Archive for the ‘knowledge’ Category

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thesis: Learning and knowledge building practices for teachers’ professional development in an extended professional community

July 7, 2013

Kairit Tammets, my first doctoral student will defend her thesis at 21st of August.

Now her dissertation is available from here http://e-ait.tlulib.ee/330/1/tammets_kairit.pdf

Tammets, Kairit (2013) Learning and knowledge building practices for teachers’ professional development in an extended professional community.

The purpose of her PhD research project is to investigate the process of the learning and knowledge building (LKB) in the extended professional community that is supported with the socio-technical system.
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Obstacles in implementing SECI model in organizations

January 14, 2010

The SECI model in extended organizations

Socialisation of tacit knowledge happens when individuals are prompted to accumulate knowledge through physical proximity and interaction with colleagues from different organisations in the apprenticeship manner. Individuals usually talk and share information during work processes without pre-defined shared goals, but they follow their own personal agendas. The main aims of socialisation phase are participating in social networks across various borders, talking about, sharing, shaping and taking ownership of institutional norms and visions. In this mode the organisational objectives, norms and standards should be accessible for individuals from different organizations and shareable between them in electronic format to understand the work situations and task contexts. In organizations with different cultures various official restrictions and individual preferences of sharing knowledge might hinder this cross-border networking. The biggest problem might be the missing culture of building and using personal networks and participating in cross-border communities.

Externalisation of tacit knowledge into explicit should happen when individuals are prompted to create and articulate tacit concepts through abductive thinking, the use of metaphors for concept creation, the use of models, diagrams or prototypes. For example, they could write down their plans and reflect about the activities, but they need to consider the organisational norms and expectations as guidelines in their reflections. This would make the documented individual tacit knowledge explicit, searchable for other people and usable as knowledge objects. Two simultaneous aims are important in the externalisation process: a) workers at industry and university staff need to individually reflect why, how and what they do in their professional practice, and simultaneously harmonise that knowledge with organisational visions, norms, and expected competences (e.g. accepted professional competence scales, accepted theories, etc.); b) They must be provided with the access to documents from different organisational repositories that convey information about such visions, norms and organisational expectations, and in the documentation process some commonly created ontology and mutually meaningful workflow scheme should be used to write down their experience. In the extended organisations, it would mean that individuals should plan their professional competence development (in internalization phase) considering simultaneously norms and objectives from two organisations, using ontologies that are usable across organisational borders etc. This would also mean the cross-border access to the organisational normative documents and knowledge objects created by individuals. However, it is problematic how to motivate people planning their professional development in work situations, harmonising their plans with different organisations’ expectations, externalising their tacit knowledge regularly, and sharing it publicly or semi-publicly with colleagues and supreme members of organisations.

Combination activities of explicit knowledge are primarily group-based and can be supported by organising collaborative group discussions in extended organisation, presentations and meetings, where individuals with different perspectives can ground and negotiate upon the externalised concepts and knowledge objects. The aim of the combination phase is to keep the organisational knowledge, rules and objectives updated with the real work processes and develop new norms and visions for organizations. In the combination phase of extended organisations simultaneously the individual-organisation and organisation-organisation exchange should take place. This would increase the cross-border translation possibilities and enhance the uptake of knowledge into new situations. In this mode individuals may look for collaborators and form various communities or groups that have shared goals. They should discuss about externalised knowledge objects, modify them and finalise as new knowledge object, which could in the future guide organisation’s shared practice. The problems here stand in the formation of cross-unit and cross-organisation communities, forming novel community practices in which the shared identity is formed across organisational borders.

Internalisation phase is mainly an individual planning and learning process. Two aspects are important in internalisation: a) It contains planning and externally reflecting what competencies and goals thay want to achieve, and simultaneously harmonising their plans with organisational visions, norms and expected competencies (e.g nationally accepted professional competence scales, accepted learning theories, etc.); b) planning the professional development suggest learning from other professionals’ experiences and combining it with academic knowledge it with academic knowledge. In the internalisation phase the resources created in the externalisation phase could be accessed and used for planning personal learning flows. The plans created in this phase will be realised in professional practice, discussed in the socialisation phase and the achievements would be reflected in the externalisation phase. Such interpretation of internalisation phase differs from the original SECI model, described by Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995). However, the personal planning as part of self-directed learning (Knowles, 1975) would be more effective if such plans were recorded and constantly used as scaffolds during the professional practice. The challenge in this phase is related with the application of such learning pattern schemas and search ontologies that are acknowledged in both organisations and would enable to find and learn from from others’ professional competence with least obtrusive way. The privacy of documented personal professional knowledge, of the failures and successes in the learning process, must be adobe, while enabling the reuse of the professional knowledge.

