Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knowledge Management: Distinguishing the difference between data, information, and knowledge

Knowledge management deals with capturing implicit and explicit knowledge within an organization, at the individual level as well as the team and/or group level.  Turner, Zimmerman, and Allen (in press) made the distinction that "knowledge management is more than just information management" (p. 3), it deals with creating, storing, and retrieving an organizations' collective knowledge.  In doing so, knowledge management makes the distinction between data, information, and knowledge.  

Davenport and Prusak (1998) distinguished data as "a set of discrete, objective facts about events" (p. 2) compared to information in which they described to be more like a message - typically in audible, visual, or digital form.  Knowledge is further separated from data and information by Davenport and Prusak's (1998) working definition:

      Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information.  It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers.  In organizations, it often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms (p. 5). 

Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) contrasted knowledge from information by making three observations:

  1. Knowledge, unlike information, is about beliefs and commitment.  Knowledge is a function of a particular stance, perspective, or intention.
  2. Knowledge… is about action.
  3. Knowledge… is about meaning.  It is context-specific and relational (p. 58).

Managing knowledge, rather than data or information, in an organization is critical to its' success.  For it is from this knowledge that innovation is spurred, new products are developed, and new customers are gained.  Drucker (2006) highlighted that every organization needs to be devoted to creating the new.  Drucker (2006) identified three systematic practices for organizations to complete this process, which includes the functions of knowledge management:

  1. The first is continuing improvement of everything the organization does, the process the Japanese call kaizen.
  2. Second, every organization will have to learn to exploit its knowledge, that is, to develop the next generation of applications from its own successes.
  3. Finally, every organization will have to learn to innovate… as a systematic process (pp. 142-143).


Davenport, T. H. & Prusak, L. (1998). Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know.  Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Drucker, P. F. (2006). Classic Drucker: Essential wisdom of Peter Drucker from the pages of Harvard Business Review. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. 

Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese Companies create the dynamics of innovation.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Turner, J. R., Zimmerman, T., & Allen, J. M. (in press). Teams as a process for knowledge management.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

America is Still Exceptional: As Long as Others are Copying Us

You hear some critics of Steve Jobs claim he didn't invent his creations, he only made someone else's creations better.  This may be so, up to a point, but it doesn't diminish Job's creativity, vision, and innovation.  Job's, and others at Apple, made the mouse better than what Xerox was able to do.  This collective innovation process, from Xerox to Apple, provided users with an interactive computer experience that changed the computing industry forever.  The rest is history, which has led to the Apple we know and love today.

Copying American innovations is a daily occurrence in some parts of the world.  Fletcher (2010) highlighted that "piracy has made China one of the world's most frustrating markets for software companies…. IDC estimated that 79% of the PC software installed in China last year was pirated" (p. 1).  Samsung has been accused of copying the Apple iPhone and iPad with their Galaxy line of products in which Apple filed a patent law suit against the company.  Apple claims that "Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging" (Fried, 2011). 

Online attacks that targeted a number of U.S. Corporations originated at two Chinese Universities: Jiaotong University and the Lanziang Vocational School (Packowski, 2010).  Sources are not clear on whether these attacks are government driven or rampant students just playing around on their computers.  Either way, the security of U.S. Corporations and their privacy has been violated.

The examples provided above are only a few of the copyright, piracy, hacking, security breaches, patent infringement, examples that can easily be found in newspapers on a daily basis.  These examples are clear evidence that America is still exceptional, still provides innovative products, and still provides a product desired from around the globe.  One question would have to be made: What if no one wanted to copy American products anymore?  What if everyone wanted to copy Chinese products, or Japanese products, or India's products instead?  The point is simple: American products are still clearly innovative and America is still Exceptional!

Moving into the future we need to consider what needs to be done to continue our technical and innovative advantage.  Are we producing an educated work force to operate in and to move beyond the Web 3.0 environment?  Are we leading the technology summits around the globe, or are we participants.  Where are most of the technology students coming from in the next 20 years (U.S., China, India, etc…)?  Where are the most innovated students coming from in the next 20 years?  Is America positioned to be the clear leader in innovation and new technological products for the next generation?


Fletcher, O. (October 26, 2010). Fighting China's pirates: Software makers try lower prices to lure users away from illegal copies.  Retrieved from

Fried, I. (April 18, 2011). Apple files patent suit against Samsung over galaxy line of phones and tablets.  Retrieved from

Paczkowski, J. (February 19, 2010). World war WAN: Google hack traced to schools in China.  Retrieved from

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Recharge, Reboot, Reflect, Then Charge

It's near the end of the year and everyone has already drawn their attention onto their lofty goals for the next year, 2012.  Prior to jumping into the new year too early try to recharge, reboot, and reflect first.

