The Art of Knowledge
Cutting Edge Technology Part 1
Since starting work in the LMS field I have found that my perspective on the industry has changed immensely. Most of the solutions that I see are a good start, and have a strong foundation in being prepared for the future of Elearning, such as; they adapt to new standards, they leave the software relatively open, and they make themselves viable to multiple infrastructure. What I don't see are revolutionary ideas that center around changing the way people learn.
Your standard learning system has 4 parts. The first part is you administrator which allows for the grouping of skills, the processing of reports, the assignment of classes etc...
Your second part is the learner which allows the user to track progress, and sign up for new skills, classes etc...
The third part is your data repository which houses the skills accumulated.
The fourth part is the content which can come from various places and be extremely propietary or flexible. You big players are SCORM and AICC.
So what cutting edge? Well let's see -
Well after my search online (a rather crude way to start but you have to dip your toe in the pool before jumping in) I have discovered that people keep chasing the medium and not the logic. They would rather make learning more viable on flash, or audio, or streaming feeds rather than changing the way people actually learn.
I have liked what I have seen with skills and then applying them to jobs but that's just a start. It's the acquisition of the skills based on a path. It's the level at which these skills are obtained. It's changing the way people learn at a fundamental level. People sitting in classrooms learning .NET is not the way to change you company. Maybe, 1 to 3 out of those 10 people will actually improve and the rest will improve as they get thrusted into the fire. So what's the missing piece? Why do some learner in the environment and some don't? Where is the link between skills acquisition and skill development?
Link posted by JVMM : 12:02 PM
And Bret is Finally Coming out of the Timeout
Ok, it's been long enough. Things to accomlpish today and tomorrow on this Blog.
Task 1: Who are the major players in the following arenas?
Cutting Edge Technology
Private Educational (secondary, collegiate)
Project "Learn Bret Learn" starts today.
Link posted by JVMM : 1:13 PM
I have acquired so many skills over the past month that it is becomming more evident to me everyday what knowledge management is and consequently should be. It is rather strange to be working in the learning industry and doing your job and at the same time critiquing methodologies of both your company and your industry. I feel someting great coming to apex soon. I feel my original idea really starting to grow roots.
Link posted by JVMM : 1:35 PM
First Search, First Page - Elearning - A New Role 2003
I threw in "New in Elearning" in google and got this page. Ironically enough it is a little dated. It has some decent things to say about the importance of human interaction with any learning system.
Think to yourself about what aspect of the human interaction causes a system to be stronger and what about them causes a system to be weaker.
There are many others but those just came off the top of my head. I don't think the teacher should be taken out of the picture, and I'm not a huge proponent as of yet to the "guide" theory. I believe human interaction is vital to educate other humans. The key is that the metrics have to match up so that skills and processes can be assessed on the same playing field.
Here are some interesting excerpts from the article.
- Learning is social. People learn from one another. The Internet turbocharged learning because it brings people together.
- Interaction among students, between facilitator and learners, and between the learners and the learning materials, (including the larger community on the WWW) as managed by the instructor makes or breaks the class.
- Use Interaction to Motivate, Engage, and Involve Learners Facilitating Web-based training is like being the host of a very lively talk show. It is your job to keep your viewers motivated, engaged and involved....Engage Learners Engage learners by asking them to participate verbally and intellectually. As a facilitator, the easiest way to engage students is to ask direct questions frequently. Ask learners to comment on a presentation, share their observations, or answer a direct question. Turn the tables by encouraging students to initiate questions to the instructor, as well as to other learners.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:24 PM
I took a little break but am back. The hiatus served me well and I now found myself working in the industry that I love most. Where I work can't really be divulged but it's a great place and I have been tracking it for years. Anyway...this blog gets a ton of hits off of google for all kinds of elearning stuff...mostly things spelled wrong. But I plan on focusing a lot more on the fundamentals to begin with and then branching back out into theory once my feet are securely able to carry me through the world of semantics awaiting. Here we go...!
