The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 4 (5), 2008 – interesting articles

[Deutscher Titel: The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 4 (5), 2008 – interessante Artikel (Text übersetzen: Deutsch)]

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 5 2008

Maturity of Knowledge Processes and the Relationship to Technology Platforms pp.33-38
Avinash Rao

  • Abstract: Technology solutions have been widely used in organizations to act as data and knowledge repositories. In product development companies, tools like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions are often seen as platforms that store information across the development cycle, feeding each role with the information necessary and tracking metrics that indicate the organization’s health and progress. In reality, the role of technology as a platform to share knowledge varies depending on the maturity of knowledge processes in organizations, each stage imposing fundamentally different demands from technology. We present a three stage development process maturity model for product development; at stage 1, there are limited knowledge processes, and no technology platform across the process. Each group may have its own, non-standard solutions. Stage 2 is characterized by rigid processes to capture knowledge, tightly coupled to technology where all data is formally captured and development is driven by analytics. Finally in stage 3, companies recognize that rigidity of processes cause them to lose knowledge that cannot be captured easily into systems.
    This realization is driving the way technology platforms are adopted and how companies need to use their knowledge to drive the technology platform. This paper (based on consulting experiences with product development companies worldwide) posits that the role of technology as a platform should change as companies move through the stages. Two cases are presented that illustrate the linkage of knowledge processes and technology platforms, and how companies can succeed as they move through the stages.
  • Keywords: Technology Solutions, Platforms, Knowledge, Product Development

Creating Work Environment for Collaborative Learning pp.83-92
Oleg Tilchin

  • Abstract: An approach to dynamic organization of the work environment for collaborative project-based learning is suggested. The work environment is represented by the following components: temporal sequence of dynamic groups of interrelated project tasks; schemes of assigning students of a collaborative group for performance of tasks; the structure of collaboration.
    The aggregate of interrelated tasks is a study project. The task groups are formed by assigning tasks to an appropriate time interval. In doing so, task-relevant skills (skills necessary to complete a task), temporal and structural task characteristics, and task dynamics are jointly taken into account. A task group has the following characteristics: maximal diversity of tasks relative to task-relevant skills; observance of tasks’ time parameters; simultaneous execution of group tasks. Temporal and structural coordination during performance of tasks is also ensured. Assigning a student to a task in a task group is done so that skills of a student would differ as much as possible from the task-relevant skills. The collaboration structure determines the transfer of skills among students during the performance of project tasks. The tasks in each task group have a maximal diversity relative to task-relevant skills. It creates a maximal quantity of task group relevant skills (skills necessary to complete a group of tasks). Skills of students assigned for execution of tasks have maximal diversity from the task-relevant skills. It leads to the maximal need of a student for skills necessary for task execution. As a result, the possibility to transfer a maximum amount of skills between the participants of the leaning groups is ensured. This, in turn, ensures the effectiveness of collaborative learning. Different aspects of evaluation of the approach are presented. The approach is described in detail by example.
  • Keywords: Task-Relevant Skills, Collaborative Learning Groups, Work Environment, Transfer of Skills

Blended Learning Experiences: The Potentials and Limits of New e-Learning Software for Teaching German as a Foreign Language pp.93-98
Christian Thomas

  • Abstract: The paper discusses practical experiences with various new e-Learning software components currently employed at various universities and other educational institutions in teaching German as a Foreign Language. Specific potentials as well as limits of a beneficial use of these programs are addressed, also in terms of established pedagogical criteria and of experiences made with CALL. Blended Learning—combining an array of on- and off-line teaching resources, also including face-to-face communication—is recommended as the framework most likely to bring about learning success, where such software components are utilized. This follows from the conclusion that the discussed state-of-the art components as yet lack the comprehensive scope to stand alone and assume the important functions performed by other currently available (non-/)technological means of instruction. The specific e-Learning software programs discussed are: Acadia University’s (Canada) course management environment (ACME) and German Course Page, the University of Victoria’s (Canada) “Hotpotatoes” exercise software, Simon Fraser University’s (Canada) “German Tutor”, and the Goethe Institut’s (Germany and worldwide) didacticized on-line cultural materials “jetzt.de,” as well as their culture-based beginners course “Redaktion Deutsch.”
  • Keywords: e-Learning, Blended Learning

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