Obstacles in temporarily extended professional communities to use SECI model

There is one interesting aspect, the model is usable both for “organizations” and “communities”, however in the latter case, the border of the community is not so clearly defined. Interesting ideas are for example in Lotman’s Culture and explosion.

INTRAPERSONAL BARRIERS

Professionally aimless: No wish and ability to plan appropriate paths of competence development and no habit of self-direction of professional development
.

Inexpressive: Not documenting professional development in self-reflective manner
(e.g. not documenting the success and failure of lesson plans, use of learning objects)

Consumerism: Habit of being provided with learning objects and teaching methodologies and not actively searching for knowledge and developing themselves learning objects and learning paths

PERSON-CULTURE BARRIERS

Digitally walled: No habit of organizing automatic access to digital learning objects in community-sharable manner.

Private ownership: Missing habit of sharing knowledge with different colleagues in the fear of professional competition

Self-autonomy: Missing habit of sharing knowledge with different colleagues because of willingness to be autonomous as a teacher and pride into the uniqueness of personal competences.

Non-systematized knowledge: No habit of annotating knowledge for personal and community purposes.

Unawareness of the community: No habit of social retrieval and community browsing for professional purposes.

Not belonging: Not perceiving their role in the organization(s) (school, teachers’ community, learning sciences community) and in changing the organizational knowledge

Not aligning: Not considering official norms (competence standards), organizational ideals and expectations in planning personal professional development

INTERPERSONAL BARRIERS

Individualism: Not knowing how to find, and not wanting to find people with certain competences to socialize knowledge and work together 
in a professional community

Professional individualism: No habit of collaborating for shared goals with networking partners, with partners from different communities (such as supervison in teacher training context).

Overconfident: No habit of valuing others’ professional experiences, learning from others, trusting of others’ experiences in personal competence development.

Unconfident: Not valuing own personal professional experiences as the learning resources for others.

Feeling insecure: Fear to demonstrate one’s lack of competences to the colleagues and supreme people in organization.

Non-cooperative: no awareness of colleagues professional development, willingness to scaffold their advancements (such as commenting, sharing ideas and resources).

Group-related aspects in collaboration:
….. to be added

CROSS-CULTURAL BARRIERS


Closure: Missing networking culture and habit of building personal networks to socialize knowledge and work together across organizational borders
(teachers’ community such as teaching domain communities and community of learning sciences such as didactical centers, teacher-training units).

Narrow identity: Difficulty in perceiving simultaneously alignment to two communities, and no sense of the shared community identity across organizational borders (for example pre-service students do not feel as part of teachers’ community, teachers do not feel as part of learning sciences community of the university specialists).


Constrained alignment: Not considering contributing simultaneously to two communities (teachers’ community such as teaching domain communities and community of learning sciences such as didactical centers, teacher-training units).


The technological solutions to overcome barriers of SECI implementations in extended organization
s

INTRAPERSONAL SOLUTIONS

Firstly, SECI knowledge management model is based on the idea of increasing individuals’ intrinsic motivation to actively learn in work context by enabling them in self-directed way to carry out their own personal learning goals within the organizational environment. Externalizing individual knowledge as digital KOs is personally meaningful because it enables to utilize and reuse own previous work experiences in new situations, and enables to monitor personal development. The motivation to create and share KOs would be increased if the amount of energy contributed on making, annotating, seeking and reusing KOs was reduced using technological support systems and services. Content/Knowledge provision services would enable to store and search for KOs. The Ontology framework would provide base for annotating KOs with metadata. In the organizational viewpoint, if published work experiences of colleagues could be accessed and searched while planning personal learning, the learner could be scaffolded indirectly by their experiences, and might be more efficient in personal learning. The motivation might rise if each individual recognized how he is contributing to the common good and gaining from the organizational knowledge. For example, the technologically supported guidance mechanisms for social retrieval such as community browsing and semantic navigation might enhance motivation. However, it is important that the services that provide content would enable individuals themselves to decide the access rights to their KOs. Tools that support planning and reflecting about work experiences, such as Learning Path creator, and User monitoring service would help to keep track of personal learning process and receive individualized suggestions. For example, user would need to sort personal or community KOs according to task relevance, personally suitable networking/collaboration partners. The users should be able to create narratives by combining various types of KOs (eg. assignments with the evidences of available human and used/developed KOs, evaluations and certificates).

