At ARK's Sydney KM Conference Philip Uys of Charles Sturt Uni spoke on Promoting KM & Knowledge Transfer in an Educational Setting.
I spent 12 years on the governing Council of the University of Wollongong & on a number of its visiting committees to faculties - so I inevitably got to hear about the transition in educational focus from Teaching to Teaching & Learning. Wollongong was also heavily into ICT enabled learning from about 15 years ago. Like Charles Sturt, it has external campus sites in its broader region as well as the UOWD - University of Wollongong Dubai campus, and a Sydney one as well. Wollongong has also always prided itself on maintaining good student satisfaction rankings.
Along the way I learnt that a key difference for uni academics when it is comes to KM, is that their research must be published in the "right" journals to ensure their university maintains its Research Intensity rankings - crucial when it comes to attracting grant funding & post grad students - not to mention quality academic staff to underpin all of this.
So I found it interesting to hear how Philip particularly focused on ICT enabled learning : university wide & distributed (external campus sites & partner international uni’s) - with an emphasis on
Communities of Practice - COP's - they need : Nurture, support, participation , executive sponsorship
Learner engagement & interactivity
Face to face is great - at Conferences VIP plus serendipitous meetings in corridors
Corridor conversations difficult to emulate in a virtual COP world – however Philip is seeing the possibilities of Yammer : suggested that this could emulate these corridor conversations
Use of Yammer - yammer gems (someone goes through the Yammers – picks out the gems and puts them on the wiki) - now that's a labour of love
Why is yammer so valuable ?
People don’t tend to go back to something that was a week or old – focus seems to be on the immediate sharing – although some go onto create entries on their own Delicious social bookmarking site - adding to their own collection of url’s
Questioned by Denise Quay : Did they aggregate the Delicious sites - so they could access each others ?
Reply was No - although when the advantages of colleagues sharing social bookmarks with each other - ie pre-filtered and time saving - Philip could see the possibilities - but they hadn't got that far as yet
Interestingly they found more diversity & richness with Social presence in a distributed community of practice being generated via Yammer social presence – people we never knew about had created a presence – including some people in perecived "lower levels of uni academia rankings" or buried in the libraries – enabled diversity of ideas being shared & captured
I also hadn't realised that Yammer had moved from operating only within your own organization to now being able to create networks with key external colleagues
Now that Sharepoint are promoting Office Talk as an alternative to Twitter & Yammer - it will indeed be interesting to see how the Microblogging space evolves.