Teaching to learn and learning to share : assessing a culture of sharing amongst information and knowledge management students in a virtual environment.
- Authors: Mearns, Martie , Jacobs, Lizelle
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Knowledge management , Knowledge sharing , Information sharing , Virtual environment
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6201 , ISBN 978-1-906638-46-7 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5281
- Description: Knowledge and information sharing has become synonymous with the concept of creating value and power for organisations. Knowledge is being recognised as a valuable asset and the promotion and dissemination of information and knowledge in its internal workings has the aim of creating learning organisations. The sharing of information and knowledge creates a community where participants can collaborate with each other in achieving their goals. In a knowledge management course in the Department of Information and Knowledge Management, at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa), students are introduced to these concepts as part of their training to pursue various careers as information and knowledge workers within organisations where these concepts have to be applied Using a philosophy of teaching by example, students are encouraged to share information and knowledge, making use of discussion boards in a virtual learning environment as part of a multiwmodal learning approach that includes facewtowface lectures as well as an online interactive environment. Discussion topics are provided in line with a case study that students are requested to analyse. Students' reflections on the learning that has taken place, based on the responses to the discussion topics, form part of the case study analysis which is assessed. The purpose of the research is to gain insight into the effectiveness of information and knowledge sharing in a virtual environment using discussion boards in terms of its impact to generate a learning culture. A mixed methods approach is applied to 210 registered students in a second year group and 123 registered students in a third year group by monitoring their discussions on allocated topics. Firstly, content analysis methodology is applied to assess the knowledge sharing that is taking place in the virtual environment. Secondly, a survey is conducted at the end of the discussion period to determine student experiences, perceptions and opinions on the knowledge sharing process and is used to adapt and develop the course design. Thirdly, students are required to reflect on the learning experiences as part of the submitted case stUdy analysis assignment. The discussion monitoring will investigate the following variables: (1) student participation rates, frequency and patterns; as well as (2) cognitive and meta-cognitive components of student messages. The survey and reflection will be used to assess the students' (3) perception of learning through sharing; (4) experiences of group dynamics and (5) their perceived individual performances based on the discussion groups. This research includes an investigation of using different group dynamics to compare the experiences of students being managed in a randomly selected group as opposed to students signing up to a group of their own choice. It is hypothesised that the findings from this research will provide important answers required to facilitate students with diverse skills and socio-economic backgrounds in their cognitive and metacognitive development for information and knowledge sharing when making use of online discussions boards.
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Challenges in knowledge sharing in higher education
- Authors: Buckley, Sheryl , Giannakopoulos, Paul
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Knowledge sharing , Higher education , Tacit kowledge , Explicit knowledge
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6217 , ISBN 978-906638-40-5 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5307
- Description: In a knowledge economy, knowledge, the way it is shared and created and the way these actions are managed could lead to either a competitive advantage and the organisation can flourish or be the demise of the organisation irrespective whether it is predominantly knowledge driven or manufacturing driven (Baumard, 1999; Malone, 2003; Nonaka, 1994). Since knowledge (tacit and explicit) resides in the minds of the people and some of it can be subsequently codified and become 'common to all knowledge', then managing people's knowledge becomes a challenge to the organisation (Geisler, 2008; Roberts, 1998; Walczak, 2005). The situation at a University is not very much different but creation of new knowledge is not a voluntary act, nor is transferring of knowledge which is one of its main tasks. However, when it comes to sharing of knowledge among the academics the degree of sharing may vary and it can be voluntary or imposed on if necessary; for example when a group of academics collaborate on a task. If it is true that voluntary sharing of knowledge (mostly tacit) can lead to a competitive advantage, here being the creation of a world class University then an investigation into the knowledge sharing is imperative. This study is an attempt to determine the degree of knowledge sharing in a formal (or informal) Community of Practice (CoP) at a university as well as identification of factors that promote or impede knowledge sharing among the academics.
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Do problem solving, critical thinking and creativity play a role in knowledge management? A theoretical mathematics perspective
- Authors: Giannakopoulos, Paul , Buckley, Sheryl
- Date: 2009
- Subjects: Knowledge management , Problem solving , Critical thinking , Creativity , Mathematics , Psychopragmatic approach
- Type: Article
- Identifier: uj:6218 , ISBN 978-1-906638-40-5 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5308
- Description: Litschka, Markom, Schunder (2006) state that "... a knowledge-based economy requires new approaches in management especially with employee oriented actions, because workability, well-being, and creativity of employees determine the success and sustainability of an organization." Such approaches have to be grounded on established learning theories for life long learning which are conducive to knowledge creation and knowledge acquisition. Situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1997), constructivism (Piaget, 1971; Vygotsky, 1978), behaviourism (Thorndike, 1915; Skinner, 1958) and cognitivism (Wertheimer, 1912; Kohlberg, 1972; Mezirow, 1962, all cited by Hergenhahn and Olson (1997: 29-48) have dominated education for more than eight decades. Though each theory has made valuable contributions, management of knowledge requires higher order thinking skills such critical thinking, problem solving and creativity on the part of the manager of the organisational knowledge and the part of the knowledge creator. The importance of these three skills, especially for the last two decades, have not only been accepted as important cognitive skills by educators and employers, but they also form part of the critical outcomes in American educational policies (American college personnel association, 1994 cited by King & Baxter-Magolda, 1996) as well as in South Africa (SAQA, 1998; the White Paper on Further Education and Training, 1998: 21-23). What is suggested here is a new approach to knowledge management, the psycho-pragmatic approach, which makes use of theories of learning of mathematics as problem solving, critical thinking and creativity form the essence of knowledge acquisition (Schoenfeld, 1987; Skemp, 1977). Mathematics has been recognised as a subject that enhances higher order skills because on the one hand requires abstract thinking on the other promotes use and application of knowledge (Pushkin 2007; Alonso, 1992; Forinash, 1992). This new approach makes use of psychological learning theories for generation of knowledge and pragmatism for application of such knowledge. It is of cyclic nature as well as of spiral nature based on the idea of Nonaka and Konno (1998) model of knowledge and of Bruner's (1976) spiral curriculum.
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