Posts Tagged ‘IntelLEO’


Learning and knowledge-building in extended organizations

May 20, 2012

The IntelLEO project is going to its end, and we are looking back at what we achieved.

In the project we assumed that to support organizational responsiveness, cross-organizational learning and knowledge-building should be supported. Our assumption was that learning and knowledge-building (LKB) activities across organizational borders as well as within organizations would create conditions for organizational responsiveness to appear.

We adopted the knowledge conversion model by Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995) into cross-organizational settings,

identified learning and knowledge-building enablers and inhibitors,

and developed technological services that support those learning and knowledge-building activities that support responsive organization to emerge:

  • the competence-based reflections in the format of the construction of learning paths and monitoring personal development in socially and organizationally embedded context (externalization and internalization activities) (see Siadty et al. 2011)
  • the competence-annotated sharing and searching of knowledge (externalization, internalization)
  • the competence-annotated searching for other learners or working partners and team-building (socialization and combination activities)
  • the construction, accumulation and provision of organizational knowledge to its employees using the semantic web technologies and ontology framework (externalization and internalization activities)

We assumed that extended organizations are connected with temporal learning and knowledge building activities, and we may conceptualize such an extended organization (an IntelLEO – intelligent learning extended organization) as a distributed cognitive system.

Socially distributed cognition, where cognitive processes are distributed across members of a social group by knowledge exchanges also contains mutual awareness, communicating and socially provided support as an external locus of control for cognition. The forms of socially distributed cognition are:

– monitoring peers’ activities for mutual awareness, social surveyillance (such as friend-feeds, wall, mashups)

– peer-scaffolding (commenting, rating, favouriting)


Distributed cognition involves coordination between internal and external (material and environmental) structures through causal coupling (an embodied cognition) that enables adapting one’s actions to fit to environmental conditions.

These also associate with the distributed intelligence and dispersed learning processes carried out in a loosely coupled way. Such distributed intelligence creates a distributed cognitive system that also contains a feedback loop to community/organizational culture – cognitive processes can be distributed through time in such a way that products of earlier events (of the same person, of other community/organization members or members from different community) can transform the nature of later events.

This may take different formats:

– creating and using personal knowledge aggregations

– using the external knowledge organization of peer’s (tags, annotations to the resources they have used)

– using bottom-up or top-down aggregated organizational knowledge (tagclouds, semantic search)

– creating and organizing personal reflections (blog posts)

– using externalized peer’s knowledge (blog posts)

– creating personal networks (mashing feeds to monitor)

– benefitting from community browsing (from shortcuts the personal networks create in the community).

Here are some results from the interviews with workplace learners about using the IntelLEO framework for learning and knowledge-building (LKB):

The temporal LKB activities that have been identified as the prerequisites of organizational responsiveness These acts create distributed cognition possibilities across EO in IntelLEO Examples of temporal LKB acts perceived by workplace learners

1. The presence of knowledge exchanges among employees

Cognitive processes are distributed across the members of a social group (a socially distributed cognition).

Better communication

Becoming open

Exchanging knowledge and experiences

Acknowledging that someone might read and learn from my reflections.

Sharing, asking and commenting to support the development of learning partners

Helping my colleagues to discover interesting online resources

Cross-organizational  collaboration on research projects

Starting and sharing new learning areas in the company

Sharing relevant information with a group

Shared goal or experience supports LKB

Sharing information complements each other’s knowledge and increases group synergy

2. The opportunity for employees within an organisation to use knowledge to adapt their actions to appropriately fit environmental conditions

Cognitive processes involve coordination between internal and external (material or environmental) structure through causal coupling (an embodied cognition)

The continuously changing and evolving job requirements impose the need for constant learning of new things

Autonomy  for deciding when and how to learn

Performing LKB primarily for oneself

Organising learner’s current/planned knowledge is increasing the willingness to get involved in LKB

Giving the big picture – what have you done, how have you done it and what else you should learn

Reflection makes to analyse development and think thoroughly about the activities

Showing the learning progress motivates others’ learning

Documenting one’s knowledge increases the others’ motivation to learn within the organization

Reading colleagues’ entries  help to realize that my contribution can also be useful for my colleagues