Recharge your batteries before you start a new journey.  Take some time away from your stressors to allow yourself to recharge.

Reboot, clear your head, remove those cobwebs.  A lot has happened over the last year and it is time to remove the clutter before beginning a new year.  Restructure what occurred over the last year and organize this information into a clear outline or summary before adding more information to the mix.

Reflect on your achievements, failures, and learning.  Look back on your biggest achievements of the past year and pat yourself on the back, smile, and take pride in what you have accomplished.  Reflect on your failures over the past year and ask yourself what you have learned from the experience, if this was to happen again I would…  Over the course of the year we have learned a lot of knowledge.  Take time to outline your knowledge into easy to remember categories; either chronologically, or by location, or by content.  Organizing your knowledge is the best way to assure that that knowledge can be recalled when needed.

Now it is your turn to charge into the next year.  But wait, first you need to set obtainable goals, not unobtainable goals that will only leave you disappointed at the end of next year.  Set goals on two different levels: easy to obtain but necessary goals, and hard to obtain but intrinsically beneficial.  Necessary but easy goals are those that you know you have to do but may not like doing them.  These are goals because you have to schedule your time to do them; work tasks, exercising, cleaning, yard work, reading a book a month/week, submitting a journal article, etc…  Set harder to obtain goals that are internally worthwhile to achieve to you, not for the benefit of anyone else.  These goals could include enrolling in college, taking a vacation, volunteering your time, starting back at church, applying for that new job or promotion, etc…  The point is to set easy and hard goals, but none that are unobtainable, be realistic.

Now that you have recharged your batteries, rebooted your memory banks, and reflected on your achievements and failures, you are ready to take the first steps toward achieving your goals for the next year.  Good luck, and remember, you don't need luck when you have planned properly.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Future of Libraries

With the increasing availability of electronic books (eBooks) and the vast amount of digital reference materials available to the learner many people have questioned the role of the library in the future.  Most information desired can be found online from one's home computer.  New reference books and fiction / nonfiction books can be bought online, or borrowed, and read on one's own preferred digital media device.  So one would ask, or conclude, that the future of the library is to expand access to one's own home computer, laptop computer, or digital device.  As I see it, a library membership in the future will provide the learner access to research publications and reference material, books, and magazine subscriptions, that can be viewed and checked out digitally.  Thus, the library will serve as a large database rather than a warehouse of books that can be read in place and taken home for two weeks at a time.

Libraries, and bookstores, are in a time of drastic change.  In transitioning with current advances in technology, libraries and bookstores are only beginning to see the forced changes that the recording, movie, and newspaper industries have already had to deal with.  Ebooks will continue to gain in population requiring libraries and bookstores to change their offerings.  Hardback and paperback books will continue to decline while ebooks will continue to be in demand.  In following this trend, libraries and bookstores will have to increase their digital offerings while reducing their hardback and paperback offerings.  One example of this can be found in HaperCollins recent response to their eBook policy for libraries.  HarperCollins' President of Sales, Josh Marwell, posted an open letter to Librarians addressing the recent policy change.  In Marwell's (2011) opening statement he indicated that they would continue to support those who promote ebook sales: "all who are actively engaged in buying, selling, lending, promotion, writing and publish in books" (p. 1). Unfortunately, libraries are low on this list.  This example is only one sign indicating that libraries are being forced to change.

Regarding HarperCollins recent policy changes for libraries: from a business standpoint, and not from a community service standpoint, I feel that the publisher has the right to regulate the availability of ebook sales to meet market demands.  Provided below are a few reasons to support my decision.

1) Ebook sales have increased without the assistance of libraries supporting specific titles:

  • The growing number of sales of ebooks continue to increase as buyers prefer the ease of the digital format and the cheaper prices available for ebooks.  Currently, Amazon sells 60 to 70% of all e-books in America, with approximately 90% e-books sales in Great Britain (Clayton, 2011).  If the role of the library is to promote reading - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, along with a number of other online providers of digital e-books, are providing this service to the online community replacing the traditional role of the library.
  • The ebook format has also opened up new opportunities for self-published authors.  Self-published authors have grown to nearly 133,036 in 2010 from 51,237 in 2006, nearly tripling in size (Trachtenberg, 2011).  Penguin is offering books priced from .99 cents up to $2.99, with some books priced above the $2.99 price (Trachtenberg, 2011).
  • The main drivers in the ebook industry are Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Google.  The ebook publishers have to cater to these four key players at the expense of the public libraries.

