I’ve been a fan of Dave Snowden and his work for a couple of years. In this blog post from last year Dave shares 7 principles for “rendering knowledge”. For me, these 7 principles have direct connection with the tasks I’m currently involved with e-learning, curriculum design and helping improve the quality of learning and teaching.

If I had the time and weren’t concentrating on another task I’d take some time to expound upon the connections that I see between Snowden’s principles and the tasks I’m currently involved with. I don’t so I will leave it as an exercise for you. Perhaps I’ll get a chance at some stage.

Your considerations would be greatly improved by taking a look at the keynote presentation on social computing at the Knowledge Management Asia conference given by Dave based on these 7 principles. I listened to the podcast yesterday and slides are also available.

I strongly recommend these to anyone working in fields around e-learning, curriculum design etc. to listen to this podcast.

For example

Let’s take #2

  • We only know what we know when we need to know it.
    Human knowledge is deeply contextual and requires stimulus for recall. Unlike computers we do not have a list-all function. Small verbal or nonverbal clues can provide those ah-ha moments when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled, in context to enable us to act. When we sleep on things we are engaged in a complex organic form of knowledge recall and creation; in contrast a computer would need to be rebooted.

The design of both e-learning software and learning and teaching currently rely a great deal on traditional design process that rely on analysis, design, implementation and evaluation. For example, at the start of the process people are asked to reflect and share insights and requirements about the software/learning design divorced from the reality of actually using the software or learning design. Based on the knowledge generated by that reflection, decisions are made about change.

The trouble is asking people these questions divorced from the context is never going to get to the real story.