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Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working? #remote-work


 

Hello, 

Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working?

i'm sharing my experience and thoughts and would love to hear from you!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the global health situation impacting the way we interact, we find ourselves working from home and are required to continue delivering on our work priorities. Working from home may not necessary present the best ergonomic, private and inspiring space to be productive. Also, to solely rely on virtual collaboration technologies may not fulfill and achieve our work priorities. Still, we are locked down at home and counting on the different collaboration technologies as the only medium to connect with our colleagues and managers.

Some employees may have difficulties in forming a private space to focus on their tasks and keep an optimum performance level. Others are unfamiliar or may feel at unease while using these virtual collaborative technologies. Few employees may lack some suppleness to adapt to the pressing circumstances of being away from their habitual working space at the office. While the rest may lack some behavior agility and find themselves with the inability to handle the new situation.

Practically, we are involved in intensive virtual collaboration activities ranging from simple communication of information to much more complex technical knowledge exchange for problem-solving and project support. In fact, we are all trying to cope with the new reality, adapt our behaviors to the new working conditions and attempt to accomplish our objectives with the desired mastery level. Consequently, remote working is not the same as of virtual collaboration.

The main difference between virtual collaboration and remote working entails a productive working space and a collaborative working mode – all in a virtual paradigm. The virtual collaboration challenge is elevated to find the right balance between being well at my working space and doing the job with proficiency. More precisely, the challenge to keep engaged and productive knowledge workers in a virtual setup is two-folded: 

1) what are the elements of a remote, safe and a productive working space?
2) what are the enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode?

1) On the first question, I’ll reflect with some elements to consider while working remotely and ensuring a safe and a productive working space. First and foremost, employees are encouraged to declare their remote working days into the company HR systems. Having declared their remote days, they will make sure that they are covered by the health insurance program and are complying with all legal terms. Telemedicine or remote consultation should be provided by the company and recognized by the official and public health entities. Daily routines should be set coupled with their dedicated and private space. For example, at home a meeting space should be arranged to conduct online video conferencing in a well-defined time slot during the day. The rest of the family members may adhere to this video conferencing routine. Special equipment and network configuration may be needed to access company confidential or proprietary information. A VPN connection is required to access business specific applications. A second screen and any other ergonomic hardware or material might be needed for the comfort and the ease of use while being productive.

2) On the second question, I’ll detail the key enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode, and they are as follow: virtual leadership, knowledge networks, collaboration-oriented business processes and persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. 

Virtual leadership rather than remote management: “…this is not what I asked for or expected to get!” this conflictual statement is increasingly probable in a virtual context. Conflicts generated due to lack of common knowledge, agreed expectations and consensual behaviours may be mediated through learning collectively about the team outcomes and the team constituents. A shared knowledge about each and every members’ skills and competencies, and a clear reflection about the virtual team environment are required to moderate the virtual team conflicts. It’s the utmost virtual leader responsibility to promote relationships building over task-oriented management. The virtual leader may provide necessary coaching, guidance, facilitate bonding activities and informal exchange among the distributed team members. Indeed, it’s the virtual leader responsibility to grow trust-based interaction and connectivity. Focusing on task completion and follow up while suppressing the virtual team cohesiveness may quickly draw quality and performance issues.

Reinvigorating knowledge sharing communities and networks of expertise which are the organization pillars to maintain a cohesive and coherent distributed human capital. Knowledge communities amplify the inherent ability of the human which is Intelligence. Knowledge sharing communities contribute to an effective virtual collaboration by structuring and organizing the technical exchange of know-how and by curating the developed experiences and solutions. Knowledge sharing communities also support the development of new expertise. The knowledge we share is the knowledge we use and leverage through the one-to-many knowledge transfer processes.

Re-designing business processes with collaboration principles in mind. Activities such as: “methodology development”, “standard revision”, feedback collection”, “customer troubleshooting” can all be designed with collaboration as main driver. For example, in a context of continuous improvement, a leader has asked his staff to collect the top 10 most impacting problems for an engineering application. Quickly, emails exchange has become cumbersome, duplicative, chaotic and turned into a noisy machine with a lot of divergence. The gathered engineering problems included personal problems and complains. The same activity was implemented through online community platform where the collected problems and issues were organized, tagged and voted up. The activity of collecting the most impacting problems was better performed through the collaborative technologies. Therefore, activities that are intrinsically collaborative should be accomplished by the collaborative technologies. It’s worth to mention that generic collaborative technologies have the same effect as of email-based communication. It’s crucial to consider a fit between the activity requirements and the technology offered functionalities for the best implementation.

Persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. Despite the fact that we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends – we are still lacking literacy in the use of the collaborative technologies. Trainings are recommended and they are the preliminary action to get familiar with the tools. A deep understanding of why employees use these collaborative technologies and what do they use them for is critical to assure a continuous adoption of these collaborative tools. With their abundance, employees have an active role to choose which collaborative tool will meet given needs. It’s more likely that employees will seek to reuse a given collaborative technology when they satisfy certain aspirations and achieve gratification. The benefits from the usage of these collaborative technologies are perceived to enhance one’s knowledge, strengthen social interaction, provide learning opportunities, enable discovery, and above all generate a sense of satisfaction and gratification.

If the global health crisis has taught us anything about the way we interact and work, it will be the incapacity of our classical systems and working methods to face the rapid changes in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. It’s the best time to reconsider some of our habits, purposely re-question our routines, and unlearn some of our biases. We certainly need to leverage our fascinating human ability to adapt and evolve our beliefs and behaviors to survive the new reality!

I’d like to hear from you and know your thoughts.  

Thank you,
Rachad


Douglas Weidner
 

Rachad,


 Nice start on a very timely topic with less than obvious methods.

Let's consider a scenario (Learning) with which we can all relate, in order to make a deeper dive into two alternative virtual task-types.

This is an oversimplification, but think of virtual learning as having two components: lecture and exercises. I would hypothesize that virtual lectures/discussions might be analogous to a F2F meeting with discussions. Further, whether F2F or virtual, either mode should be reasonably efficient. 

But, what about doing in-class exercises, equivalent to table-top or whiteboard exercises in F2F mode. How would you make exercises (collaborative work products) equally effective? Consider you have both synchronous (same time - F2F) and asynchronous (different time - such as email chats, not real-time texting with a partner) possibilities.

In other words, what processes -- and secondarily technologies, optimize exercise-type work (solving problems and project support to use your words)?

Douglas Weidner

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 11:44 AM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hello, 

Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working?

i'm sharing my experience and thoughts and would love to hear from you!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the global health situation impacting the way we interact, we find ourselves working from home and are required to continue delivering on our work priorities. Working from home may not necessary present the best ergonomic, private and inspiring space to be productive. Also, to solely rely on virtual collaboration technologies may not fulfill and achieve our work priorities. Still, we are locked down at home and counting on the different collaboration technologies as the only medium to connect with our colleagues and managers.

Some employees may have difficulties in forming a private space to focus on their tasks and keep an optimum performance level. Others are unfamiliar or may feel at unease while using these virtual collaborative technologies. Few employees may lack some suppleness to adapt to the pressing circumstances of being away from their habitual working space at the office. While the rest may lack some behavior agility and find themselves with the inability to handle the new situation.

Practically, we are involved in intensive virtual collaboration activities ranging from simple communication of information to much more complex technical knowledge exchange for problem-solving and project support. In fact, we are all trying to cope with the new reality, adapt our behaviors to the new working conditions and attempt to accomplish our objectives with the desired mastery level. Consequently, remote working is not the same as of virtual collaboration.

The main difference between virtual collaboration and remote working entails a productive working space and a collaborative working mode – all in a virtual paradigm. The virtual collaboration challenge is elevated to find the right balance between being well at my working space and doing the job with proficiency. More precisely, the challenge to keep engaged and productive knowledge workers in a virtual setup is two-folded: 

1) what are the elements of a remote, safe and a productive working space?
2) what are the enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode?