2) Increasing ebook sales over traditional hardcover and paperback will reduce operating costs for book stores and libraries:

  • The decreased costs associated with ebooks will help reduce costs for book stores and libraries.  As ebooks gain even further popularity, shelf space required to store hardback and paperback books will be decreased, furthering a reduction in overhead costs for book stores and libraries.  
  • Trachtenberg (2011) indicated that most readers are switching to cheaper digital books.  One example provided by Trachteberg (2011) is that Amazon customers currently buy more Kindle titles than the traditional hardcover and paperback copies.  Trachteberg (2011) highlighted the impact that ebooks have had on print runs, print runs have decreased by 25% compared to one year earlier. At this rate, shelf space in book stores and libraries will be reduced, requiring a larger digital selection of titles.  This is evident by publishers reducing their warehouse capacity, such as HarperCollins Publishers Inc. who is currently closing two of its four warehouses (Trachteberg, 2011).  Another publisher, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc., an academic and reference publisher who also serve libraries, has no plans to build new warehouses since their digital sales for this year have tripled (Trachteberg, 2011).

3) Libraries will have to begin working directly with delivery agents rather than publishers:

  • In September, Amazon begin allowing library users to borrow ebooks from their home computer (Olshan, 2011).  By providing ebook downloads the New York Public Library had their registrations double (Olshan, 2011).  This new offering has allowed the New York Public Library to continue its mission in this time of change.  According to Anthony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, this move "would be a natural extension of the library's mission to get people to read more and think more" (Olshan, 2011, p. 1). 


Clayton, N. (2011, Sept. 12). Digitization bring shrinking case for E-Books. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Marwell, J. (2011, March 01). Open letter to librarians [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Olshan, J. (2011, Oct. 6). E-Readers on checkout. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Trachtenberg, J. A. (2011, Aug. 29). New economics rewrite book business. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Trachtenberg, J. A. (2011, Nov. 16). Self-publishers get help: Penguin starts service as big houses see digital's potential. The Wall Street Journal.  Retrieved from

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Using Technology in Education / Training

Technology used in education (formal school education) and for training (business training, non-formal education) takes many forms: simulations, communication, interactive, virtual, games, etc…  The use of technology in education and training have been reported to be both effective and non-effective.  Listed below are two examples of recent research relating to using technology in education along with a brief summary of their findings.  Following, I have identified a list of four items to consider prior to using technology in an education or training setting. 
Vanderwater et al. (2006) pointed out that "technology use has no intrinsic value per se, but instead has value only with respect to the activities it displaces" (as cited in Bavelier et al., 2010, p. 694).  For example, if a student is already working on math problems at home, by introducing technology to help with their math abilities probably will not show too much gain.  It is when a student does not work on math problems that introducing technology could aid the student to begin working on math problems - thus benefitting that student.
Vogel et al. (2006) conducted a meta-analysis which compared traditional teaching methods with games and interactive simulations. They viewed which teaching method had the highest cognitive gains for the learner.  What they found was: "those using interactive simulations or games report higher cognitive gains and better attitudes toward learning compared to those using traditional teaching methods" (Vogel et al., 2006, p. 237).  Some limitations were identified however.  For example, the interactive simulations had to be experiential for the learner, it could not be controlled by the teacher or the program, in order to be effective.  Although this study provided interesting results, highlighting benefits from games and interactive simulations, comparative analyses could not be conducted with traditional teaching methods due to a lack of data from the literature.
When determine which teaching methods and materials to choose for a training program, when the need for a training program has been identified, a few things should be considered.  
  1. If technology is to be used as part of the training, the expected outcome from the technology should be determined a priori.  What is the outcome that you expect from the learners through the use of this technology?  Is this outcome possible without the use of the technology?  Do the learners understand what is expected of them prior to using this technology?  This item relates to the point identified above that technology only has value based on the activities it displaces, in this case the outcome expected from using technology in a training environment.
  2. When technology is being used for training purposes, are the learners free to experiment, or are they being guided and told what to do at each step?  In order for technology to provide effective training the learners need to have the ability to freely experiment with the content, to be able to interact through the technology, and be able to make mistakes without consequences.  This item relates to the previously mentioned research identifying that interactive simulations or games can provide higher cognitive gains.
  3. An additional item to consider is the type of learners that this training will be addressing.  If the learners are mostly self-directed learners than the technology may not be necessary.  Self-directed learners are motivated and they will absorb the material and research beyond the content presented in the training material, with or without new technology.  However, if the learners are not self-directed learners the technology may provide a means for effective learning transfer.  
  4. Lastly, a caution to consider is that the technology being used for training cannot be too demanding of the learners.  If the technology is hard to use or learn to use (a steep learning curve) then the learning will be lost.
Bavelier, D., Green, S. C., & Dye, M. W. G. (2010). Children, wired: For better and for worse. Neuron, 67, 692-701. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.08.035
Vogel, J. J., Vogel, D. S., Cannon-Bowers, J., Bowers, C. A., Muse, K., & Wright, M. (2006). Computer gaming and interactive simulations for learning: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Computer Research, 34(3), 229-243.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Podcasts in Education and Training

Podcasts provide a rich source of information in a platform that is flexible for all types of users.  They can be downloaded and listened to at the leaner's convenience.  Podcasts are also capable of being distributed through a variety of mediums.  Podcasts can take the form of the traditional audio cast as well as the newer video cast.  The content of the material included in a Podcast can vary in which each end user can find most anything he/she is interested in.  Podcasts also vary in content, providing entertainment as well as educational material.  