- Test to see if this works
Link posted by JVMM : 5:06 PM
Emotion and Learning
Gord just posted something on emotion and learning. He references an article that outlines basic faults in most educaitonal deliveries.
- "E-learning that simply throws cold, hard facts at the learner's feet is fighting an uphill battle. We are biologically primed to identify with stories, not facts
I used to buy into the whole story telling theory about learning. I do believe it's one of the best ways people learn. The problem is, and it's a rather large one, most training doesn't have time to cottle, it doesn't have time to maybe know that a learner got the information. That's besides the point.
The reason I didn't like the idea initially, was that it doesn't address the real issue that I have been struggling with. All people learn differently. Simply trying to find the least abrassive medium in which to pass on knowledge is not the answer. Having everybody drive the safest car doesn't mean everyone will drive safe. Ok, that's not a real good analogy but you get my drift. People learn differently. By trying to apply guidelines and rigor to curriculum, whether it be a CBT or a long story that draws from all aspects of the task, you are setting yourself up for a fall. Accountants learn differently than IT people. An adult wanting to accomplish a task due at CoB needs faster more poignant, exact infromation, then a teenager being educated about the wonders of the Industrial Revolution.
Systems need to be biological and cusotmizable to a user's needs. The needs in which the knowledge or education needs to be absorbed has to be defined before the learning can start. Trying to win points with learners by taking the path of least resistance may work in the short term, but I can almost see the complacent calls of falling ROI after the time elapsed to write a line of code or balance a spread sheet has taken 2 days.
Link posted by JVMM : 6:02 PM
Business Objectsi s a company that sells Enterprise solutions to the market. They have this really cool thing called dashboards. A dashboard manager is basically a:
- Dashboard Manager enables you to deploy dashboards and scorecards that highlight business metrics that are critical to organizational strategy. This visibility helps users focus their efforts on initiatives that have the biggest impact on corporate strategy. This alignment to strategy improves organizational performance through better decision making. And Dashboard Manager is agile enough to let you quickly evolve your dashboard as business strategy changes.
Ok so what's a dashboard?
From what I gather, and no they don't have a straight forward definition, (I guess that would be like Microsoft saying, "This is a window.") it measures productivity and provides a corporate wide face to all tasks. It allows for the common voice on high to send down the message through the infrastructure via technology.
What suprises me is that they don't consider IT one of their core competency components when it comes to revolutionizing business. Last time I looked, and it was yesterday, most companies revolve around IT. IT funds initiatives via streamlined efforts made to streamline processes. It always amazes me a little when people think of IT as this autonomous component that knows what they are doing at all times. Honestly, IT may be the most screwed up part of any company. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is volatility and exponential change. IT has to deal with rapid movement and become synonymous with change, if that's not the breading ground for metrics and tracking ROI, I don't know what is.
What they basically do, from what I gather, is that they take information or business processes and they transfer them into objects. I.e. they take what you did today and make that available to you tomorrow. The medium in which it is available can now change and become adaptable to user preference or atmosphere. Let's say you get a task via your dashboard and then accomplish your task. While you are doing work the app tracks your resources and categorizes them for future reference. Your end result, whether it be a balance sheet, email, or report is then transferred into an objects database and meta tagged (maybe) with XML to make it viable for other relative tasks. It also creates a huge knowledge base. Anyway, it's kinda cool what they are doing...and apparently they have been around for a while.
Link posted by JVMM : 5:45 PM
I have no idea how this happened but I got the #1 slot (well today anyway) for "Knowledge Blog". There has been a lot of search results popping this thing up. Cheers. I feel guilty now about not writing in here for the past week. I'll get poppin back tomorrow. I've just been programming like a nutso. C++ and me...well...we are fighting and his big brother C# keeps showing up to laugh at me...
