Friday, March 25

Supporting the Transition: Novice to Expert

For a while, I've been wrestling with the problem of segueing elegantly from novice to expert in computer-mediated environments. Tony O’Driscoll, in an Educational Technology article, shoehorned in this diagram about how the role of formal and informal knowledge changes as you move up in expertise. We are comfortable using formal methods (training, blended, etc) to provide the basics, and we know that experts continually are negotiating new understandings at the very top. I’m looking for how we bridge the gap between the formal fixed and the informal ongoing discussion.


My current thinking is that from perhaps completely ‘off the shelf’ courses for the utter basics, we need to very quickly get people doing projects creating representations together, even for relatively fixed understanding, so that the skill of representing and discussing develops the skill sets that become the basis of informal knowledge negotiation at the top (in addition to the other reasons to support this approach). It may also help learners build useful social networks. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

3 comments:

Dub Dubs said...

This is really off topic, but the diagram you linked to got me thinking about knowledge management and how an organization cycles through knowledge employees. (for some reason I think about this quite often). It's true that we easily find solutions (LMS or whatever) for formal training. But when we want to pass on knowledge that more senior people, it's hard to do. Senior people want to have their niche to maintain their ongoing usefullness (job security) and often can't identify what they actually do so differently.

So having said all that, do you have any good ideas about knowledge management databases or systems? As a systems guy, I'd be interested in doing some research or hearing your opinions. Thanks!!!

BTW, visit me at http://hrtech.blogspot.com/. Take care!!

Clark Quinn said...

I don't have any immediate fondness for specific KM systems (though talk to Tom Reamy, if you don't already follow him). I kinda think a wiki (wish there was a good graphic wiki) might be the simple answer. A suite of blogs might be an adjunct or alternative.

Zope/Plone is another way to provide a self-developing portal.

Of course, there's the whole system Xerox built around their original CoP of copier technicians, but I think it worked better as an ad hoc homebrew than an off-the-shelf solution.

I'm more inclined, these days, to under-design (a phrase I first heard from David Wiley, I think), providing the minimal capability, and then add to it.

Off the top of my head...

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