Some of the educational / training Podcast's, that I have found useful, are provided below:

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) provides Podcasts on their webpage: ASTDPodcasts

Great e-learning tips can be found at The Rapid E-Learning Blog: Practical, real-world tips for e-learning success.  Podcasts are provided from this The Rapid E-Learning blog page at: Download Podcasts from The Rapid E-Learning Blog

Another great site for Podcasts, and other e-learning materials (audio books & videos) can be found at the Learn Out Loud website.

Xyleme Voices: A Podcast Library on the Evolution of Training provides a rich source of information with a Podcast provided for each blog post.

Advantages to using Podcasts in education have been documented in recent research projects.  Evans (2008) identified podcasting as a form of m-learning.  Research from Malan (2007) described research studies where lectures were recorded allowing students to download the lectures as they wished.  These lectures were found to be used more as a review tool rather than as an excuse to miss class.  Additionally, they found that by downloading the lectures more free time was allotted during class time to discuss specific issues and for problem solving (Milan, 2007, as cited in Evans).  Other studies promoted well designed materials (in m-learning formats such as a podcasts): "by increasing the amount of control learners have over their learning process, can be more efficient and effective than traditional alternatives" (Evans, 2008, Introduction).  Thus, Podcasts and other m-learning tools can be advantageous to the learner when used as a tool for learning.

Alternatively, just as writing helps one learn more about a subject, so to can developing a podcast.  Developing a podcast requires a student to research a topic, outline their talk around that topic, and persuade the audience that their information is authentic.  One drawback to creating a podcast for the learner, especially if it is their first time, is the learning curve associated with learning to create a podcast.  Spraque and Pixley (2008) indicated: "podcasts have a steep learning curve.  The most difficult part is learning how to use an editing software program" (p. 232).  Once this learning curve has passed, learning the subject matter will improve.  Creating a Podcast can also be advantageous to the learner once they overcome the learning curve associated with developing a Podcast.

Training and Development have incorporated the use of Podcasts in a variety of capacities while training.  Some of these uses include: providing a Podcast to give additional information to the learners after the training project is complete, providing additional training material for learners to review prior to certification testing, and incorporating Podcasts into lessons as an additional source of information.  

Podcasts are easy to use and provide numerous benefits to Education and to the Training and Development industry.  As the use of Podcasts increase I believe we will see additional benefits for the end user, the learner.

Evans, C. (2008). The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education. Computers & Education, 50(2), 491-498. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2007.09.016
Spraque, D., & Pixley, C. (2008). Podcasts in Education: Let their voices be heard. Computers in the schools, 25(3), 226-234. doi: 10.1080/07380560802368132

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lewin and Historical Traces to Change Management

It is often good to trace the historical threads from where certain concepts originate.  One concept, change management, is one such concept that is worth remembering in today’s complex environment.  

Kurt Lewin is often identified as the father of social psychology with contributions to the theory and practice of planned change (Coghlan, Brannick, 2003).  Lewin added to the scientific management practices of Frederick Taylor by adding the human dimension.  This shifted managements focus from scientific management to a social-psychological way of thinking (Gilley, Dean, & Bierema, 2001). Papanek (1973) identified Lewin’s concept of job enrichment:

The worker wants his work to be rich, wide, and Protean, not crippling and narrow.  Work should not limit personal potential but develop it.  Work can involve love, beauty, and the soaring joy of creating.  Progress, in that case, does not mean shortening the work day, but an increase in the human value of the work (p. 318).

Through work from the Harwood studies, Lewin developed the following core elements to action research:
  1. Understanding the interplay between the work environment and the individual worker is critical for change in organizations.
  2. To understand the system, you must first seek to change it.  Lewin called this action research.
  3. Wed scientific thinking to democratic values for organizational change (Gilley et al., 2001, p. 145).
The core philosophy behind Lewin’s planned approach to change focused on changing group behavior rather than changing individual behavior.  This planned change took the form of action research which can be viewed as an eight-step processes:
  1. Entry
  2. Start-up
  3. Assessment and Feedback
  4. Action Planning
  5. Intervantion
  6. Evaluation
  7. Adoption
  8. Separation (Rothwell, & Sullivan, 2005, p. 43).
Action research should be viewed as a systematic way of thinking embedded in a cyclical process of questioning, assessing, investigating, collaborating, analyzing, and refining (Schoen, 2007).