Link posted by JVMM : 3:41 AM
Technological Issues Towards Knowledge-powered Organizations
By: George A. Vouros
Right away the name of the paper grabs me. But as I delved into it it just seemed to be a lot more of the same old terminology thrown around. A lot of theories about theories that sound like they are being copied right out of someone else's book. The ideas of technology and education, or KM, obviously go hand and hand. Are there uphill battles that need to be addressed? Absolutely. Is looking towards the past and quoting what you have been reading for the past year going to get us there? No. There's no exam besides results after all the research has been done.
- Towards this aim, people must work at the "knowledge level": get the right information at the right time and at the right form to perform a task in real time, get connected with colleagues that may provide solutions or hints towards solving problems, form groups of people with different areas of expertise and/or different competencies to achieve a shared goal, be equipped with the necessary applications and data to fulfill their tasks and form decisions in real time. More than that, people should be able to provide feedback and share their knowledge, which must be actively and constantly captured, stored, and organized in the background, so as to be exploited in tasks performance and be disseminated to interested colleagues.
- O'Leary (1998) and others point that the knowledge that an organization stores in its repository may be categorized to be knowledge about proposals that the organization made in the past (proposal knowledge repository), knowledge concerning news about organizations' specific topics (news knowledge repository), knowledge about the best way of doing things within the organization (best practices knowledge repository), and knowledge about peoples competencies within the organization (experts knowledge repository).
- These may be bases exploited by expert systems, formal representations of argumentation structures that record group decision processes, formal representations of business processes, or database schemas. Ontologies (Gruber, 1994; Guarino, 1996) are expected to play an important role here and work towards this aim has already been done: representation ontologies make explicit the commitments for structuring knowledge bases, and therefore a semantics-preservation mapping between different knowledge-base constructs is needed for integration (which in most of the cases is not obvious). Domain ontologies make explicit the conceptualization of a specific domain and can be used for mapping domain concepts from one knowledge base to the other. This is also not trivial, given that different ontologies may provide different conceptualizations of a domain at different levels of granularity, with different organizing principles and different implementation languages
- The focus is on what we think are the key technologies for implementing an organizational memory: collaborative applications with transparent and collaborative interfaces; information integration and ontologies; knowledge representation of business processes and ontologies; and knowledge acquisition, data mining and discovery…. The challenge is great. Not only for designing and developing the key technologies, but also for devising the interplay between the technologies and for supporting the collaboration between the applications themselves, in the context of an active organizational memory system. A paradigm for such interplay of technologies and systems' collaboration is the development of collaborative tools for ontology construction. Such tools involve a number of agents that collaborate among themselves towards the construction of a commonly agreed ontology.
Large repositories of information are great, having a system that involves the user making changes is great (though time consuming and destined to fail due to actual user interaction), the idea of ontologies that overlap and break down the barriers of classification and personalization of information is great. However, nobody has shown me anything on this. No system, other than the roots of autonomous and grid computing have shown me a glimpse of anything more than a marketing strategy in programming/EA clothes.
These appear to be the guidelines slated for the achievement
- the development of frameworks and programming methodologies for the development of collaborative agents;
- the development of ontologies in conjunction with linguistic resources, which will provide the conceptual system and vocabulary for information retrieval and information presentation in multilingual settings;
- the development of standards for integrating heterogeneous information sources and for sharing information between them;
- the synthesis and presentation of information, so it can be delivered and be utilized by different device types; and
- the development of powerful data mining and knowledge discovery tools for dynamically acquiring users' preferences and interests with the minimum user feedback.
Towards the end of the article it did a pretty good job in trying to identify ways in which systems should be drawn to attain, retain, categorize, and make efficient information. It did a nice job of laying a foundation. Oddly enough this is the 50th foundation paper I have read on the topic.
Link posted by JVMM : 3:17 PM
The next post here will be on Thursday. Thanks!
Link posted by JVMM : 11:19 PM