Knowledge Management and E-Learning
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Лабораторія СЕТ | Дослідження, статті, розробки | Статті інших авторів | Knowledge Management and E-Learning
Дослідження, статті, розробки | Статті інших авторів по тематиці: дистанційне навчання, штучний інтелект в освіті, E-Learning
Knowledge Management and E-Learning. Paul Stacey
E-Learning: Oct. 28th 2000
Leaders of organizations are beginning to realize that their ability to compete and be successful depends on the knowledge of their people, their ability to create that knowledge, share it, leverage it and apply it more innovatively and faster than their competitors.
(This quote was excerpted from a RealPlayer video clip of Verna Allee speaking on Knowledge Management. The video clip and other great resources can be found at click2learn's e-Learning Insights site at the bottom of the following page: http://home.click2learn.com/broadcast/resources.html)
Some organizations, especially consulting firms, have been pursuing knowledge management strategies for several years. Within the enterprise, knowledge management is unfolding on a separate but parallel track to e-learning.
What is knowledge management? How do knowledge management and e-learning intersect? Lets take a look.
Why Knowledge Management?
The rationale for knowledge management is compelling.
Information technology has enabled organizations to re-engineer the way they operate. New infrastructures allow organizations to take advantage of the transactional and communication capabilities information technology provides.
As these new capabilities are tapped the need for knowledge management has emerged in a number of ways:
What is Knowledge?
Knowledge is commonly distinguished from data and information. Data represents facts often in the form of measurements. Information places data within a meaningful context.
Knowledge is an understanding of information acquired by study, investigation, observation, or experience. A tactical definition of knowledge is the ability to turn information and data into effective action. In this sense "managing knowledge" means delivering the understanding of information and data people need to be effective in their jobs. Knowledge can be viewed both as a thing to shared and as an applied process. As a practical matter organizations need to manage knowledge both as an object and as a process.
It helps to think of the relationship between data, information, and knowledge as a pyramid where data forms the foundation, information forms the middle section, and knowledge resides at the top. In terms of volume, data takes up the most space, information takes up a little less, and knowledge forms the small portion at the top.
Extracting knowledge involves interpreting volumes of data and information to arrive at concepts and guidelines that can be documented, packaged and delivered to employees, partners, customers, and suppliers who need them.
Knowledge can be tacit or explicit.
Tacit knowledge is subconsciously understood and applied, difficult to articulate, developed from direct experience and action, and usually shared through highly interactive conversation, storytelling and shared experience.
Explicit knowledge is consciously understood and can be more precisely and formally articulated. Explicit knowledge is readily codified, documented, transferred and shared.
Explicit knowledge can be of several types:
Knowledge management is particularly challenged in attempting to explicate, share, and leverage tacit knowledge. Knowledge that has not been articulated represents a lost opportunity to share and leverage that knowledge. If competitors have articulated and shared similar knowledge throughout their organization, they may obtain competitive advantage.
Implementing Knowledge Management
Implementations of knowledge management focus on four main aspects:
Knowledge management is far easier to understand than to implement. The biggest challenge is not the strategy or technology but the cultural change.
Knowledge Management Providers
If you want to explore and learn more about knowledge management check out Knowledge Management World at http://www.kmworld.com
If you want to explore a real knowledge management marketplace go to my personal favourite, Vancouver's very own Knexa http://www.knexa.com. Knexa is the world's first dynamically priced eMarketplace for digital knowledge. You can buy and sell knowledge directly at Knexa and even become a Knowledge Agent!
Companies providing knowledge management technologies include:
Tacit - http://www.tacit.com. Tacit's Knowledge Mail transforms your enterprise e-mail system into a fully automated knowledge discovery and exchange centre.
Autonomy - http://www.autonomy.com. Autonomy's technology solutions automatically read, categorize, hyperlink and personalize internal and external information including documents, presentations, articles and web pages.
There are lots of others but this will get you started.
E-Learning and Knowledge Management
There are several commonalties between e-learning and knowledge management. Both deal with knowledge exchange and creating communities where knowledge is shared.
Recent developments in the e-learning space point to another point of intersection between e-learning and knowledge management - learning object repositories.
Learning objects are discrete chunks of reusable online learning resources. A learning objects or knowledge element as it is sometimes called can be an applet, animation, streaming audio/video or other form of online content. The benefit of a learning object rests in the principle of "develop once, use many" such that the same learning object can be linked and appropriately used in multiple places. When a change is made to a learning object all places linked to it are updated instantly.
Creating central repositories of reusable learning objects using object oriented design and metadata has been an aspiration for some time. Several providers are now doing just that and positioning the resulting capability as serving the needs of both e-learning and knowledge management.
Generation 21 http://www.gen21.com claims to have the only fully integrated solution to training and knowledge management. Generation 21's Total Knowledge Management (TKM) system uses Dynamic Learning Object technology to integrate learning, knowledge management, and performance support. Using TKM you author knowledge or learning objects and store them in a relational database that's accessible enterprise-wide.
Peer3 http://www.peer3.com thinks of itself as a knowledge management software company focused on people, knowledge and learning. It recently won the "Extraordinary Products Award" at Online Learning 2000. Peer3 software incorporates knowledge management and e-learning technologies including the capability for content management, reusable objects, XML (extensible markup data format, and metadata tagging.
XML and metadata are emerging as key technologies for e-learning and will be explored in future columns.
Knowledge management and e-learning two sides of the same coin?
Paul Stacey is the Director of Corporate Education and Training at the Technical University of British Columbia, a long time education professional in the high tech private sector, and an e-learner.
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