Coghlan, D., & Brannick, T. (2003). Kurt Lewin: The “practical theorist” for the 21st century. Irish Journal of Management, 24(2), 31-37. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global (Document ID: 650633441).

Gilley, J. W., Dean, P. J., & Bierema, L. L. (2001). Philosophy and practice of organizational learning, performance, and change. Cambridge, MA: Perseus.

Papanek, M. L. (1973). Kurt Lewin and his contributions to modern management theory. Academy of Management Proceedings, 317-322. doi: 10.5465/AMBPP.1973.4981410

Rothwell, W. J., & Sullivan, R. (2005). Practicing organization development: A guide for consultants (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Schoen, S. (2007). Action research: A developmental model of professional socialization. Clearing House, 80(5), 211-216. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cloud Based Service

HP recently announced that they were discontinuing their TouchPad tablet (Jaenke, 2011).  Additionally, HP is considering, after acquiring Compaq a decade ago, to sell off its Personal Systems Group, its PC division.

The announcement of discontinuing HPs TouchPad tablet may not come as a big surprise to most since they were a late entry into an already competitive market.  However, why would a large computer manufacturing company, as HP is seen from most, discontinue or sell off its PC division?  The bottom line is that HP is looking to buy Autonomy Corporation plc.  Autonomy Corporation is currently the second largest software company in Europe (Introduction to Autonomy).  Autonomy provides 'access to information' so people can form and understand their data and automatically process it.  This is provided by Autonomy's "pan-enterprise software infrastructure that automates advanced operations" (Introduction to Autonomy).

General statements from HP indicated that they wanted to concentrate on software and enterprise.  This move shows HP as one of the companies leading the push toward cloud software platforms.  Additional signs that corporations are growing their cloud based services can be found in Asia.  Google is looking to invest $200 Million in Asia Data Centers.  Google is planning on building their own data centers which house computers, telecommunications and storage systems (Kim, 2011).

New cloud based services are being introduced as features in new devices.  Look at the new iCloud being offered by Apple Inc.  This new service will provide backup for a user’s “music, TV shows, apps, books, devise settings, app data, messages, ringtones and images in Photo Stream” (Mossberg, 2011, D3).  In addition to these free service backups user’s email can be stored as well, although the email will count against the allotted 5GB of free storage per user.  Any user with an Apple device (iphone, ipad, ipod, macbook) will be able to view the data saved on their iCloud account from any device as they choose.

Anderson, (2010) provided futuristic outlooks, from technology experts, relating to cloud computing.  Their opinions ranged from the desktop computer will be replaced with cloud software peripherals, to a hybrid cloud/desktop in the future, to no further expansion of cloud based services than what exists today.  The majority of opinions agreed that cloud based platforms will play a major role in the future.  From Anderson's (2010) Pew Institute Research Report on the future of cloud computing,  71% of the participants agreed with the following:

"By 2020, most people won't do their work with software running on a general-purpose PC.  Instead, they will work in Internet-based applications such as Google Docs, and in applications run from smartphones.  Aspiring application developers will develop for smartphone vendors and companies that provide Internet-based applications, because most innovative work will be done in that domain, instead of designing applications that run on a PC operating system" (p. 2).

The move from HP, looking to sell their PC division and acquire Autonomy, is indicative of a larger move from PC manufacturing to designing and maintaining cloud software platforms.  


Anderson, J. Q. (2010).  The future of cloud computing.  The future of the Internet series, retrieved from

Autonomy.  Retrieved from

Introduction to Autonomy (2011).  Retrieved from

Jaenke, P. (August, 18, 2011). HP buys autonomy, also drops TouchPad and ponders spinning off PC business.  Icrontic.  

Kim, Y-H (September, 29, 2011).  Google puts $200 Million into Asia data centers.  Wall Street Journal, B10.

Mossberg, W. S. (October 12, 2011). The iPhone finds its voice. Wall Street Journal, D1 & D3.

Friday, September 30, 2011

SlideShare uses and Resources for HPT

SlideShare is “the world’s largest community for sharing presentation.  With 55 million monthly visitors and 120 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world” (  SlideShare is a great way to save all your presentation slides in one location where you can access them with a common URL anytime you need access to them.  Additionally, each presentation can be either linked to or incorporated into a blog, a post, a web page, a report, etc…  Hart (2011) indicated that presentations could be:

  • ·      Viewed at the site – where you can see status on usage
  • ·      Individually embedded into a web or blog page
  • ·      Embedded as a SlideShare Playlist (p. 154).

Bozarth (2010) highlights that SlideShare is useful for trainers who want to distribute either a powerpoint slide presentation or a pdf file via Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking application.

