogy Learning Community and my Plymouth State librarian colleagues for your thoughtful feedback and editing.


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Tackling Wicked Problems by Members of the TWP Community is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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