[unrev-II] Telelearning a Culture of Knowledge

From: Rod Welch (rowelch@attglobal.net)
Date: Wed Jun 27 2001 - 15:06:57 PDT

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    Some of the points in the article you quote on "learning online," relate in
    varying degrees to SDS, which is a learning environment that, also, augments
    intelligence, i.e., the ability to learn. SDS provides flexible structure that
    includes organic subjects, summaries and connections to related history, which
    provides context for taking action. This solves problems cited in the article
    you submitted today, which is listed below.

    Applying these capabilities effectively takes experience, like using the
    alphabet and driving a car. On 001126 there was hope that SDS capability could
    be accomplished by using IT with greater diligence. As seen, this has not
    happened, because "diligence" does not convert information into knowledge. The
    quality of workmanship using email has not improved, and problems mount using
    IT, despite continued fall in interest rates and energy prices. Those steps do
    not relieve information gridlock caused by IT. Moving beyond IT so that more
    information can improve productivity requires a culture of knowledge.

    This is why education is an important component of KM, mentioned to Doug on


    ....and continuing over the past 18 months, most recently in a letter to you on


    ....which reflects the need for focused, professional research to deploy SDS on
    a large scale, proposed to DCMA on 010619....


    During the past year, the OHS/DKR team has observed that using SDS entails
    direct interaction through communication, e.g., classroom lecture, meetings,
    calls, email, reading, and taking action, as in doing an experiment in class,
    mowing the lawn, designing a software program, writing an article. SDS
    strengthens learning from listening and from doing things, as explained in


    Like the alphabet, a pencil, a typewriter, wordprocessing, a spreadsheet, there
    can be a wide range of ways people use SDS, based on personality and context.
    Benefits can, therefore, be increased considerably by formal education and
    training that fosters skills using SDS that has proven effective for managing

    For example, your letter on 010622 asked for an explanation of "organic
    structure." POIMS has a short explanation that may align with some of your
    ideas about "ontology"....


    The "organic structure" of "knowledge" is explained in NWO....


    Thanks for input on education and learning.


    Jack Park wrote:
    > From http://www.css.sfu.ca/update/vol6/6.3-trouble-in-paradise.html
    > "Though telelearning breaks through many barriers to education, it is not a
    > nirvana. Much richness of interaction is also lost:
    > The Trouble With Text: People become concerned with the appearance
    > of their text. Typos detract from one's online image. Grammar implies
    > personality.
    > No Physicality: Without facial expressions, voice intonations, or
    > gestures, relationships can be strange; jokes and irony can lead to
    > misunderstandings. The distancing safety of the medium can promote casual
    > inflammatory and hurtful remarks.
    > Vulnerability: Participants feel inhibited because their words are
    > preserved forever in a computer database with the potential for unknown
    > future use by others, perhaps out of context. Who owns your commentary and
    > who has control over it's future use? The student or the teacher? What
    > about intellectual property rights?
    > Information Overload: Large telelearning classes force users to
    > follow gigantic discussions requiring a tremendous amount of reading in
    > addition to the class reading list. Heavy required searching and browsing
    > of virtually infinite online resources can also be overwhelming.
    > Lack of Tools and Standards:Limited tools for linking, relating
    > comments, references, and ideas; and poor mechanisms for viewing and
    > manipulating these linkages, or making decisions online. Also international
    > standards for graphics and sounds are only just emerging."
    > From http://www.css.sfu.ca/update/vol6/6.3-tips-Virtual-Learning.html
    > "The key is to facilitate collaborative learning:
    > Don't Lecture: Long but coherent postings often produce silence.
    > Use short open-ended comments that invite response.
    > Be Clear About Expectations: Define what students must do for the
    > whole course, for each module, each assignment and each time period.
    > Be Flexible And Patient: Guide the conversation but don't dominate.
    > Remember curriculum will be affected by the diversity of opinions from
    > different world views. Be open to change and acceptance of new views on
    > various topics.
    > Be Responsive: Especially at the beginning, ensure that every
    > student's comment gets a response. If no else replies, either respond
    > yourself by a private message or by mentioning the original author's
    > comments in one of yours.
    > Don't Overload: Contribute no more than one long comment a day, or
    > less if students are active. Several short notes are better than one long one.
    > Monitor and Prompt: Read the system status report frequently.
    > Encourage those falling behind with private email. Prompt those who are
    > reading but not writing. If no response after one week, telephone and
    > discuss problem.
    > Encourage Group Work: Give assignments to small groups. If a class
    > is large, divide it into two or more discussion groups. Assign individuals
    > within groups the role of "teacher" for small portions of the course.
    > Teach Netiquette: Explain how to avoid insulting others and
    > straying off the course topic.
    > Write Weaving Comments: Summarize and focus the discussion with
    > comments that weave together various threads of interest.
    > Do Electronic Housekeeping: Move or delete items that do not belong
    > to the discussion. Organize and model the use of keywords and references to
    > show relationships.
    > Establish Norms and Set Rules: Give credit for good participation.
    > Close and Purge In Stages: Moribund discussions need to be closed
    > slowly, giving members a chance to save messages.
    > (From Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning Online by
    > L. Harasim, R. Hiltz, L. Teles, and M. Turoff, MIT Press, 1994.)"
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