In my blog post on August 26, 2011, Metacognitive Model for HPT.  I included a link to the pdf slide presentation that I used to report my journal article.  There were two versions of this pdf slide presentation.  The long version, which can be found at and the short version, which can be found at
Additionally, in my blog post on May 25, 2011, Complexity Leadership Theory, I also included a link to the powerpoint slide presenation for this post,  Other presentations can be found at my SlideShare URL.

One effective use of adding SlideShare presentations to a web page, or a blog page, can be found at Harold Jarche’s web page, Life in Perpetual Beta.  Jarche has a separate tab for all of his SlideShare presentations incorporated into his web page.  These presentations can be found at  Another use of incorporating SlideShare presentations in a blog can be found at Clive Shepherds’ blog page, Clive on Learning.  Clive add a link to his SlideShare presentations which can be found at

Another effective use of incorporating SlideShare into your web page or blog is to include the actual presentation into the post.  One example of this can be found at Jane Hart’s blog, From “Command & Control” to “Encourage & Engage”: the presentation.

When it comes to developing slides there is no better source than Garr Reynolds’ blog on issues related to professional presentation design.  Garr provides examples and tips on how to develop productive and attractive slides for a memorable presentation.  Additional tips and examples can be found on Garr’s blog, Garr’s posterous

Bozarth, J. (2010). Social media for trainers: Techniques for enhancing and extending learning.  San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Hart, J. (2011). Social learning handbook. Center for Learning & Performance Technologies, C4LPT.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blogs and Wikis relating to HPT

Many Web2.0 platforms available today provide opportunities for businesses to obtain and retain technical information.  The transition from Web1.0 to Web2.0 includes the implementation of interactive applications.  Hart (2011) distinguished Web1.0 as read-only web and Web2.0 as read-write-web.  Some of these applications include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace, blogs, wikis, and YouTube, to name only a few.  I have concentrated on two of these Web2.0 platforms, blogs and wikis, as they relate to the Human Performance Technology (HPT) field.

HPT related blogs

Numerous blogs are content driven, meaning their written for the sole purpose of publishing content related to a specific discipline.  A blog, as described by Bozarth (2010), is “an online space for posting chronologically ordered comments or ideas that can include text, photo, video, audio, and links to other sites, blogs, or documents” (p. 83).  McAfee (2009) highlighted blogs as being easy to update, easy to view or reference as a separate web page, and are permanent records.   

I searched for five blogs relating to the HPT discipline.  One such blog was Donald Clark’s Big Dog, Little Dog blog, designed to post content related to instructional design and performance (  A second blog is Jane Bozarth’s blog titled bozarthzone, which covers a variety of topics relating to e-learning and social media (  A third informative blog is Donald H. Taylor’s blog dedicated to performance, learning, human capital, and talent management (  A fourth blog is Harold Jarche’s blog with the mantra of ‘Life in Perpetual Beta’.  This blog is dedicated to informal learning principles in the workplace (  The final blog researched was Mitch Joel’s blog titled Six Pixels of Separation – The Blog which is dedicated to marketing but covers a vast amount of information relating to social networking (

One interesting and effective twist to blogs is a blog carnival.  Blog carnivals are where bloggers interested in a common content area pool together and post monthly, or quarterly, posts on a specific topic (check out my blogpost on blog carnivals at  The host for a blog carnival varies from month to month.  This is a great way to find other bloggers interested in the same content and it adds a new way to get your content out to different viewers (

HPT related wikis

Wikis provide a different type of interaction than blogs.  A wiki is a web page where everyone with access can change the content (Bozarth, 2010).  McAfee (2009) made the point that wikis have the ability to capture and spread knowledge as well as being an effective tool supporting strongly tied coworkers.  In the area for training and development, Bozarth (2010) identified 4 ways to employ a wiki:
1.     include learner-built development of a permanent, takeaway record of the particular course session;
2.     a record of the course over various iteration or offerings across time;
3.     a compilation of FAQs or good practices for those coming into the role that the training targets;
4.     or a single project aimed at improving overall company or work-unit operations (p. 109).

One of the most popular wikis is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia (  The content on Wikipedia can be changed by anyone by selecting the ‘edit’ button next to the written content on the page you wish to change.  The ‘discussion’ tab gives you a history of what changes were made to the content, when they were made, and by whom.  A second wiki is Psychology Wiki, which provides almost anything related to psychology: learning, cognition, personality, statistics, education, and industrial (  A third wiki is called Human Science and provides knowledge from a human perspective.  Topics covered on this wiki include development, personality, management, and spirituality, to name a few (  A fourth wiki is an index of wikis called WikiIndex (  Here you can find other wikis, wiki communities, wiki ideas, and wiki people.  Another new twist to the original format of a wiki can be found at WikiAnswers.  WikiAnswers allows you to type in a question and it will give you a list of answers that have been provided by others (


Security is always a concern with regards to corporate knowledge.  Prior to deciding which platform you want to utilize you will need to determine whether you want an open access platform or a restricted platform.  One thing to remember when deciding who you want to access these Web2.0 applications is that the more restricted you make a platform the less it takes on the features of a Web2.0 application.  The advantage of a Web2.0 application is the ability to have outsiders view the content so they can comment and add to the conversation.  If you restrict access this too much, you are defeating the purpose of using an open access platform.