Seeking external solutions for internal challenges

Seeing what and how others have learnt  – that makes to think should I learn it as well, how could I learn it

Reusing the „lessons learned“ of my colleagues for planning learning

Peers’ contributions influence to see own things from different viewpoint

Providing the organisational goals on what to learn

Can take a look at the example-learning paths, created by organization

Benefiting and learning from the crowd-sourced knowledge and annotations gathered by the entire organization

Organizational goals may be harmonized with input from personal goals and work-practces

3. Distributed intelligence and dispersed learning processes carried out within loosely coupled different organisations

Processes are distributed through time in such a way that the products of earlier events can transform the nature of later events (feedback loop to organizational culture).

The sufficient mass of initial content in the system increases motivation to add

Looking back/finding at own entries and annotated resources

Identifying potential learning and/or research partners

Getting an insight into others’ interests and goals

Following resources or persons

Associating the discovered resources with the task

Letting others to know of new contributions

Seeing the activities in interesting topics and of colleagues

Better structuring and organizing of the collective knowledge

The collaborators can easily access task-relevant resources

Collaboration between organizations influences positively the development of individuals

It influences the growth of the organizational and individual knowledge


Terry Anderson and Rory McGreal in HTK

April 4, 2011

Terry Anderson and Rory McGreal from Athabasca University are visiting our Center for Educational Technology today, 4.April. We have a free discussion of open education ideas, comparing our open education approach with their teaching ideas.

One idea that we had vaguely discussed already a week before at IntelLEO project meeting with our Canadian partner Dragan Gasevic is organizing the joint elearning course for Learning analytics in Tallinn University since in our university the atmosphere is more liberate. We could use some of the IntelLEO project tools such as Learning Planner to collect/provide course data.

Terry Anderson is Professor & Canada Research Chair in Distance Education. Terry is also the editor of International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning and author of the award-winning book Theory and Practice of Online Learning.

I have taken notes of Terry’s talk in 2007 at EdMedia conference.

Rory McGreal is Associate Vice President for Research in Athabasca University, his research interests are focusing at Open Educational Resources.


organizational responsiveness

May 14, 2010

An Intelligent learning extended organization (IntelLEO) constitutes a temporal alliance among different organisations (industrial, research, educational etc.) in order to share knowledge and competences through cross-border learning and knowledge building (LKB) activities. In one hand, the increasing specialization of useful knowledge for design, engineering, and manufacturing of products makes it difficult for industrial organizations to rely entirely on in-house learning processes. For the evolution of industry knowledge and product domains an alliance is needed across the organizational borders. Academic organizations, such as universities, on the other hand, work intensively with innovative ideas, but in general stay separated from the actual frontiers of production and have limited access to the dynamically developed work knowledge and competences. Both types of organizations arise to bring the process of education under socially standardized set of institutional categories, norms and visions. The mutual knowledge exchange between these organizations is needed for capturing emergent opportunities in research and development and meeting the changes in the economy and social sphere. Such knowledge exchange between different types of organizations is believed to create synergy, and make both organizations better adaptable to the challenging situations.

In the IntelLEO project the focus is on increasing organizational responsiveness, by supporting LKB processes in IntelLEO. It is hypothesized that IntelLEOs are more responsive that single organizations.

March (1981) assumes that organizational response to environmental events is broadly adaptive. The processes that guide response to the challenges in organization follow the models of selection (competition and survival aspects), experiental learning (trial and error, reusing best past experiences), politics (bargaining, confrontation, coalition aspects), contagion (spreading the knowledge), and regeneration (new competences may arise in organizations). The IntelLEO project focuses on technology enhanced learning issues, therefore, experiental learning, contagion and regeneration are these processes for adaptation that could be considered more relevant.

Daft and Weick (1984) developed a broad theoretical framework for understanding organizational adaptation to environmental change. They argued that organizational responsiveness to such changes is influenced by fundamental underlying processes involving the recognition and interpretation of those changes. Interpretation of environmental changes can play a more significant role than recognition in organizational responses to environmental demands (Goodstein, 1995). The process of recognition is specifically linked with the visibility and organizational exposure of issues. Milliken and colleagues noted that: “shared organizational values provide important reference points and lenses for interpreting the significance and interconnectedness of environmental changes (1990). In the IntelLEO type of organizations, the shared values may temporarily emerge across organizational borders, changing and influencing intra-organizational norms and visions According to Goodstein (1995), organizational responsiveness is not strictly determined by the nature of environmental changes, but rather is influenced by other organizational factors that can either foster or inhibit actions. To understand these factors, it is useful to analyze different definitions to organizational responsiveness.