1) On the first question, I’ll reflect with some elements to consider while working remotely and ensuring a safe and a productive working space. First and foremost, employees are encouraged to declare their remote working days into the company HR systems. Having declared their remote days, they will make sure that they are covered by the health insurance program and are complying with all legal terms. Telemedicine or remote consultation should be provided by the company and recognized by the official and public health entities. Daily routines should be set coupled with their dedicated and private space. For example, at home a meeting space should be arranged to conduct online video conferencing in a well-defined time slot during the day. The rest of the family members may adhere to this video conferencing routine. Special equipment and network configuration may be needed to access company confidential or proprietary information. A VPN connection is required to access business specific applications. A second screen and any other ergonomic hardware or material might be needed for the comfort and the ease of use while being productive.

2) On the second question, I’ll detail the key enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode, and they are as follow: virtual leadership, knowledge networks, collaboration-oriented business processes and persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. 

Virtual leadership rather than remote management: “…this is not what I asked for or expected to get!” this conflictual statement is increasingly probable in a virtual context. Conflicts generated due to lack of common knowledge, agreed expectations and consensual behaviours may be mediated through learning collectively about the team outcomes and the team constituents. A shared knowledge about each and every members’ skills and competencies, and a clear reflection about the virtual team environment are required to moderate the virtual team conflicts. It’s the utmost virtual leader responsibility to promote relationships building over task-oriented management. The virtual leader may provide necessary coaching, guidance, facilitate bonding activities and informal exchange among the distributed team members. Indeed, it’s the virtual leader responsibility to grow trust-based interaction and connectivity. Focusing on task completion and follow up while suppressing the virtual team cohesiveness may quickly draw quality and performance issues.

Reinvigorating knowledge sharing communities and networks of expertise which are the organization pillars to maintain a cohesive and coherent distributed human capital. Knowledge communities amplify the inherent ability of the human which is Intelligence. Knowledge sharing communities contribute to an effective virtual collaboration by structuring and organizing the technical exchange of know-how and by curating the developed experiences and solutions. Knowledge sharing communities also support the development of new expertise. The knowledge we share is the knowledge we use and leverage through the one-to-many knowledge transfer processes.

Re-designing business processes with collaboration principles in mind. Activities such as: “methodology development”, “standard revision”, feedback collection”, “customer troubleshooting” can all be designed with collaboration as main driver. For example, in a context of continuous improvement, a leader has asked his staff to collect the top 10 most impacting problems for an engineering application. Quickly, emails exchange has become cumbersome, duplicative, chaotic and turned into a noisy machine with a lot of divergence. The gathered engineering problems included personal problems and complains. The same activity was implemented through online community platform where the collected problems and issues were organized, tagged and voted up. The activity of collecting the most impacting problems was better performed through the collaborative technologies. Therefore, activities that are intrinsically collaborative should be accomplished by the collaborative technologies. It’s worth to mention that generic collaborative technologies have the same effect as of email-based communication. It’s crucial to consider a fit between the activity requirements and the technology offered functionalities for the best implementation.

Persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. Despite the fact that we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends – we are still lacking literacy in the use of the collaborative technologies. Trainings are recommended and they are the preliminary action to get familiar with the tools. A deep understanding of why employees use these collaborative technologies and what do they use them for is critical to assure a continuous adoption of these collaborative tools. With their abundance, employees have an active role to choose which collaborative tool will meet given needs. It’s more likely that employees will seek to reuse a given collaborative technology when they satisfy certain aspirations and achieve gratification. The benefits from the usage of these collaborative technologies are perceived to enhance one’s knowledge, strengthen social interaction, provide learning opportunities, enable discovery, and above all generate a sense of satisfaction and gratification.

If the global health crisis has taught us anything about the way we interact and work, it will be the incapacity of our classical systems and working methods to face the rapid changes in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. It’s the best time to reconsider some of our habits, purposely re-question our routines, and unlearn some of our biases. We certainly need to leverage our fascinating human ability to adapt and evolve our beliefs and behaviors to survive the new reality!

I’d like to hear from you and know your thoughts.  

Thank you,
Rachad


 

Rachad,  This is a timely reflection and also an opportunity for meaningful change in approaches.   I

Virtual leadership:  In my experience, managers/leaders have missed the shift to digital transformation in what it means for the way people interact and work in the modern organization - that is, they remain locked into earlier modalities of communication and leading (email, distribution lists, cascading information, out of the loop in using collaboration technologies in their own workflows, task review).   Digital and collaboration technologies afford more social, transparent, context rich ways of leading, and also affords the opportunity for those not in formal leadership roles to express it via visible knowledge sharing, high levels of network connectivity within and without the organization etc.  Last year I gave a talk at SocialNow on Digital Leadership, which might be pertinent to the shifting virtual work environment.  While nominally it was about using Enterprise Social Networks, it's the behaviors, not the particular form of social/collaborative technology that is relevant.  Topics on Digital Leadership

Communities and networks:   I would welcome ideas on how to inspire leaders and encourage individuals to participate more in communities.  We have seen in our own SIKM community impactful stories of knowledge networks/communities (ie. Dan Ranta).   The sense of business value or organizational value is a missing piece of management science, if you will. 

Persistent adoption of collaboration technologies:  This is one area that remains trapped in a misplaced emphasis on technology adoption rollout as sufficient to the task.  I have been involved in extensive, enterprise shifts to social and collaboration technologies across organizations.   You are quite correct on the literacy - adoption and engagement programs drop off rapidly after tools are made available.  Collaboration technologies are enablers to more connected, transparent and easily expanded workflows and knowledge.  To the first point on Virtual Leadership - leaders often have very little visceral experience with the tools and reinforce, by their own behaviors, a reliance on old models (especially email).  Second, individual knowledge workers benefit from sustained adoption and engagement - not with just the tools, per se, but with the expanded contexts they bring.  There are some points in this post about Digital Work Practice that I find can be really key to that Persistent Adoption of Collaboration Technologies 

A thoughtful post, Rachad and this could be a moment of leverage that has been missing from the "Digital Transformation" efforts in organizaitons pre-COVID.

Catherine



CATHERINE SHINNERS

DIGITAL WORKPLACE for Business Transformation

650.704-3889 mercedgroup.com Silicon Valley USA   

catherineshinners@...

 

digital workplace | communications  |  knowledge management | community management | Prosci certified change professional






On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 8:44 AM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hello, 

Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working?

i'm sharing my experience and thoughts and would love to hear from you!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the global health situation impacting the way we interact, we find ourselves working from home and are required to continue delivering on our work priorities. Working from home may not necessary present the best ergonomic, private and inspiring space to be productive. Also, to solely rely on virtual collaboration technologies may not fulfill and achieve our work priorities. Still, we are locked down at home and counting on the different collaboration technologies as the only medium to connect with our colleagues and managers.

Some employees may have difficulties in forming a private space to focus on their tasks and keep an optimum performance level. Others are unfamiliar or may feel at unease while using these virtual collaborative technologies. Few employees may lack some suppleness to adapt to the pressing circumstances of being away from their habitual working space at the office. While the rest may lack some behavior agility and find themselves with the inability to handle the new situation.

Practically, we are involved in intensive virtual collaboration activities ranging from simple communication of information to much more complex technical knowledge exchange for problem-solving and project support. In fact, we are all trying to cope with the new reality, adapt our behaviors to the new working conditions and attempt to accomplish our objectives with the desired mastery level. Consequently, remote working is not the same as of virtual collaboration.

The main difference between virtual collaboration and remote working entails a productive working space and a collaborative working mode – all in a virtual paradigm. The virtual collaboration challenge is elevated to find the right balance between being well at my working space and doing the job with proficiency. More precisely, the challenge to keep engaged and productive knowledge workers in a virtual setup is two-folded: 

1) what are the elements of a remote, safe and a productive working space?
2) what are the enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode?

1) On the first question, I’ll reflect with some elements to consider while working remotely and ensuring a safe and a productive working space. First and foremost, employees are encouraged to declare their remote working days into the company HR systems. Having declared their remote days, they will make sure that they are covered by the health insurance program and are complying with all legal terms. Telemedicine or remote consultation should be provided by the company and recognized by the official and public health entities. Daily routines should be set coupled with their dedicated and private space. For example, at home a meeting space should be arranged to conduct online video conferencing in a well-defined time slot during the day. The rest of the family members may adhere to this video conferencing routine. Special equipment and network configuration may be needed to access company confidential or proprietary information. A VPN connection is required to access business specific applications. A second screen and any other ergonomic hardware or material might be needed for the comfort and the ease of use while being productive.