Within a corporate setting specific policies and guidelines should be made available so that everyone understands what is an acceptable contribution and what is not an acceptable contribution.  It should be made clear that participants should respect the opinions of others and that all references to ‘other’ content should always be referenced or a link should be provided to the original content.  These policies and guidelines can be a working document, which can be added to as the Web2.0 platform becomes populated.  In most cases, these policies and guidelines will become self-regulated among the users of the Web2.0 platform.

Bozarth, J. (2010). Social media for trainers: Techniques for enhancing and extending learning.  San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Hart, J. (2011). Social learning handbook: A practical guide to using social media to work and learn smarter. Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.
McAfee, A. (2009).  Enterprise 2.0: New collaborative tools for your organization’s toughest challenges.  Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Media Multitasking and Memory Processes

Media Multitasking refers to the number of media a person consumes simultaneously (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009).  Research shows that people who are rated as high media multitaskerss (HMM) have "greater difficulty filtering out irrelevant stimuli from their environment… are less likely to ignore irrelevant representations in memory… and they are less effective in suppressing the activation of irrelevant task sets" (Ophir et al., 2009, p. 3 of 5).  With HMM being more common today, especially among younger generations, how can HMM effect the memory process?  Listed below i have listed a couple of potential effects to consider.


Memory is load based, indicating that once the load reaches the cognitive capacities of the subject the processing suffers.  One example is when one has reached his/her cognitive abilities, he/she is unable to organize the material to store in their long-term memories.

Memory is selective, meaning that there are a number of stages that information needs to go through before it reaches your long-term memory.  There are various memory models but the simplest is that information is scanned via your sensory processes, then only some of this information enters into the short-term memory, then only a select few pieces of information get transferred to the working memory.  This information in our working memory, in turn, has a small chance of entering our long-term memory only if it has made the right associations and connections to existing memory.

One final short note about memory is that our brains and memories are constantly evolving.

HMM and Memory Processes

With that said, I believe that multitasking does have the potential to change our memory processes.  People have been multitasking for years, the more active we become the more we multitask.  Only recently, however, have we been using technology to multitask - hence the term media multitasking (MM).  

The first point to make is the effect that HMM can have on long-term memory processes.  Our long-term memory is where we store our knowledge.  This knowledge is retrieved by searching through various categories, concepts, associations, and experiences that are in our long-term memory.  This information is retrieved best if they are recalled by the same method, congruency.  If technology becomes a source of your retrieval process, then you would not be able to retrieve information from your long-term memory without the use of this technology.  This problem was identified in Lin Lins' (2009) commentary when she highlighted that the hippocampus was not involved in learning when using multitasking.  This could be problematic when learning is the primary goal.  However, if technology is used to assist one to store information to their long-term memory, to learn, then retrieval without the technology is more likely and learning is more likely to have been achieved - the hippocampus is involved.  Dependency would then be the key.  As long as we are not too dependent on any one technology we can benefit from it and our memories can continue to evolve.

This second point refers to how the Internet and HMM can reflect our memory processes.  Learning is not linear, our brains are more representative of networks, nodes, synaptic connections, etc…  Internet programs have developed tags to represent the content of the material we are interested in.  These tags, in most programs today, are created by the user (by us).  Thus, the internet is evolving into representation of our own memory and thought processes.  This point was highlighted in Lin Lins' (2009) commentary when she introduced Weinbergers' point: "that individuals exposed to a concept in multiple decentralized sources may gain deeper and more complex understanding of this concept" (Lin, 2009,Commentary).  I feel that as the internet becomes more like our own memory processes HMM can be beneficial to our learning.  

To benefit learning by using technology, including HMM techniques, one should consider two things.  Keep the dependency of the technology to a minimum, use technology as a guide and a tool.  The second consideration is to design your Internet connection to model your own memory processes to benefit your learning.


Lin Lin (2009). Breadth-biased versus focused cognitive control in media multitasking behaviors (Commentary).  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 106(37), 15521-15522.  doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908642106

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitasks.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 106(37), 15583-15587.  doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903620106

Friday, August 26, 2011

Metacognitive Model for HPT

My latest journal publication is out. Check out New Metacognitive Model for Human Performance Technology in the August issue of Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ), see above model.


