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Knowledge management across a dispersed HE in FE network: Extending blended learning community activity through a focus on project management Julie Swain,

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Presentation on theme: "Knowledge management across a dispersed HE in FE network: Extending blended learning community activity through a focus on project management Julie Swain,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowledge management across a dispersed HE in FE network: Extending blended learning community activity through a focus on project management Julie Swain, Mark Stone, Dr. Neil Witt & Dr. Anne McDermott University of Hertfordshire 16-17 th June 2010

2 Session Outline University of Plymouth College (UPC) & Higher Education Learning Partnership, Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning HELP CETL What is Knowledge Management? What is a Community of Practice? What is the Knowledge Exchange Network? Using KEN as a project management tool, unexpected outcomes, benefits (live demo) Lessons Learned The future


4 Higher Education Learning Partnerships Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - HELP CETL Funded by HEFCE to reward excellence and promote educational research 5 year project (2005-2010) to build on excellence of the University of Plymouth Colleges (UPC) partnerships

5 Knowledge management Knowledge Management is the explicit and systematic management of knowledge and its associated processes of Creation Organisation Dissemination Use Exploitation

6 Knowledge management Within UPC there is a vast amount of knowledge and expertise ……… …..…..held by a range of academics and learning and teaching support staff………… ………..who are in different geographic location and are disconnected from other practitioners.

7 Knowledge management A Knowledge Management System is an IT solution for –managing knowledge in organisations; –supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of expertise and knowledge. The HELP CETL has invested in the Tomoye Ecco software product and has tailored this product to form the Knowledge Exchange Network a.k.a. KEN

8 Primarily by allowing you to share your experiences and knowledge by enabling you to connect and build relationships with people who have expertise in a particular domain. find out how others have actually solved problems, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. develop best practices by participating in online discussions where you can share ideas. How can KEN support CoP?

9 KEN statistics

10 Blended Learning statistics

11 What is a Community of Practice? A group of people who: share an interest in a topic understand what the issues are agree on common approaches interact and build professional relationships help each other solve problems and answer questions network across boundaries share and develop knowledge share information, insights, and best practices build tools and a knowledge base Community Topic Practice

12 What makes a CoP different? What is the Purpose? What is the Membership ? What are the Boundaries ? What holds it together? How long does it last? Informal network To receive and pass on information Acquaintance s and friends of friends UndefinedMutual relationships Never really starts or ends Community of interest To be informed Whoever is interested FuzzySense of like- mindedness Evolves and ends organically Project team To accomplish a specific task Direct role in the task ClearProject's goals and milestones Predetermine d ending Formal Department To deliver a product or service Reports to a manager ClearSpecific requirements goals Permanent Community of Practice To create and share knowledge Self selectionFuzzyPassion, learning and understanding Evolves and ends organically

13 Why use a CoP? CoPs are changing the way organisations manage knowledge. Rather than top- down, communities take a peer-driven approach by connecting: –People: –Knowledge: –Conversations. The concept of community binds them together

14 Why use a CoP? Communities of practice connect individuals with peers promote collaboration promote information exchange promote the sharing of best practices

15 KEN activity Knowledge Objects Contribution Types Recommend that Knowledge is linked to Discussions Sharing information Ranking & Metrics Cross community links

16 Project management tool Need derived from a collaborative project with 10 staff dispersed across the partnership We required a central ‘hub’ for all discussions, posts and project developments Included the project plan with timescales Engaging interface to keep team focused and on target Ability to post ideas, thoughts, 24/7 as needed

17 Blended Learning development projects Initial staff training need Collaborative agreement of how we wanted to use the tool & manage the project ‘Virtual Panic Button’ –If problems arose – communicate immediately and solve through discussions & sharing of knowledge objects Set up automatic e-mailing when ‘new or updated activity’ took place to inform all participants


19 Live demonstration link to KEN Community

20 Project management & KEN Unexpected outcomes using as a PM tool Aided with version control & consistency 24/7 project development and communication – fluid live activity Everything tracked by date, user, thread Ability to ask potential of 350 concurrent users to comment on issues

21 Project management & KEN - feedback from particpants Once trained and level agreements in place then:- Very easy to use Logical in approach Easy to follow threads / see latest updates information User friendly interface well signposted Using KEN ‘added value’ to the project

22 Saved time & travel Environment Stored & Saved centrally Link to wider audience for comments & feedback Benefits

23 Initial thoughts and learning Repository for past annotated work and for sharing new work - limited / superseded An ongoing community work and development space - patchy uptake / significant Community Leader burden Specific initiatives and projects - highly focused mission critical use Technical stability and proof of concept Training and support Links to theory Links to CETL Leadership and numbers

24 The Future Further embed within UPC Use as KEN & Programme management tool as required Develop avenues such as PM for Quality Assurance Processes

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