my data’s better than your data!

23 02 2004

in a post to elearnspace, george siemens argues that between the two technologies – knowledge management and elearning – knowledge is the dynamic, active building of learning while elearning is static and is out-of-date from the instance it is created. Though he does give both sides their due:

as a medium, elearning allows for the sharing of knowledge that has been tested, researched and organized. for example, an instructional designer relies on subject

matter experts to provide an understanding/best
practices/knowledge of a certain field. the information used to create
an elearning course has typically been tested and is generally accepted
by practitioners of the field. As such, elearning is delayed (but tested), organized knowledge.

knowledge management, however, is much livelier. conversations and
sharing understanding happens in real time. through km, tacit
understanding can be communicated, problems can be jointly solved, and
serendipitous connections are formed. km is chaotic, current (but structurally weak) knowledge.

in the end, he gives suggestions of how these two camps can aide
each other to serve the whole of learning better. to read the entire
post: elearnspace: knowledge management and elearning

i agree with seimens’ conclusion but i also see the article feeding
the artificial division that elearning professionals and knowledge
management professionals seem set on preserving. i have no doubt that
some of this division has to do with the fact that, in general, each
field was developed in a different department of the corporation –
elearning in the training and development group and knowledge
management in it. but there also seems to be a role that the
consultants and vendors of products and services have played in this.
it’s my opinion that the most enlightened of the learning professionals
are blurring or ignoring this division and making no apologies about
it. (and you can throw the performance management camp into this
mixer too.)

what do you think? hit the comment link below and let your voice be
heard. if you have any ideas on topics in knowledge management you’d
like to see me bring up here, mail dave.



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