Figure presents the conceptual relations of responsiveness in IntelLEO.

Conceptualizations of organizational responsiveness

Responsiveness is considered an ability of an organization to detect the extra-organizational changes and to take measures to adopt to the situation both by a) making changes internally at individual action and learning level or at organizational structures and policies, and b) developing active interferences to change something in the surroundings so that it was increasing this organization’s adaptiveness.

Further, it is assumed that organizations must constantly keep themselves in the agile state, have the ability and flexibility to couple loosely with other organizations for knowledge exchanges.

Organizational responsiveness represents the ability of an organization to respond to its external environment in an appropriate manner (Clippinger, 1999). A more radical definition assumes that responsiveness is the aggressiveness of an organization’s marketplace strategy (Gresov, Haveman, and Oliva, 1993).

Bray et al., 2007 examine organizational responsiveness in the context of inter individual knowledge exchanges that influence the ability of an organization to respond in an appropriate manner to a changing environment. They define organizational responsiveness as the ability of an organization to respond in an appropriate manner to mitigate negative threats or capitalize on positive opportunities generated by an organization’s environment. For knowledge-intensive enterprises confronting challenges, organizational responsiveness represents their ability to respond to emergent opportunities or concerns (Bray et al., 2007). Bray et al. 2007 posit that the presence of knowledge exchanges represents one necessary and central enabler influencing whether an organization takes advantage of its organizational responsiveness ability. Individual employees comprise organizations, and the aggregation of individual actions contributes ultimately to organizational performance. Hence, insomuch that (1) individuals become more “fit” to their environment through knowledge exchanges, (2) and understanding one’s environment enables knowledgeable interpretation of and response to environmental issues, it follows that an organization’s cumulative ability to respond to environmental changes depends on the presence of knowledge exchanges among employees (Weick and Roberts 1993). Knowledge exchanges also allow humans to become more “fit” to their environment (Clippinger 1999). These knowledge exchanges enable adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The degree to which employees within an organization can use knowledge to adapt their actions to appropriately fit environmental conditions embodies an organization’s cumulative responsiveness (Bray et al., 2007). In general, responsiveness is an element of corporate social performance. Organizational social responsiveness encourages employees’ collaboration and knowledge creation. Bray et al., 2007 found that knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation influence positively organizational responsiveness.

Jacobs (2003) proposes that responsiveness as a socially constructed attribute refers to the perceptual, reflective and adaptive dimension of an organization. Responsiveness refers to the ability of an organization to increase the chances for reflective conversation.
According to Jacobs (2003) organizational responsiveness provides a conceptual lens at the macro-level to reflect on strategy and organizational development. At the micro-level of responsive practices, dialogue as a reflective form of conversation allows for processes through which such responses can be collaboratively developed. Responsiveness at macro level is grounded in the communicative acts that drive and shape the individuals’ perception of the organization.

From the experiments of Jacobs (2003), organizational stakeholders refer to the notion of responsiveness as a capacity that is attributed to both the local unit as well as the overall organization. They identified three areas related to the notion of responsiveness: the need to be listened to, the experience of being understood, and the experience of some satisfying response from the organization.

Kent et al (2003) use the term mediated responsiveness and explained that more dialogically oriented an organization “appears,” the more likely an organization is to actually respond to its stakeholders.

Various terms may be considered as synonyms of responsiveness: adaptation capacity, sensibility, flexibility, elasticity and agility. The dynamical aspects of changes in organizational responsiveness may be explained using the agility and flexibility concepts.

Organizational responsiveness is based on the concept of flexibility. The literature on organizational change considers flexibility to be one of the dynamic capabilities through which firms confront change (Wright and Snell, 1998; Zajac et al., 2000). Organizational flexibility is the main capability that enables companies to face environmental fluctuations, as it makes the organization more responsive to change. Internal flexibility is the capacity of organizations to adapt to the environment, while external flexibility refers to their capacity to influence the environment and thus to reduce their vulnerability (Ansoff and Brandenburg, 1971).