2) On the second question, I’ll detail the key enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode, and they are as follow: virtual leadership, knowledge networks, collaboration-oriented business processes and persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. 

Virtual leadership rather than remote management: “…this is not what I asked for or expected to get!” this conflictual statement is increasingly probable in a virtual context. Conflicts generated due to lack of common knowledge, agreed expectations and consensual behaviours may be mediated through learning collectively about the team outcomes and the team constituents. A shared knowledge about each and every members’ skills and competencies, and a clear reflection about the virtual team environment are required to moderate the virtual team conflicts. It’s the utmost virtual leader responsibility to promote relationships building over task-oriented management. The virtual leader may provide necessary coaching, guidance, facilitate bonding activities and informal exchange among the distributed team members. Indeed, it’s the virtual leader responsibility to grow trust-based interaction and connectivity. Focusing on task completion and follow up while suppressing the virtual team cohesiveness may quickly draw quality and performance issues.

Reinvigorating knowledge sharing communities and networks of expertise which are the organization pillars to maintain a cohesive and coherent distributed human capital. Knowledge communities amplify the inherent ability of the human which is Intelligence. Knowledge sharing communities contribute to an effective virtual collaboration by structuring and organizing the technical exchange of know-how and by curating the developed experiences and solutions. Knowledge sharing communities also support the development of new expertise. The knowledge we share is the knowledge we use and leverage through the one-to-many knowledge transfer processes.

Re-designing business processes with collaboration principles in mind. Activities such as: “methodology development”, “standard revision”, feedback collection”, “customer troubleshooting” can all be designed with collaboration as main driver. For example, in a context of continuous improvement, a leader has asked his staff to collect the top 10 most impacting problems for an engineering application. Quickly, emails exchange has become cumbersome, duplicative, chaotic and turned into a noisy machine with a lot of divergence. The gathered engineering problems included personal problems and complains. The same activity was implemented through online community platform where the collected problems and issues were organized, tagged and voted up. The activity of collecting the most impacting problems was better performed through the collaborative technologies. Therefore, activities that are intrinsically collaborative should be accomplished by the collaborative technologies. It’s worth to mention that generic collaborative technologies have the same effect as of email-based communication. It’s crucial to consider a fit between the activity requirements and the technology offered functionalities for the best implementation.

Persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. Despite the fact that we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends – we are still lacking literacy in the use of the collaborative technologies. Trainings are recommended and they are the preliminary action to get familiar with the tools. A deep understanding of why employees use these collaborative technologies and what do they use them for is critical to assure a continuous adoption of these collaborative tools. With their abundance, employees have an active role to choose which collaborative tool will meet given needs. It’s more likely that employees will seek to reuse a given collaborative technology when they satisfy certain aspirations and achieve gratification. The benefits from the usage of these collaborative technologies are perceived to enhance one’s knowledge, strengthen social interaction, provide learning opportunities, enable discovery, and above all generate a sense of satisfaction and gratification.

If the global health crisis has taught us anything about the way we interact and work, it will be the incapacity of our classical systems and working methods to face the rapid changes in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. It’s the best time to reconsider some of our habits, purposely re-question our routines, and unlearn some of our biases. We certainly need to leverage our fascinating human ability to adapt and evolve our beliefs and behaviors to survive the new reality!

I’d like to hear from you and know your thoughts.  

Thank you,
Rachad


 

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


 

Hi Cathy, 

Much appreciated your note. 

The opportunity has presented itself for us to accelerate the digital transformation. I find it unfortunate if the top management returned to old habits and comfort zone without taking lessons out of this health crisis. 

  • Great learning content in Digital leadership - ESN as launchpad. I'm gonna definitely reuse a lot of teachings and knowledge presented in the slides.  
  • I was privileged to be part of Dan Ranta team at GE. we have presented our story during the  SIKM Leaders community, Nov. 19, 2019 : KM at GE Slides and    Audio Recordings . I'm still carrying the burden to continue Dan's legacy at GE. 
  • Something's on overload - but it's not collaboration. A great education material to define and differentiate the nature of collaboration context. I find it complementary to one of my scientific research article  Proposal of a framework for characterizing virtual collectives


it makes me uncomfortable and worried to witness companies conducting buzz words trainings i.e.: "coaching for performance", "leadership agility", "change - an emotional experience" without making any radical or fundamental shift towards the digital transformation. 

Thank you

Rachad  


 

Rachad - are you equating digital transformation with use of virtual collaboration platforms/tools/technologies? 

Fundamentally I think that many companies and some practitioners place too much emphasis on rolling out the latest shiny tool and fixate on adoption as the primary success metric, without stopping to consider where and how (or if!) value is being created. I have sometimes referred to this as "the tin can telephone problem." Tin can telephones are technically feasible - we made them when I was a kid. Sure, they would work. But in terms of solving a "real" problem, not so much. Easier to just open a window and shout across the back yard! Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. 

So, too, with virtual collaboration tech. Robust use cases that address a real, felt business need are often given little thought. When things return to normal - and they will - it would be a mistake to assume that now that we've got all this Corona practice working virtually we can do away or greatly reduce f2f meetings. (Check out Dennis Pearce's thread started today for more on this). 

--
-Tom
--

Tom Short Consulting
TSC

+1 415 300 7457

All of my previous SIKM Posts


Douglas Weidner
 

Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


John Lewis
 

Hi Douglas,
If I understand your point (and question), online learning, using synchronous technologies, is now straight forward as it can somewhat mimic Face-to-Face interactions and current classroom course structures. But when mixing in asynchronous techniques and technologies, there are questions remaining for best practices.

With online and classroom learning, the assumed pedagogy should be explicitly stated as to underlying learning assumptions before moving to techniques. I think that is where you were going with your example of a learning approach known as "learn by doing." So, let's drill down into pedagogy before methodology.

I teach my master's class on Organizational Learning entirely online, and mainly using asynchronous techniques. I use the Story Thinking pedagogy, which shows that learning can occur by moving throughout an entire Story Thinking cycle, or learning can occur in the last half of the cycle where the answers are delivered instead of discovered. A Full-Cycle story lesson takes a learner through the entire pattern towards understanding, whereas Half-Pipe learning starts at the point where an answer has been determined, and now the student just needs to obtain this knowledge. So, a Full-Cycle story lesson requires that each lesson starts with learning questions in addition to stated learning objectives.

From Story Thinking, pg 90:
Most people know that Albert Einstein created a theory of relativity. But most people do not know that this theory came from his ability to formulate this question: “What would I see if I could ride on a beam of light?” Imagine signing up for a physics class, and before seeing the learning objectives (e.g. “You will be able to describe the theory of relativity”) that you see this learning question: “What would you see if you could ride on a beam of light?” Now I am curious to understand the answer, and also how we got from the question to the answer.

Learning questions engage the learner at a different point in the story pattern than learning outcome objectives. They engage at the state of curiosity instead of conviction. And they lead to content related to the importance of the question, and competing theories and ideas, before discussing answers and implementation implications of the answer.

In my Organizational Learning course, some example learning questions include:
• What is organizational learning and how is it different from individual learning?
• How must individuals change so that organizations can change?
• In the knowledge economy, why are business models different from learning models?
• How do organizations balance efficiency and creativity?

This approach engages the student at a state of Muse rather than Memorization. And it is important to understand before trying to answer questions related to online methods and technology, because the answer will be different if you want full-cycle versus half-pipe learning. As far as underlying assumptions, for me, the base operation is learning and epistemology, not knowledge. "All knowledge is just an answer to a question. We should teach questioning skills before knowledge." - J Lewis. Unfortunately, the current education system is run from evaluation models, not learning models, and is the reason I was glad to see you ask about a deeper discussion which necessarily took us beyond Bloom's Taxonomy, which will need to change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With some underlying assumptions of learning in mind, we can now ask what part of the story structure are you within as you consider synchronous and asynchronous techniques and technologies? I have found that I am able to "flip the classroom" so that instead of taking notes as I teach in a classroom, followed by homework with related exercises, now students prepare by reading the learning questions and objectives, reading related articles, and watching my recorded lesson which they can replay instead of trying to take notes in realtime. This means that when I get a question, it is not to repeat something so they can write it down, it is always a good question that has been thought out by the time we interact later via email or synchronous activities. The online discussion board also supports learner-to-learner collaboration, and participation is required for each lesson, since each student learns from other students, and also has to form and articulate their own questions and opinions, supporting their interaction and understanding.