INDIVIDUAL-CULTURE SOLUTIONS

Secondly, the organizational knowledge base, ideals, norms and objectives should serve as the mould for individual KO creation. The organizational policy tool should indicate organizational expectations and objectives depending of in which role is individual in an extended organization. One option to consider is instead of direct assignments, to give people freedom to choose from the organizationally expected assignments those that are personally relevant (e.g. assignment tickets). In organizations, people may be motivated to reuse more the KOs that they trust such as the KO’s suggested by organization with the Organizational Policy tool (certain learning paths, norms, official objectives, strategies, practices etc.). On the other hand, people may be motivated to reuse the KOs suggested by (recognized) organization members such as experts (e.g. documents validated and acknowledged as appropriate and useful by the community members). Using the personalized search based on User monitoring service data KOs might be automatically pulled or searched from the repositories. The possibility of annotating KOs with the organizationally accepted metadata using ontology frameworks such as Competence ontology, Activity ontology or Domain ontology enables to bring dual access points of searching these KOs across organizations independent of using organization-specific ontologies and mapping similar ontologies in temporarily connected extended organizations. The simultaneous possibility of user-determined annotation with tags enables the evolution of community-favored tagclouds, that could be in certain moments integrated to the official community ontologies. The last aspect might increase the feeling of reciprocity between individual and organization.

INTERPERSONAL SOLUTIONS

Thirdly, the individual networking with various organization members in an extended organization, and goal directed group collaboration with them for both organizations’ purpose serves as the intrinsic motivational trigger in IntelLEO knowledge management model. Gaining from the learning partners in both organizations’ parts, and being involved in contributing to the organizations’ knowledge change is considered intrinsically motivating. These activities could be aided with the User monitoring and collaboration traceability service in one hand, that keeps track of learner’s preferences, and the Human resource discovery service on the other hand that gives suggestions about available learning partners to network individually or to combine knowledge based on various criteria. For example, in brainstorming situations where creativity arises from translation across various domain borders the Human resource discovery service can provide access to people with different expertise necessary for mutual fertilization and synergy. In learning situations it might connect novices with those who can provide expert knowledge, allowing the emergence of scaffolding situations where the more experienced colleague can suggest certain objectives and activities to arrive the best solutions. In task situations the likeminded people in two organizations could be connected, that might increase effective teamwork. In order to constrain the search options and depending of the administratively planned role of individuals in organizations depending on their competences, an Organizational policy tool may suggest access to certain people within organizations. Trusting colleagues as experts may be higher if each networking relation or collaboration event was validated afterwards. The personal recognition in organization and visibility as an expert in certain area might provide intrinsic motivation, creating positive reputation, however the negative rating may also disencourage people to actively socialize and collaborate with other people in organizations. One important aspect in organizations may be the temporal nature of is experts’ availability to networking and collaboration events. The Human resource discovery should enable to indicate the periods of availability in relation to certain roles (e.g. as expert in scaffolding situations, as brainstorming partner). It is important to consider that enjoyment to help others in organization is dependent of time-constraints and task-relevance.

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Intelligent Learning Extended Organization (IntelLEO) project progress

June 4, 2009

The 7th Framework project Intelligent Learning Extended Organization (IntelLEO) was launched in february 2009. Since then we have been working with the first deliverables.

It is now clear that the team has a lot of Web 2.0 inclined people and the solutions will come from social software developments.