The term organizational flexibility refers to the overall flexibility of an organization as a system (structure) defined by a set of resources (technology, personnel, financial resources, knowledge, . . .), processes (operations, tasks, routines, . . .) and managerial functions (strategizing, organizing, planning, leading, directing, . . .).

Organizational flexibility in the broad sense includes different kinds of flexibility:
For Aaker and Mascarenhas (1984) strategic flexibility is the ability to adapt to environmental changes. Organizations should not only adapt to a changing environment but, simultaneously, have the ability to change that environment. Being flexible also means changing the organizational environment through actions like innovation, communication and advertisement.

Structural flexibility as managerial practice, belongs to human resources management and some managerial practices can affect structural flexibility, e.g. the system of authority, job design, training, work teams, participation, personnel selection and the compensation system (Walton and Susman, 1987; Rowe and Wright, 1997; Adler et al., 1999). Flexible structures tend to be less formalized (Cohn and Turyn, 1984) and more decentralized (Overholt, 1996). Some studies have pointed out that organizational responsiveness rests less on the hierarchical command structures than on structures of self-organisation and lateral coordination. The adoption of labour flexible practices can increase organizational responsiveness.

Operational flexibility involves the activation of generally reversible short-term changes in the organization, based on the organization’s structures, current objectives, and temporary changes in the activity level.

According to Verduę and Goęmez-Gras (2009) a gap between actual and required flexibility shows indirectly the organizational responsiveness. By analyzing this gap, the lacks and excesses that can be used to assess the changes needed inside the organization and the managerial direction required may be detected. When the gap is 0 or is close to 0, the firm is in a situation of fit and we can consider the organization to be relatively responsive to environmental evolution. This can be defined as organizational responsiveness.

Goldman & Nagel (1993) argue that organizations must be agile to survive in dynamically changing environments. Furthermore, they contend that these agile organizations actually “thrive” because they are proficient at predicting changes in demand, reconfiguring their processes, sharing information across organizational boundaries and, adopting new processes ahead of their competitors. Hoyt et al. (2007) have developed the enablers of organizational responsiveness for operationalizing responsiveness: (1) scanning; (2) formal planning; (3) informal planning; (4) dynamic manufacturing flexibility; (5) static manufacturing flexibility; (6) supply chain relationships for commodity products; (7) supply chain relationships for specialty products; and (8) multi-skilled employees.
For Hoyt and Troy (2002) the agile company is: one, which operates in a dynamically changing, uncertain environment and, is relatively more successful (in terms of financial performance) than its nonagile competitors. This dynamically changing environment exhibits: (1) a high level of collective exchange mechanisms between competitors, suppliers and customers; scarce re-sources and little opportunity for growth and a high demand for organizational responsiveness and product scope.

The process of continual technological change necessitates a responsiveness to change through openness in organizational form, adaptibility by employees, and in the most positive form of permanent beta, broad participation in design (Neff & Stark, 2003). Permanently beta is the state of responsiveness in organizational form and process that mirrors innovation in products and services. It is believed that responsiveness to users in the design of products has the power to change organizational form (ibid).

Brusoni et al (2001) assume that the basis of organizational response is distributed intelligence and dispersed learning processes carried out within different organizations. IntelLEO is a temporary and dynamically changing type of alliance between organizations with different LKB cultures. In IntelLEOs certain coupling has to take place between the organizations to perform LKB. Orton and Weick (1990: 205) used the interaction of specialization (i.e. distinctiveness) and integration (i.e. responsiveness) to determine the extent of coupling across organizational units and different organizations:

If there is neither responsiveness nor distinctiveness, the system is not really a system and it can be defined as a noncoupled system. If there is responsiveness without distinctiveness, the system is tightly coupled. If there is distinctiveness without responsiveness, the system is decoupled. If there is both distinctiveness and responsiveness, the system is loosely coupled. The IntelLEO project business cases represent those loosely coupled organizations.