Well, this is clearly expanding beyond an acceptable email length. Douglas, if you are actively redesigning course material and would like to discuss in more detail please let me know. Actually, I am moved by the response of the KM community to offer help and materials during these crazy times. And I have been wondering how I can best help as well. If there is interest in the KM community, I could schedule a Zoom discussion on this topic.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...
Author - Story Thinking: Transforming Organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/

Free resources:
Podcast - Introduction to Story Thinking (20 min)
https://soundcloud.com/pioneer-ks/john-lewis-because-you-need-to-know-pioneer-knowledge-services
Virtual Knowledge Café - Story Thinking and Knowledge Sharing (24 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mWCsrCbb4&feature=youtu.be


On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


Douglas Weidner
 

Thank you John.

As usual, an outstanding contribution.

I'll need to review your book again in order to thoughtfully respond.. 

Admittedly, I just skimmed your book when I got it because I wasn't into the design mode at the time.
Now, every trainer should reconsider their course design as many transition from F2F to virtual and in light of the major differences between them, but maybe not so at the very core, as you suggest.
I'd be interested in a Zoom discussion and so would KMI's Instructors. 

As an aside: Do you think there is now enough (online) demand for perfecting a hybrid (virtual with asynchronous collaboration) KM Institute certification in such techniques?

It could be in our Organizational Learning Competency Area and labeled:
Certified Knowledge Specialist - Organizational Learning (CKS - Organizational Learning), or even more specific.

Let's chat.

Douglas Weidner
KM Institute

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 10:44 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Hi Douglas,
If I understand your point (and question), online learning, using synchronous technologies, is now straight forward as it can somewhat mimic Face-to-Face interactions and current classroom course structures. But when mixing in asynchronous techniques and technologies, there are questions remaining for best practices.

With online and classroom learning, the assumed pedagogy should be explicitly stated as to underlying learning assumptions before moving to techniques. I think that is where you were going with your example of a learning approach known as "learn by doing." So, let's drill down into pedagogy before methodology.

I teach my master's class on Organizational Learning entirely online, and mainly using asynchronous techniques. I use the Story Thinking pedagogy, which shows that learning can occur by moving throughout an entire Story Thinking cycle, or learning can occur in the last half of the cycle where the answers are delivered instead of discovered. A Full-Cycle story lesson takes a learner through the entire pattern towards understanding, whereas Half-Pipe learning starts at the point where an answer has been determined, and now the student just needs to obtain this knowledge. So, a Full-Cycle story lesson requires that each lesson starts with learning questions in addition to stated learning objectives.

From Story Thinking, pg 90:
Most people know that Albert Einstein created a theory of relativity. But most people do not know that this theory came from his ability to formulate this question: “What would I see if I could ride on a beam of light?” Imagine signing up for a physics class, and before seeing the learning objectives (e.g. “You will be able to describe the theory of relativity”) that you see this learning question: “What would you see if you could ride on a beam of light?” Now I am curious to understand the answer, and also how we got from the question to the answer.

Learning questions engage the learner at a different point in the story pattern than learning outcome objectives. They engage at the state of curiosity instead of conviction. And they lead to content related to the importance of the question, and competing theories and ideas, before discussing answers and implementation implications of the answer.

In my Organizational Learning course, some example learning questions include:
• What is organizational learning and how is it different from individual learning?
• How must individuals change so that organizations can change?
• In the knowledge economy, why are business models different from learning models?
• How do organizations balance efficiency and creativity?

This approach engages the student at a state of Muse rather than Memorization. And it is important to understand before trying to answer questions related to online methods and technology, because the answer will be different if you want full-cycle versus half-pipe learning. As far as underlying assumptions, for me, the base operation is learning and epistemology, not knowledge. "All knowledge is just an answer to a question. We should teach questioning skills before knowledge." - J Lewis. Unfortunately, the current education system is run from evaluation models, not learning models, and is the reason I was glad to see you ask about a deeper discussion which necessarily took us beyond Bloom's Taxonomy, which will need to change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With some underlying assumptions of learning in mind, we can now ask what part of the story structure are you within as you consider synchronous and asynchronous techniques and technologies? I have found that I am able to "flip the classroom" so that instead of taking notes as I teach in a classroom, followed by homework with related exercises, now students prepare by reading the learning questions and objectives, reading related articles, and watching my recorded lesson which they can replay instead of trying to take notes in realtime. This means that when I get a question, it is not to repeat something so they can write it down, it is always a good question that has been thought out by the time we interact later via email or synchronous activities. The online discussion board also supports learner-to-learner collaboration, and participation is required for each lesson, since each student learns from other students, and also has to form and articulate their own questions and opinions, supporting their interaction and understanding.

Well, this is clearly expanding beyond an acceptable email length. Douglas, if you are actively redesigning course material and would like to discuss in more detail please let me know. Actually, I am moved by the response of the KM community to offer help and materials during these crazy times. And I have been wondering how I can best help as well. If there is interest in the KM community, I could schedule a Zoom discussion on this topic.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...
Author - Story Thinking: Transforming Organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/

Free resources:
Podcast - Introduction to Story Thinking (20 min)
https://soundcloud.com/pioneer-ks/john-lewis-because-you-need-to-know-pioneer-knowledge-services
Virtual Knowledge Café - Story Thinking and Knowledge Sharing (24 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mWCsrCbb4&feature=youtu.be


On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


Nancy Dixon
 

Rachad and Douglas 
This is a topic I’ve been interviewing remote workers about and researching on over the last for years. l’ve written several recent blog posts how to make remote work more collaborative. You can find the latest one here.  https://www.nancydixonblog.com/2020/03/has-the-coronavirus-imposed-virtual-team-meetings-the-problem-and-the-solution.html

Nancy


Nancy M Dixon


Working to increase virtual team collaboration

On Apr 13, 2020, at 10:44 AM, Rachad Najjar via groups.io <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hello, 

Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working?

i'm sharing my experience and thoughts and would love to hear from you!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the global health situation impacting the way we interact, we find ourselves working from home and are required to continue delivering on our work priorities. Working from home may not necessary present the best ergonomic, private and inspiring space to be productive. Also, to solely rely on virtual collaboration technologies may not fulfill and achieve our work priorities. Still, we are locked down at home and counting on the different collaboration technologies as the only medium to connect with our colleagues and managers.

Some employees may have difficulties in forming a private space to focus on their tasks and keep an optimum performance level. Others are unfamiliar or may feel at unease while using these virtual collaborative technologies. Few employees may lack some suppleness to adapt to the pressing circumstances of being away from their habitual working space at the office. While the rest may lack some behavior agility and find themselves with the inability to handle the new situation.

Practically, we are involved in intensive virtual collaboration activities ranging from simple communication of information to much more complex technical knowledge exchange for problem-solving and project support. In fact, we are all trying to cope with the new reality, adapt our behaviors to the new working conditions and attempt to accomplish our objectives with the desired mastery level. Consequently, remote working is not the same as of virtual collaboration.

The main difference between virtual collaboration and remote working entails a productive working space and a collaborative working mode – all in a virtual paradigm. The virtual collaboration challenge is elevated to find the right balance between being well at my working space and doing the job with proficiency. More precisely, the challenge to keep engaged and productive knowledge workers in a virtual setup is two-folded: 

1) what are the elements of a remote, safe and a productive working space?
2) what are the enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode?