I was responsible of coordinating the State of Art deliverable.
The first overview was composed by: Kai Pata, Mart Laanpere, Jelena Jovanovic, Vladan Devedzic, Emmanuel Jamin, Dragan Gasevic, Marek Hatala, Savas Ziplies, Ana Teresa Correia, Dragan Stokic and Melody Siadaty

It gives overview of the following topics:

INTELLEO FRAMEWORK

PEDAGOGICAL APPROACHES FOR INTELLEO
Effective Learning and Knowledge Building is boundary crossing
Knowledge conversion in cross-institutional models

knowledgeconversion

METHODS AND SERVICES RELATED TO COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND KM IN
INTELLEO
Collaboration patterns and models
Interaction Monitoring and Provisioning
Information Security and Privacy issues

METHODS AND SERVICES RELATED TO INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL
LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN INTELLEO
Tools for Individual Knowledge and Learning Management
Tools for Social Networking in Learning-Knowledge Construction
Tools for Collaborative Combination of Explicit Knowledge
Learning Path Creator
Organizational policy tools

SEMANTICS AND CONTEXT MANAGEMENT FOR TEL
Ontology-based approaches to context modelling
Context-aware systems
Context and Privacy Issues

LINK BETWEEN LEARNING AND KM SYSTEMS
The Latest Trends in KM: Social Computing and Beyond
Semantic Annotation of Knowledge Objects
Projects, systems, tools

ICT ARCHITECTURAL AND INTEGRATION ASPECTS
Service Oriented Architecture
Web-Services
Semantic Web Services
Orchestration / Negotiation
Software Development and Integration
Interoperability and Learning Object Repository Management
SWS Design Methodology

We also developed the concept map that visualizes realationships in our IntelLEO knowledge-related glossary.
intelLEO conceptmap

Now we are working on three business cases that will be the test-ground for empirical research.
Our case in Estonia is the “University teacher training Unit – School as a workplace for teachers” cross-border knowledge conversion. Basic idea is to provide the knowledge building and learning support for professional transfer from one community to another in three cases:
- During teacher training (when students are involved in teaching at schools and couched simultaneously by university staff and professional teachers),
- During implementation year at school as a professional teacher (when students must report back to the university about their progress), and
- During the life-long learning as a professional teacher (when knowledge must move between two communities)

We will use the combination of Elgg advancements in teacher portal Koolielu (the draft version) and LeMill collaborative learning object creation repository as the basic distributed software platform where the competence-management and learning-path creator will be added.

IntelLEO will develop services for supporting harmonization of individual and organizational objectives in cases when individuals are guided by two sets of visions and norms coming from different communities. Secondly it promotes collaborative learning in the groups that involve different members from two organizational cultures.
I think the main goal of IntelLEO is to support the responsiveness of organizations to challenges through advancing cross-institutional knowledge conversion. This responsiveness at individual and cross-organizational level is achieved by motivation to learn in workplaces across community borders. The progress in competences may occur when people are supported in developing self-reflecting habits at workplaces, sharing and combining knowledge and reusing this knowledge while binding temporarily the two sets of knowledge in different communities.

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Roots of ecological psychology I

March 10, 2009

Yesterday we started to revise some concepts of ecology to be useful in our learning context. So i had to come back an look at some theory books.

Harry Heft writes in Ecological Psychology in Context

Heft (2001): There is a dynamic realm of thoroughly natural, co-evolved entities functioning in a web of environmental interdependencies. The structural and functional properties of natural entities, and the interdependencies they share, reflect their ongoing mutual history. This view underlines an ecological perspective.

The founder of ecological psychology is William James (1842-1910). He was among the first generation of psychologists to introduce evolutionary perspective into psychological theorizing. His philosophy of radical empirism can be employed as a philosophical foundation to ecological psychology.

James identified pure experience as the ground of all knowing. Pure experience embedded as it is in a person-environment relation is poised to be dynamically differentiated. The defining characteristic of knowing is selectivity.

Immediate experience consists of things and relations. Knowing is an activity that traces out lines of potential structure in immediate experience, structure is not imposed on experience.

The knower appears from the outset in relation to the thing known. The knower and object known each become realized as different constellations of relations themselves coexisting ultimatively in a ground of pure experience.