Addressing metacognitive functions has been shown to improve performance at the individual, team, and organizational levels. Metacognition is beginning to surface as an added cognate discipline for the field of human performance technology (HPT). Advances from research in the fields of cognition and metacognition offer a place for HPT to expand its theoretical base. This article summarizes current theories of metacognition and presents a new metacognitive model for HPT.

Check out my powerpoint slides for this article on slideshare:


Turner, J. R. (2011). New metacognitive model for human performance technology. Performance Improvement, 50(7), 25-32. doi: 10.1002/pfi.20229

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Human Performance Technology Principles (HPT)

Listed below are a set of 10 Principles of Human Performance Technology (HPT) as presented by Jacobs in 1987 (Gilley, Dean, Bierema, 2001, pp. 80-91). These principles provide a guide for those who are interested in providing systematic performance related solutions for their organization. Practitioners, managers, and today's corporate leaders can all benefit by keeping these principles in the back of their minds.

  1. Human performance and human behavior are different, and knowledge of their differences is important for achieving goals.
  2. Any statement about human performance is about organizational performance as well.
  3. Costs of improving performance should be regarded as investments in human capital, yielding returns in the form of increased performance potential.
  4. Organizational and individual goals must be considered to define worthy performance.
  5. Knowing how to engineer human performance and the conditions that affect it is as important as explaining why the behavior occurred.
  6. Diagnosing problems required analysis of the present system and examination of differences between it and an ideal system. Avoiding anticipated problems requires analyzing the planned system and modifying it to approximate the ideal.
  7. Exemplary performance provides the most logical reference for establishing job performance standards.
  8. Human performance problems have differing root causes that originate either from the person, from something in the environment, or from both.
  9. The performance of one subsystem affects the performance of other subsystems in somewhat predictable ways, requiring that root causes be analyzed at more than one level of the organization.
  10. Many different solutions may be used to improve human performance. Selection of any one solution is dependent on the cause and nature of the performance problem, and the criteria used to evaluate a solution must include its potential to make a measurable difference in the performance system.
(Gilley, Dean, Bierema, 2001, pp. 80-91)


Gilley, J. W. (2001). Philosophy of organizational performance. In Gilley, J. W., Dean, P., & Bierema, L. (Eds.), Philosophy and practice of organizational learning, performance, and change: New perspectives in organizational learning, performance, and change, pp. 67-92. Cambridge, MA: Perseus.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is Your Workplace Designed for Learning?

As the 21st century transitions to the knowledge worker (from the industrial / manufacturing worker of the 20th century & from the agricultural worker from the 19th century) companies are faced with the responsibility of training their workers to acquire the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) for their jobs. Nijhof and Nieuwenhuis (2008) identified that work is shifting toward knowledge-intensive work, with a focus on knowledge production. It is not uncommon today to view a journal article or a newsletter that talks about the knowledge-economy. The primary difference here is that knowledge-economy refers more to a macro perspective, where knowledge production looks more at a micro perspective.

As the requirements for the knowledge worker continually changes to keep up with the global economy and new technologies, the educational system often falls behind these new technologies, thus furthering the burden for the employer to train employees. This new emphasis on training, by the employer, was highlighted by Nijhof and Nieuwenhuis (2008) by stating: “Efficient and effective learning impose requirements on workplaces that are different from those for efficient and effective working” (pp. 6-7). This new requirement on employers causes a shift in the common practices of the organization.

Most views of the workplace take the stand that there is a place to work (the workplace), there is a place to play (at home), and there is a place to learn (at home or at school – both away from the workplace). However, learning new tasks or skills are often required to perform one’s job. Alternatively, in order to successfully perform one’s job, one must be able to learn about the job duties and processes that are involved with that particular job. Nijhof & Nieuwenhius (2008) identified that learning is an intermediate function of work, “the learning potential of the workplace therefore lies in its conditions to support or stimulate learning” (Nijhof & Nieuwenhuis, 2008, p. 5). Thus, the more learning is supported in the workplace, employees have a tendency to be more motivated and productive.

A fully supported learning environment in the workplace could be replicated using the following definition provided by Nijhof and Nieuwenhuis (2008): “The learning potential of the workplace may… be defined as the power of a work setting to integrate learning at work with the result of behavioural changes and the generation of new knowledge” (p. 7).

Is your organization set up to integrate learning in the workplace? I will follow up in the next couple of blogs with a few models that could be implemented to begin a new learning workplace for organizations.


Nijhof, W. J. & Nieuwenhuis, L. F. M. (2008). The learning potential of the workforce. In Nijhof, W. J. & Nieuwenhuis, L. F. M. (Eds.), The learning potential of the workplace. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.

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