1) On the first question, I’ll reflect with some elements to consider while working remotely and ensuring a safe and a productive working space. First and foremost, employees are encouraged to declare their remote working days into the company HR systems. Having declared their remote days, they will make sure that they are covered by the health insurance program and are complying with all legal terms. Telemedicine or remote consultation should be provided by the company and recognized by the official and public health entities. Daily routines should be set coupled with their dedicated and private space. For example, at home a meeting space should be arranged to conduct online video conferencing in a well-defined time slot during the day. The rest of the family members may adhere to this video conferencing routine. Special equipment and network configuration may be needed to access company confidential or proprietary information. A VPN connection is required to access business specific applications. A second screen and any other ergonomic hardware or material might be needed for the comfort and the ease of use while being productive.

2) On the second question, I’ll detail the key enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode, and they are as follow: virtual leadership, knowledge networks, collaboration-oriented business processes and persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. 

Virtual leadership rather than remote management: “…this is not what I asked for or expected to get!” this conflictual statement is increasingly probable in a virtual context. Conflicts generated due to lack of common knowledge, agreed expectations and consensual behaviours may be mediated through learning collectively about the team outcomes and the team constituents. A shared knowledge about each and every members’ skills and competencies, and a clear reflection about the virtual team environment are required to moderate the virtual team conflicts. It’s the utmost virtual leader responsibility to promote relationships building over task-oriented management. The virtual leader may provide necessary coaching, guidance, facilitate bonding activities and informal exchange among the distributed team members. Indeed, it’s the virtual leader responsibility to grow trust-based interaction and connectivity. Focusing on task completion and follow up while suppressing the virtual team cohesiveness may quickly draw quality and performance issues.

Reinvigorating knowledge sharing communities and networks of expertise which are the organization pillars to maintain a cohesive and coherent distributed human capital. Knowledge communities amplify the inherent ability of the human which is Intelligence. Knowledge sharing communities contribute to an effective virtual collaboration by structuring and organizing the technical exchange of know-how and by curating the developed experiences and solutions. Knowledge sharing communities also support the development of new expertise. The knowledge we share is the knowledge we use and leverage through the one-to-many knowledge transfer processes.

Re-designing business processes with collaboration principles in mind. Activities such as: “methodology development”, “standard revision”, feedback collection”, “customer troubleshooting” can all be designed with collaboration as main driver. For example, in a context of continuous improvement, a leader has asked his staff to collect the top 10 most impacting problems for an engineering application. Quickly, emails exchange has become cumbersome, duplicative, chaotic and turned into a noisy machine with a lot of divergence. The gathered engineering problems included personal problems and complains. The same activity was implemented through online community platform where the collected problems and issues were organized, tagged and voted up. The activity of collecting the most impacting problems was better performed through the collaborative technologies. Therefore, activities that are intrinsically collaborative should be accomplished by the collaborative technologies. It’s worth to mention that generic collaborative technologies have the same effect as of email-based communication. It’s crucial to consider a fit between the activity requirements and the technology offered functionalities for the best implementation.

Persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. Despite the fact that we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends – we are still lacking literacy in the use of the collaborative technologies. Trainings are recommended and they are the preliminary action to get familiar with the tools. A deep understanding of why employees use these collaborative technologies and what do they use them for is critical to assure a continuous adoption of these collaborative tools. With their abundance, employees have an active role to choose which collaborative tool will meet given needs. It’s more likely that employees will seek to reuse a given collaborative technology when they satisfy certain aspirations and achieve gratification. The benefits from the usage of these collaborative technologies are perceived to enhance one’s knowledge, strengthen social interaction, provide learning opportunities, enable discovery, and above all generate a sense of satisfaction and gratification.

If the global health crisis has taught us anything about the way we interact and work, it will be the incapacity of our classical systems and working methods to face the rapid changes in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. It’s the best time to reconsider some of our habits, purposely re-question our routines, and unlearn some of our biases. We certainly need to leverage our fascinating human ability to adapt and evolve our beliefs and behaviors to survive the new reality!

I’d like to hear from you and know your thoughts.  

Thank you,
Rachad



Douglas Weidner
 

Thanks Nancy.

Stay healthy,
Douglas

On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 1:47 PM Nancy Dixon <nancydixon@...> wrote:
Rachad and Douglas 
This is a topic I’ve been interviewing remote workers about and researching on over the last for years. l’ve written several recent blog posts how to make remote work more collaborative. You can find the latest one here.  https://www.nancydixonblog.com/2020/03/has-the-coronavirus-imposed-virtual-team-meetings-the-problem-and-the-solution.html

Nancy


Nancy M Dixon


Working to increase virtual team collaboration

On Apr 13, 2020, at 10:44 AM, Rachad Najjar via groups.io <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hello, 

Why virtual collaboration is different from remote working or home working?

i'm sharing my experience and thoughts and would love to hear from you!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With the global health situation impacting the way we interact, we find ourselves working from home and are required to continue delivering on our work priorities. Working from home may not necessary present the best ergonomic, private and inspiring space to be productive. Also, to solely rely on virtual collaboration technologies may not fulfill and achieve our work priorities. Still, we are locked down at home and counting on the different collaboration technologies as the only medium to connect with our colleagues and managers.

Some employees may have difficulties in forming a private space to focus on their tasks and keep an optimum performance level. Others are unfamiliar or may feel at unease while using these virtual collaborative technologies. Few employees may lack some suppleness to adapt to the pressing circumstances of being away from their habitual working space at the office. While the rest may lack some behavior agility and find themselves with the inability to handle the new situation.

Practically, we are involved in intensive virtual collaboration activities ranging from simple communication of information to much more complex technical knowledge exchange for problem-solving and project support. In fact, we are all trying to cope with the new reality, adapt our behaviors to the new working conditions and attempt to accomplish our objectives with the desired mastery level. Consequently, remote working is not the same as of virtual collaboration.

The main difference between virtual collaboration and remote working entails a productive working space and a collaborative working mode – all in a virtual paradigm. The virtual collaboration challenge is elevated to find the right balance between being well at my working space and doing the job with proficiency. More precisely, the challenge to keep engaged and productive knowledge workers in a virtual setup is two-folded: 

1) what are the elements of a remote, safe and a productive working space?
2) what are the enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode?

1) On the first question, I’ll reflect with some elements to consider while working remotely and ensuring a safe and a productive working space. First and foremost, employees are encouraged to declare their remote working days into the company HR systems. Having declared their remote days, they will make sure that they are covered by the health insurance program and are complying with all legal terms. Telemedicine or remote consultation should be provided by the company and recognized by the official and public health entities. Daily routines should be set coupled with their dedicated and private space. For example, at home a meeting space should be arranged to conduct online video conferencing in a well-defined time slot during the day. The rest of the family members may adhere to this video conferencing routine. Special equipment and network configuration may be needed to access company confidential or proprietary information. A VPN connection is required to access business specific applications. A second screen and any other ergonomic hardware or material might be needed for the comfort and the ease of use while being productive.

2) On the second question, I’ll detail the key enablers for an effective virtual and collaborative working mode, and they are as follow: virtual leadership, knowledge networks, collaboration-oriented business processes and persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. 

Virtual leadership rather than remote management: “…this is not what I asked for or expected to get!” this conflictual statement is increasingly probable in a virtual context. Conflicts generated due to lack of common knowledge, agreed expectations and consensual behaviours may be mediated through learning collectively about the team outcomes and the team constituents. A shared knowledge about each and every members’ skills and competencies, and a clear reflection about the virtual team environment are required to moderate the virtual team conflicts. It’s the utmost virtual leader responsibility to promote relationships building over task-oriented management. The virtual leader may provide necessary coaching, guidance, facilitate bonding activities and informal exchange among the distributed team members. Indeed, it’s the virtual leader responsibility to grow trust-based interaction and connectivity. Focusing on task completion and follow up while suppressing the virtual team cohesiveness may quickly draw quality and performance issues.

Reinvigorating knowledge sharing communities and networks of expertise which are the organization pillars to maintain a cohesive and coherent distributed human capital. Knowledge communities amplify the inherent ability of the human which is Intelligence. Knowledge sharing communities contribute to an effective virtual collaboration by structuring and organizing the technical exchange of know-how and by curating the developed experiences and solutions. Knowledge sharing communities also support the development of new expertise. The knowledge we share is the knowledge we use and leverage through the one-to-many knowledge transfer processes.