Experience is unitary, but at the same time, it can simultaneously be part of two constellations of relations, that is, a part of two distinguishable contexts. The object known and the knower are each embedded in contexts of relations that have their own distinguishable structures.

Selection of structure in experience involves following a set of relations in experience. Relations in experience are “transitional experiences which the world supplies” (James, 1912/1976, p. 14). The lines of structure selected out by the knowing function are not imposed on the thing known, but are identified and discovered in it.

Three basic claims characterize James’s philosophy:
- only those things that can be identified or discovered in experience are to be included in one’s philosophical system.
- the relations between things, conjuctive, as well as disjunctive, are just as much matters of direct particular experience.
- the world itself possesses an inherent discoverable structure.

In radical empirism, knowing refers to a functional relation in experience between the knower and an object known.

Perceiving is ongoing, continuous, unbroken and multimodal. The continuity of perceptual flux is punctuated by boundaries that gradually flow one into the next. “Boundaries” is misleading, suggesting an edge that is rigid and impermeable. Better put, there are transitions in perceptual experience, which are overflowed by what they separate and whose parts compenetrate and diffuse into its neighbours.

Perceiving is a direct, unmediated, selective discovery of structure in immediate experience.
Perceiving is an action that entails selection of a flow of immediate experience out of the potential ground that is pure experience.

Thinking or conceiving entails selecting and fixing particular parts of this perceptual flow. Through this process, concepts are carved out of immediate perceptual experience at a remove from action and are abstracted from it. The system of concepts is selected out of the perceptual flow. “Concepts extracted from the perceptual flow, ” verbally fixed and coupled together (let us) know what is in the wind for us and get ready to react in time (james, 1912/1976, p. 47).

Forming concepts and beliefs is something complex biological creatures do in order to be better in touch with the flow of experience, rather than uncovering fixed and transcendent universal truths. It is a natural process of complex animals attempting to function adapatively in relation to changing environment-person relations.

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Launching IntelLEO an Extended Intelligent Learning Organization

February 18, 2009

Next three years of my work will be partly related with European IST 7th Framework Project IntelLEO. IntelLEO is an acronym for extended intelligent learning organization model – a hybrid knowledge-management model between two institutions.
I will be responsible of the Pedagogical tasks of IntelLEO.

In IntelLEO three business cases will be tested:
- Collaborative learning and knowledge-building strategy within large industrial enterprise (Volkswagen – Strak – the Computer Aided Styling of automobiles) and university
- Harmonising organisational objectives with learning and knowledge-buiding activities between business network (INI d.o.o.), university and customers
- Harmonisation of individual & organisational objectives within in-service teachers and university

In one of the conference talks i have already presented the model:

The objective of the project is to explore how the responsiveness of the learning and knowledge-building environments in an IntelLEO can be radically enhanced by advanced technology, exploiting, in an innovative way, a synergy between:

(a) services for efficient management of collaborative learning and knowledge-building activities and access to and supply of shared content, and

(b) services for harmonisation of individual and organisational objectives.

Three hypotheses of the research are:

The responsiveness of an IntelLEO is corporate performance in which individuals are motivated to proactively learn and construct knowledge.

This responsiveness can be increased:

- if individuals are technologically supported to participate in collaborative learning and knowledge-building activities across vertical and horizontal boundaries of the IntelLEO, and

- if their personal objectives of learning and creativity are dynamically harmonized with the organisational learning and knowledge-building objectives of different IntelLEO counterparts.

2. The effectiveness of the technological support that will be developed in the project to increase the responsiveness of an IntelLEO is achieved by the synergy of the two kinds of services mentioned above ((a) and (b)).

3. Learning and harmonisation of individual and organisational objectives happen at different temporal collaborative knowledge-building and learning groups of an IntelLEO.

Partners in IntelLEO project:

Institut fuer angewandte Systemtechnik Bremen GmbH
Volkswagen AG, Strak
Tallinn University, Centre of Educational Technology
Estonian Teachers’ Association
Zentrum fuer Soziale Innovation, Austria
ATOS Origin
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Organisational Sciences
INI d.o.o.
Athabasca University – School of Computing and Information SystemsAU CA

The launch of the project takes place in Bremen this week.

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