Integrating a Shared Knowledge Community through On-line Knowledge Management

Charles Lattimer,
Dr. Christopher Zobel,
Steven Schneiter
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The Cooperative Leadership Initiative (CLI) was founded to enable the delivery of formal leadership education to all students at Virginia Tech. The underlying vision of the initiative, as originally defined, was to create a relevant, meaningful, ever-changing, student-centered learning community by strategically employing online learning methodologies based on knowledge sharing and management. In order to support this community and to extend the conversation beyond the traditional walls of the institution, both public and private sector constituencies have been engaged as partners in the effort.

The online learning community is comprised of two primary components: custom learning environments, which are dynamically-driven through the university's Learning Management System, and a custom shared knowledge community that is supported through an online knowledge management system. The custom learning environments are defined in such a way as to allow for integration of ideas from both internal and external sources, and to provide the flexibility to tailor the available material specifically for end users' needs. The knowledge management system, which uses the open source software uPortal, is also designed to be flexible and extensible so as to support the incorporation of new knowledge of different types and from different sources.

This paper concentrates its discussion on the development of the knowledge management framework for CLI's online learning community. We focus not just on the design of this framework, but also on the impact that this design has on the ability of users to contribute, retrieve, and organize knowledge. Ultimately, the overall learning experience of the participants in the online learning community depends precisely upon the availability of appropriate knowledge and the effectiveness of its management.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing, Leadership Education, Online Learning Community
Stream: Technology in Education, Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Charles Lattimer

Project Administrator, Cooperative Leadership Initiative, Virginia Tech

Dr. Christopher Zobel

Associate Professor, Business Information Technology, Virginia Tech

Steven Schneiter

Associate Director for Student Learning Initiatives, Cooperative Leadership Initiative, Virginia Tech

Ref: T05P0022