Re-designing business processes with collaboration principles in mind. Activities such as: “methodology development”, “standard revision”, feedback collection”, “customer troubleshooting” can all be designed with collaboration as main driver. For example, in a context of continuous improvement, a leader has asked his staff to collect the top 10 most impacting problems for an engineering application. Quickly, emails exchange has become cumbersome, duplicative, chaotic and turned into a noisy machine with a lot of divergence. The gathered engineering problems included personal problems and complains. The same activity was implemented through online community platform where the collected problems and issues were organized, tagged and voted up. The activity of collecting the most impacting problems was better performed through the collaborative technologies. Therefore, activities that are intrinsically collaborative should be accomplished by the collaborative technologies. It’s worth to mention that generic collaborative technologies have the same effect as of email-based communication. It’s crucial to consider a fit between the activity requirements and the technology offered functionalities for the best implementation.

Persistent adoption of collaborative technologies. Despite the fact that we are living in the fourth industrial revolution – disruptive technologies and trends – we are still lacking literacy in the use of the collaborative technologies. Trainings are recommended and they are the preliminary action to get familiar with the tools. A deep understanding of why employees use these collaborative technologies and what do they use them for is critical to assure a continuous adoption of these collaborative tools. With their abundance, employees have an active role to choose which collaborative tool will meet given needs. It’s more likely that employees will seek to reuse a given collaborative technology when they satisfy certain aspirations and achieve gratification. The benefits from the usage of these collaborative technologies are perceived to enhance one’s knowledge, strengthen social interaction, provide learning opportunities, enable discovery, and above all generate a sense of satisfaction and gratification.

If the global health crisis has taught us anything about the way we interact and work, it will be the incapacity of our classical systems and working methods to face the rapid changes in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. It’s the best time to reconsider some of our habits, purposely re-question our routines, and unlearn some of our biases. We certainly need to leverage our fascinating human ability to adapt and evolve our beliefs and behaviors to survive the new reality!

I’d like to hear from you and know your thoughts.  

Thank you,
Rachad



John Lewis
 

Douglas, thanks for your kind words.

I agree that course designers should be thinking about how to move their content online. I believe, at this point, that the question is not if it can be as good as a classroom experience - I believe it can be much better if done correctly. So, I believe this to be true for KMI content as well. But again, per my last post, this requires the technology and techniques to be based on a cognitive model of learning, not a model of evaluation, communication, or a behavioral model of learning (which unfortunately is what most instructional designers have been taught).

Now that you have made me think about this, I would say that KMers are the meta-thinkers in the organization, who think about knowledge itself, and probably score high on the "Need for Cognition" profile, so would probably be the first to adapt to cognitive-based online learning.

Agreed, let's follow-up and go deeper.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:16 AM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thank you John.

As usual, an outstanding contribution.

I'll need to review your book again in order to thoughtfully respond.. 

Admittedly, I just skimmed your book when I got it because I wasn't into the design mode at the time.
Now, every trainer should reconsider their course design as many transition from F2F to virtual and in light of the major differences between them, but maybe not so at the very core, as you suggest.
I'd be interested in a Zoom discussion and so would KMI's Instructors. 

As an aside: Do you think there is now enough (online) demand for perfecting a hybrid (virtual with asynchronous collaboration) KM Institute certification in such techniques?

It could be in our Organizational Learning Competency Area and labeled:
Certified Knowledge Specialist - Organizational Learning (CKS - Organizational Learning), or even more specific.

Let's chat.

Douglas Weidner
KM Institute

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 10:44 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Hi Douglas,
If I understand your point (and question), online learning, using synchronous technologies, is now straight forward as it can somewhat mimic Face-to-Face interactions and current classroom course structures. But when mixing in asynchronous techniques and technologies, there are questions remaining for best practices.

With online and classroom learning, the assumed pedagogy should be explicitly stated as to underlying learning assumptions before moving to techniques. I think that is where you were going with your example of a learning approach known as "learn by doing." So, let's drill down into pedagogy before methodology.

I teach my master's class on Organizational Learning entirely online, and mainly using asynchronous techniques. I use the Story Thinking pedagogy, which shows that learning can occur by moving throughout an entire Story Thinking cycle, or learning can occur in the last half of the cycle where the answers are delivered instead of discovered. A Full-Cycle story lesson takes a learner through the entire pattern towards understanding, whereas Half-Pipe learning starts at the point where an answer has been determined, and now the student just needs to obtain this knowledge. So, a Full-Cycle story lesson requires that each lesson starts with learning questions in addition to stated learning objectives.

From Story Thinking, pg 90:
Most people know that Albert Einstein created a theory of relativity. But most people do not know that this theory came from his ability to formulate this question: “What would I see if I could ride on a beam of light?” Imagine signing up for a physics class, and before seeing the learning objectives (e.g. “You will be able to describe the theory of relativity”) that you see this learning question: “What would you see if you could ride on a beam of light?” Now I am curious to understand the answer, and also how we got from the question to the answer.

Learning questions engage the learner at a different point in the story pattern than learning outcome objectives. They engage at the state of curiosity instead of conviction. And they lead to content related to the importance of the question, and competing theories and ideas, before discussing answers and implementation implications of the answer.

In my Organizational Learning course, some example learning questions include:
• What is organizational learning and how is it different from individual learning?
• How must individuals change so that organizations can change?
• In the knowledge economy, why are business models different from learning models?
• How do organizations balance efficiency and creativity?

This approach engages the student at a state of Muse rather than Memorization. And it is important to understand before trying to answer questions related to online methods and technology, because the answer will be different if you want full-cycle versus half-pipe learning. As far as underlying assumptions, for me, the base operation is learning and epistemology, not knowledge. "All knowledge is just an answer to a question. We should teach questioning skills before knowledge." - J Lewis. Unfortunately, the current education system is run from evaluation models, not learning models, and is the reason I was glad to see you ask about a deeper discussion which necessarily took us beyond Bloom's Taxonomy, which will need to change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With some underlying assumptions of learning in mind, we can now ask what part of the story structure are you within as you consider synchronous and asynchronous techniques and technologies? I have found that I am able to "flip the classroom" so that instead of taking notes as I teach in a classroom, followed by homework with related exercises, now students prepare by reading the learning questions and objectives, reading related articles, and watching my recorded lesson which they can replay instead of trying to take notes in realtime. This means that when I get a question, it is not to repeat something so they can write it down, it is always a good question that has been thought out by the time we interact later via email or synchronous activities. The online discussion board also supports learner-to-learner collaboration, and participation is required for each lesson, since each student learns from other students, and also has to form and articulate their own questions and opinions, supporting their interaction and understanding.

Well, this is clearly expanding beyond an acceptable email length. Douglas, if you are actively redesigning course material and would like to discuss in more detail please let me know. Actually, I am moved by the response of the KM community to offer help and materials during these crazy times. And I have been wondering how I can best help as well. If there is interest in the KM community, I could schedule a Zoom discussion on this topic.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...
Author - Story Thinking: Transforming Organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/

Free resources:
Podcast - Introduction to Story Thinking (20 min)
https://soundcloud.com/pioneer-ks/john-lewis-because-you-need-to-know-pioneer-knowledge-services
Virtual Knowledge Café - Story Thinking and Knowledge Sharing (24 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mWCsrCbb4&feature=youtu.be


On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


Douglas Weidner
 

John,
Do you think there is enough global demand (if virtual) vs. essentially local demand if F2F,  to warrant  such a CKS Certification?

Fortunately, with virtual/hybrid, we don't have to pre-commit to a facility, and with your prior teaching and expertise, you don't have to commit to a rigorous, detailed lesson plan, until the course is populated with enough interest to make it viable.

Thoughts?

Douglas 

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 4:10 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Douglas, thanks for your kind words.

I agree that course designers should be thinking about how to move their content online. I believe, at this point, that the question is not if it can be as good as a classroom experience - I believe it can be much better if done correctly. So, I believe this to be true for KMI content as well. But again, per my last post, this requires the technology and techniques to be based on a cognitive model of learning, not a model of evaluation, communication, or a behavioral model of learning (which unfortunately is what most instructional designers have been taught).

