Design, Learning, and Collaboration

Assignment 15 Response Summary

Jon Marbach

Note: Where I site individuals' responses, these may not be quotes but paraphrasings and interpretations.

  1. what did you find

    1. interesting about the article?

      Technical Roadmap - Dipti

      Practical Angle - Eric

      Related to research Field (AI) - Payal

      Experience based stories - Tomo

      Technology supporting rather than replacing the worker - also Tomo (I like that one!)

      CoPs - John

      Basic Cycle for the best-practice KM process - Jing

      The relation between Wikis and "Light-Publishing" - Jackson

    2. not interesting about the article?

      Nothing - Dipti

      Not answered - Eric

      Nothing "particularly disturbing" - Payal

      Do these technologies really require Artificial Intelligence? - Tomo

      Nothing "very un-interesting" - John

      Needed more detail on building Virtual Communities, esp. how XML and wireless technologies will help achieve this - Jing

      The first few pages were dull - Jackson

  2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

    Generally speaking everyone agreed that the article drove home the point that effective knowledge management is critical in supporting the work environments of the future, and it outlines necessary developments in AI which will allow for effective knowledge management.

  3. what are

    1. the strengths / successes

      Knowledge reuse = reduced effort, increased efficiency, and helps aviod repetition of mistakes - Dipti

      Time is spent moving forward rather than reinventing the wheel - Eric

      Knowledge reuse = saved time and effort. Exploitation of Symmetry of ignorance - Payal

      Overcomes collaborators geological and temporal constraints: Aggregation of labor in a disaggregated workplace - Tomo (Again, I like this!)

      Exploits the Symmetry of Ignorance, and Equal Involvement for all collaborators - Jing

      Distributed collaboration - John

      Note, John and others point out that overall, the strength of KM is that it supports collaboration itself. All the other benefits are simply benefits of collaboration.

    2. the weaknesses/failures of knowledge management?

      Motivation for participation, seeding, and need for a simple interface to such a complex system - Dipti

      Seeding and (what I would call) Pruning, and that it is difficult to "write a check and buy community" - Eric

      Motivationand formation of a community and keeping info up to date (again Pruning) - Payal

      Enormous effort in getting it right - Tomo

      Vulnerability to hype and unreasonable expectations - John

      Overall complexity/difficulty - Jing

      I think the points addressing the overall difficulty are important - we're not talking about simple systems here!

  4. How would you differentiate between "pull" and "push" approaches in knowledge management? What are the trade-offs between the two approaches? In which situations would you use one or the other approach?

    It seems that everyone agrees that Push technology provides apparently relevant information without user initiation while Pull technology requires the user to initiate and conduct the search.

    In general, the class felt that if Push is too pushy it can be annoying and then disregarded, but Pull may be too passive and helpful information may be missed. People said that Push is more appropiate for novices who have a small range of understanding but Pull may be better suited for experts. Related to this, Tomo points out that we don't have to look at push and pull as binary choices so as a user moves from novice to expert, the "pushiness" of a system may be relaxed.

    Dipti response suggests that highly critical information might need to be Pushed onto a user, so the degree of "Pushiness" may also depent on the importance of the information.

    The class seems to feel that Push can work if implemented carefully and correctly.

  5. please discuss why and how the two following quotes are (or are not) relevant for knowledge management:

    1. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

      Basically, everyone said the same thing here. Eric's is a representative answer:

      If you're unaware of what happened before, you will have to go make the mistakes /
      discoveries that others have made to get to their level of understanding. In an ideal k.m.
      world, their mistakes and discoveries would be relayed to you in advance to save you the

    2. "Innovation is everywhere; the difficulty is learning from it" (John Seeley Brown)

      It is difficult to summarize what the class said here. Overall though, I think what people were trying to say is that this quote is related to the one of the main purposes of the article: to show that KM has great potential, but there are great barriers to be surmounted if that potenial is to be achieved.

Thanks to Tomo for the layout!

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