The concept of loosely coupled organizations are led by systems integrators. Systems integration is based on loosely coupled networks and it includes the technological and organizational capabilities to integrate changes and improvements and maintaining knowledge and activities (Brusoni, Prencipe, & Pavitt, 2001).

Without sufficient motivation to exchange knowledge, organizational processes to exchange knowledge will fail to provide any benefit – no one will enact such processes (Bray et al., 2007). Bray et al. (2007) developed a model detailing how knowledge technologies, embodied in 5 intra-organizational information systems, provide opportunities that influence individual level human motivations to engage in knowledge exchange processes, thereby influencing organizational responsiveness. This model both explains and predicts the different contributions influencing organizational responsiveness, to include knowledge technologies, employee motivations, and processes to exchange knowledge.
They demonstrate in inter-organizational situation that the opportunities afforded by knowledge technologies, coupled with motivations and processes to exchange knowledge, impact organizational responsiveness. Specifically, improved collaboration opportunities, facilitated by knowledge technologies, improve individual perceptions of formal incentives to exchange knowledge, normative values to exchange knowledge, and competence-based trust among individuals. These improved individual perceptions regarding knowledge exchanges correlate to improved knowledge exploration and exploitation. Improved knowledge exploration and exploitation processes then correlate to improved organizational responsiveness (Bray et al., 2007).

For IntelLEO project the responsiveness of an IntelLEO is corporate performance in which individuals are motivated to proactively learn and construct knowledge across organizational borders.

What allows IntelLEOs to be responsive?

Analyzing the factors that may influence organizational reponsiveness IntelLEO project assumes that it is necessary to rationalize the LKB processes involved in IntelLEOs to maximize the chances that both organizations can better respond to the challenging situations. The responsiveness may be achieved by different means by effectively combining learning and knowledge management approaches and systems for supporting sharing across the organisations’ borders, e.g. enabling cross border networking and collaboration with an extended offer of (high quality) learning content from different organizations, assuring better harmonisation of the individuals’ (employees/members of the organisations) learning objectives with the different organization’s LKB objectives, providing for individuals more intra- or interorganizational learning path descriptions directed to the organisations’ strategic objectives which could be used by individuals for self-directed learning in workplaces. Such responsiveness is difficult to achieve without technological support to the processes.

Intelleo project assumes that IntelLEO responsiveness can be increased by creating synergy between technological services that support participating in collaborative LKB activities across vertical and horizontal boundaries of the IntelLEO, and the harmonization of personal objectives of learning and creativity with the organizational LKB objectives of different IntelLEO counterparts.
It is assumed that synergy of collaborative LKB and harmonisation services makes their application in IntelLEO more user-friendly and may considerably enhance the motivation of learners to do LKB activities and therefore responsiveness of the IntelLEO increases.

The main issue is to enable an effective measurement/observation of the synergistic effects between the services from the perspective of the IntelLEO responsiveness. Responsiveness in IntelLEO is defined through increased motivation to proactively learn and construct knowledge in an IntelLEO. We rely on the findings that in intra-organizational conditions opportunities afforded by knowledge technologies, coupled with motivations and processes to exchange knowledge, impacted organizational responsiveness (Bray et al., 2007).

From the literature review presented above, we have extracted the following aspects that might increase responsiveness:
1. The presence of knowledge exchanges among employees
a. Improved collaboration opportunities
b. Knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation processes among employees
c. Possibility for socially and collaboratively constructing responsiveness in organizations
d. Increased chances for reflective conversation and dialogues
2. Distributed intelligence and dispersed learning processes carried out within loosely coupled different organizations
3. The opportunity for employees within an organization to use knowledge to adapt their actions to appropriately fit environmental conditions

The last aspect interrelates organizational learning with self-directed learning and self-reflections.


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.


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


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


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


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


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).


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.


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.


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:


Effective Learning and Knowledge Building is boundary crossing
Knowledge conversion in cross-institutional models


Collaboration patterns and models
Interaction Monitoring and Provisioning
Information Security and Privacy issues

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

Ontology-based approaches to context modelling
Context-aware systems
Context and Privacy Issues

The Latest Trends in KM: Social Computing and Beyond
Semantic Annotation of Knowledge Objects
Projects, systems, tools

Service Oriented Architecture
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.


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.