Now that you have made me think about this, I would say that KMers are the meta-thinkers in the organization, who think about knowledge itself, and probably score high on the "Need for Cognition" profile, so would probably be the first to adapt to cognitive-based online learning.

Agreed, let's follow-up and go deeper.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:16 AM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thank you John.

As usual, an outstanding contribution.

I'll need to review your book again in order to thoughtfully respond.. 

Admittedly, I just skimmed your book when I got it because I wasn't into the design mode at the time.
Now, every trainer should reconsider their course design as many transition from F2F to virtual and in light of the major differences between them, but maybe not so at the very core, as you suggest.
I'd be interested in a Zoom discussion and so would KMI's Instructors. 

As an aside: Do you think there is now enough (online) demand for perfecting a hybrid (virtual with asynchronous collaboration) KM Institute certification in such techniques?

It could be in our Organizational Learning Competency Area and labeled:
Certified Knowledge Specialist - Organizational Learning (CKS - Organizational Learning), or even more specific.

Let's chat.

Douglas Weidner
KM Institute

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 10:44 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Hi Douglas,
If I understand your point (and question), online learning, using synchronous technologies, is now straight forward as it can somewhat mimic Face-to-Face interactions and current classroom course structures. But when mixing in asynchronous techniques and technologies, there are questions remaining for best practices.

With online and classroom learning, the assumed pedagogy should be explicitly stated as to underlying learning assumptions before moving to techniques. I think that is where you were going with your example of a learning approach known as "learn by doing." So, let's drill down into pedagogy before methodology.

I teach my master's class on Organizational Learning entirely online, and mainly using asynchronous techniques. I use the Story Thinking pedagogy, which shows that learning can occur by moving throughout an entire Story Thinking cycle, or learning can occur in the last half of the cycle where the answers are delivered instead of discovered. A Full-Cycle story lesson takes a learner through the entire pattern towards understanding, whereas Half-Pipe learning starts at the point where an answer has been determined, and now the student just needs to obtain this knowledge. So, a Full-Cycle story lesson requires that each lesson starts with learning questions in addition to stated learning objectives.

From Story Thinking, pg 90:
Most people know that Albert Einstein created a theory of relativity. But most people do not know that this theory came from his ability to formulate this question: “What would I see if I could ride on a beam of light?” Imagine signing up for a physics class, and before seeing the learning objectives (e.g. “You will be able to describe the theory of relativity”) that you see this learning question: “What would you see if you could ride on a beam of light?” Now I am curious to understand the answer, and also how we got from the question to the answer.

Learning questions engage the learner at a different point in the story pattern than learning outcome objectives. They engage at the state of curiosity instead of conviction. And they lead to content related to the importance of the question, and competing theories and ideas, before discussing answers and implementation implications of the answer.

In my Organizational Learning course, some example learning questions include:
• What is organizational learning and how is it different from individual learning?
• How must individuals change so that organizations can change?
• In the knowledge economy, why are business models different from learning models?
• How do organizations balance efficiency and creativity?

This approach engages the student at a state of Muse rather than Memorization. And it is important to understand before trying to answer questions related to online methods and technology, because the answer will be different if you want full-cycle versus half-pipe learning. As far as underlying assumptions, for me, the base operation is learning and epistemology, not knowledge. "All knowledge is just an answer to a question. We should teach questioning skills before knowledge." - J Lewis. Unfortunately, the current education system is run from evaluation models, not learning models, and is the reason I was glad to see you ask about a deeper discussion which necessarily took us beyond Bloom's Taxonomy, which will need to change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With some underlying assumptions of learning in mind, we can now ask what part of the story structure are you within as you consider synchronous and asynchronous techniques and technologies? I have found that I am able to "flip the classroom" so that instead of taking notes as I teach in a classroom, followed by homework with related exercises, now students prepare by reading the learning questions and objectives, reading related articles, and watching my recorded lesson which they can replay instead of trying to take notes in realtime. This means that when I get a question, it is not to repeat something so they can write it down, it is always a good question that has been thought out by the time we interact later via email or synchronous activities. The online discussion board also supports learner-to-learner collaboration, and participation is required for each lesson, since each student learns from other students, and also has to form and articulate their own questions and opinions, supporting their interaction and understanding.

Well, this is clearly expanding beyond an acceptable email length. Douglas, if you are actively redesigning course material and would like to discuss in more detail please let me know. Actually, I am moved by the response of the KM community to offer help and materials during these crazy times. And I have been wondering how I can best help as well. If there is interest in the KM community, I could schedule a Zoom discussion on this topic.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...
Author - Story Thinking: Transforming Organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/

Free resources:
Podcast - Introduction to Story Thinking (20 min)
https://soundcloud.com/pioneer-ks/john-lewis-because-you-need-to-know-pioneer-knowledge-services
Virtual Knowledge Café - Story Thinking and Knowledge Sharing (24 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mWCsrCbb4&feature=youtu.be


On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad 

 

 


John Lewis
 

Hi Douglas,
You ask a great question, seemingly a simple marketing question, but on top of much deeper questions. I will try to break down an answer. This is not just about learning a topic of interest, it is about "learning" as the topic. "If learning is fun then learning about learning should be ecstatic." — J. Lewis

Q: Are people interested in the topic of learning?
Historically, NO. People think that they know what learning is all about from their prior experiences. Most people in the education field are more preoccupied with evaluation than learning, more interested in reading Bloom and Skinner than Kolb or Merrill. People in leadership positions think that learning happens "down in the training department" instead of understanding their role in developing a learning organization. And students have been programmed to simply seek the answers to be memorized. "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." — Albert Einstein

Q: Are people beginning to become more interested in learning?
Yes, I think so. I got to experience a presentation by Joe Novak, who invented concept maps (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_D._Novak). It was interesting to hear that his motivation for this visualization tool was to preserve the cognitive side of learning while the education system was moving towards behaviorism, which defines learning as a change in behavior which can be easily measured. This influenced my thinking on the need for a visual map of the entire learning process, as captured in my recent book, Story Thinking (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/). When I teach the Organizational Learning course in a KM program, many students tell me that they now understand why they took all the other classes.

Q: Is the Knowledge Management field interested in the topic of learning?
Yes, I think so. Most people that attend the KMWorld conference in D.C. may know that the annual conference used to be held at the San Jose convention center. But before that, it was held at the much smaller Santa Clara convention center. I was there, and heard for the first time the term: Knowledge & Innovation Management. As a discipline, we have moved away from the innovation side, focusing on knowledge sharing and findability. But for a number of reasons, including the use of discovery visualization tools, I find that learning for innovation is an interest in organizations again. I also think that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will force organizations in this direction. "Successful organizations will need to do more than just adopt smarter tools — they will need to adopt smarter ways of thinking beyond current memorized prescriptive change models." — Story Thinking, pg 1

Q: Is the timing right to offer an online course on maximizing online learning?
Yes, I think so.
Fact 1: People don't stop to think about the underlying models of work or education until everything has stopped.
Fact 2: Everything has stopped (coronavirus).
The models that govern the world change, not gradually, but in paradigm shifts. We are currently experiencing a shift that will not simply "go back to normal." And while previous questions related to technology adoption and international cultures produced answers that required major considerations in implementation, I don't think this is currently the case of this topic.

"We are born as Learners, not as Knowers." — J. Lewis

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...


On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 4:40 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
John,
Do you think there is enough global demand (if virtual) vs. essentially local demand if F2F,  to warrant  such a CKS Certification?

Fortunately, with virtual/hybrid, we don't have to pre-commit to a facility, and with your prior teaching and expertise, you don't have to commit to a rigorous, detailed lesson plan, until the course is populated with enough interest to make it viable.

Thoughts?

Douglas 

On Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 4:10 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Douglas, thanks for your kind words.

I agree that course designers should be thinking about how to move their content online. I believe, at this point, that the question is not if it can be as good as a classroom experience - I believe it can be much better if done correctly. So, I believe this to be true for KMI content as well. But again, per my last post, this requires the technology and techniques to be based on a cognitive model of learning, not a model of evaluation, communication, or a behavioral model of learning (which unfortunately is what most instructional designers have been taught).

