The Knowledge Management Research Group

Knowledge Manifolds

Traditional educational architectures are teacher-centric and founded in curricular-based knowledge pushing. The Knowledge Management Research group at CID is developing a learner-centric educational architecture called a knowledge manifold, which supports knowledge-pulling based on interest. A knowledge manifold can be described as a kind of patchwork, consisting of a number of linked knowledge patches, each maintained by a knowledge gardener. A knowledge patch is constructed from context maps,whose concepts are filled with content components, which are designed with the overall aim to separate content from context by making use of multiple narration techniques.

The knowledge manifold architecture is based on the following fundamental principles:

  • Nobody can teach you anything. A good teacher can inspire you to learn.
  • Your learning motivation is based on the experience of subject excitement and faith in your learning capacity from live teachers.
  • Your learning is enhanced by taking control of your own learning process.
  • No 'problematic' questions can be answered in an automated way. In fact, it is precisely when your questions break the pre-programmed structure that the deeper part of your learning process begins.
  • Respect for ignorance, which is of fundamental importance in a non-elitist knowledge society, can only be upheld when the ignorant person is uneducated[1].

In order to support the knowledge manifold architecture, the KMR group is developing a set of frameworks and tools. This includes the frameworks SCAM and SHAME, the concept browser Conzilla, the electronic portfolio system Confolio, the IMS-compliant metadata editor Imsevimse and the metadataEditorEditor Formulator. We are also participating in an international collaboration project to develop an educational infrastructure (Edutella) for the exchange of educational metadata on the emerging next generation Internet, the so called Semantic Web.

The Knowledge Manifold architecture supports seven different knowledge roles:

  • The knowledge cartographer, who constructs and maintains context maps.
  • The knowledge librarian, who fills context maps with content components.
  • The knowledge composer, who constructs customized learning modules.
  • The knowledge coach, who cultivates questions.
  • The knowledge preacher, who provides live answers.
  • The knowledge plumber, who directs questions to appropriate preachers.
  • The knowledge mentor, who is a role model and supports self-reflection.

It is fundamentally important that all these roles should be available to both teachers and learners. "You learn as long as you're teaching" is the pattern at work here.

[1] The term "educated" is being used here in the formal sense, i.e., "graduated from an educational system."




Contact: Ambjörn Naeve

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