Now that you have made me think about this, I would say that KMers are the meta-thinkers in the organization, who think about knowledge itself, and probably score high on the "Need for Cognition" profile, so would probably be the first to adapt to cognitive-based online learning.

Agreed, let's follow-up and go deeper.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...


On Tue, Apr 14, 2020 at 10:16 AM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thank you John.

As usual, an outstanding contribution.

I'll need to review your book again in order to thoughtfully respond.. 

Admittedly, I just skimmed your book when I got it because I wasn't into the design mode at the time.
Now, every trainer should reconsider their course design as many transition from F2F to virtual and in light of the major differences between them, but maybe not so at the very core, as you suggest.
I'd be interested in a Zoom discussion and so would KMI's Instructors. 

As an aside: Do you think there is now enough (online) demand for perfecting a hybrid (virtual with asynchronous collaboration) KM Institute certification in such techniques?

It could be in our Organizational Learning Competency Area and labeled:
Certified Knowledge Specialist - Organizational Learning (CKS - Organizational Learning), or even more specific.

Let's chat.

Douglas Weidner
KM Institute

On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 10:44 PM John Lewis <johnlewisedd@...> wrote:
Hi Douglas,
If I understand your point (and question), online learning, using synchronous technologies, is now straight forward as it can somewhat mimic Face-to-Face interactions and current classroom course structures. But when mixing in asynchronous techniques and technologies, there are questions remaining for best practices.

With online and classroom learning, the assumed pedagogy should be explicitly stated as to underlying learning assumptions before moving to techniques. I think that is where you were going with your example of a learning approach known as "learn by doing." So, let's drill down into pedagogy before methodology.

I teach my master's class on Organizational Learning entirely online, and mainly using asynchronous techniques. I use the Story Thinking pedagogy, which shows that learning can occur by moving throughout an entire Story Thinking cycle, or learning can occur in the last half of the cycle where the answers are delivered instead of discovered. A Full-Cycle story lesson takes a learner through the entire pattern towards understanding, whereas Half-Pipe learning starts at the point where an answer has been determined, and now the student just needs to obtain this knowledge. So, a Full-Cycle story lesson requires that each lesson starts with learning questions in addition to stated learning objectives.

From Story Thinking, pg 90:
Most people know that Albert Einstein created a theory of relativity. But most people do not know that this theory came from his ability to formulate this question: “What would I see if I could ride on a beam of light?” Imagine signing up for a physics class, and before seeing the learning objectives (e.g. “You will be able to describe the theory of relativity”) that you see this learning question: “What would you see if you could ride on a beam of light?” Now I am curious to understand the answer, and also how we got from the question to the answer.

Learning questions engage the learner at a different point in the story pattern than learning outcome objectives. They engage at the state of curiosity instead of conviction. And they lead to content related to the importance of the question, and competing theories and ideas, before discussing answers and implementation implications of the answer.

In my Organizational Learning course, some example learning questions include:
• What is organizational learning and how is it different from individual learning?
• How must individuals change so that organizations can change?
• In the knowledge economy, why are business models different from learning models?
• How do organizations balance efficiency and creativity?

This approach engages the student at a state of Muse rather than Memorization. And it is important to understand before trying to answer questions related to online methods and technology, because the answer will be different if you want full-cycle versus half-pipe learning. As far as underlying assumptions, for me, the base operation is learning and epistemology, not knowledge. "All knowledge is just an answer to a question. We should teach questioning skills before knowledge." - J Lewis. Unfortunately, the current education system is run from evaluation models, not learning models, and is the reason I was glad to see you ask about a deeper discussion which necessarily took us beyond Bloom's Taxonomy, which will need to change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With some underlying assumptions of learning in mind, we can now ask what part of the story structure are you within as you consider synchronous and asynchronous techniques and technologies? I have found that I am able to "flip the classroom" so that instead of taking notes as I teach in a classroom, followed by homework with related exercises, now students prepare by reading the learning questions and objectives, reading related articles, and watching my recorded lesson which they can replay instead of trying to take notes in realtime. This means that when I get a question, it is not to repeat something so they can write it down, it is always a good question that has been thought out by the time we interact later via email or synchronous activities. The online discussion board also supports learner-to-learner collaboration, and participation is required for each lesson, since each student learns from other students, and also has to form and articulate their own questions and opinions, supporting their interaction and understanding.

Well, this is clearly expanding beyond an acceptable email length. Douglas, if you are actively redesigning course material and would like to discuss in more detail please let me know. Actually, I am moved by the response of the KM community to offer help and materials during these crazy times. And I have been wondering how I can best help as well. If there is interest in the KM community, I could schedule a Zoom discussion on this topic.

All the best,
John Lewis, Ed.D.
John@...
Author - Story Thinking: Transforming Organizations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1088545858/

Free resources:
Podcast - Introduction to Story Thinking (20 min)
https://soundcloud.com/pioneer-ks/john-lewis-because-you-need-to-know-pioneer-knowledge-services
Virtual Knowledge Café - Story Thinking and Knowledge Sharing (24 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1mWCsrCbb4&feature=youtu.be


On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 4:45 PM Douglas Weidner <douglas.weidner@...> wrote:
Thanks Rachad,
You defined the assets and activities much better than I did. Thank you.

I assume for example--almost intuitively and hopefully correctly, that the substitution of a synchronous virtual format for F2F can be done with no sacrifice to efficacy - both efficiency - e.g., time and effectiveness - e.g., learning outcome. The recording advantages for later on-demand viewing, and other digital capabilities are a probable plus. We often say 'frosting on the cake.'

My concern is less the traditional validation/verification (often quizzing), but rather the alternative actual learning approach often called 'learn-by-doing.'  Probably more like your below 'group work activities'.
Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 

But, my real question is without any preconceived notions (aka bias), as I'm committed to adding virtual for our traditional F2F and self-paced e-learning modes. But I am developing lesson plans and need to better understand timing and ultimate efficacy.concerning whether online, probably asynchronous exercises can be done with as much efficacy as the traditional F2F mode, including student (Learner-to-Learner) collaboration and Instructor critique and feedback.

Everyone agrees that it is possible to replace F2F/whiteboards with virtual, but no one seems to know which is better and by how much.

I can guess and validate by trial and error, or I can be smarter and base my design on evidence-based input...if anyone is analytical enough to drill down that far.

Cheers. Stay healthy,
Douglas Weidner
Chief CKM Instructor
KM Institute

 



On Mon, Apr 13, 2020 at 3:04 PM Rachad Najjar <rachadbn@...> wrote:

Hi Doug, 

Much appreciated your note. 

Classroom learning is a great example to virtualize it, especially with the confinement period.

Let's start with defining the knowledge roles for the
virtual classroom activity. 

  • Knowledge roles/ actors in the context of classroom learning:
    • Knowledge producerthe teacher – originator of the lesson – who makes tacit knowledge explicit.
    • knowledge intermediarythe teacher assistant who prepares the lesson for reuse by eliciting it, indexing it and documenting it.
    • knowledge consumerthe student who retrieve the lesson content and seek to apply it.
Then what might be knowledge processes and supporting technologies in the virtual classroom (lecture & exercise) are:

  • Knowledge processes & supporting technologies in the context of virtual classroom learning:
    • Knowledge acquisition: the interaction between the teacher and the student leads to externalizing the teacher knowledge and internalizing it into the student mind. Synchronous video conferencing might be recommended for this process augmented with the ability to integrate digital illustration of human anatomy. For example, Human Anatomy Atlas could be a great digital resource to enrich the tacit – explicit learning experience.
    • Knowledge capture and documentation: making available the lesson session through asynchronous on-demand video tutorials. The knowledge intermediary (teacher assistant) may capture the session, organize and document the video repository and may attach additional resources. Google G Suite may present a possible candidate for the capture and documentation process.
    • Knowledge validation and verification: this is where student is meant to demonstrate his/ her ability to reproduce the lesson content through a series of individual or group work activities. Real-time whiteboard applications, and online quizzes can support this process. Cavilam vichy can be a potential virtual tool for for validation and verification processes. 


Thank you

Rachad