A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures   © SCUP 2003
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Value on Investment (VOI) — A New Benchmark (continued)



Chapter 5

Infrastructures, Processes, Capabilities, and Cultures

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Enable Collaboration and Increase the Capacity to Develop Communities

The next generation of enterprise application infrastructures and solutions will enable new modes of collaboration at all levels:

  • Within enterprises. In tomorrow’s e-learning experiences, previously unattainable levels of collaboration will be achieved between and among learners, faculty and other support staff. These collaborations will change the dynamics of many existing processes.
  • Between enterprises and their suppliers, providers, and educational partners. Tomorrow’s enterprise application solutions will both require and support new levels of intimacy between enterprises and their suppliers and solution providers. In many cases, the staffs of these solution providers will function like extensions of enterprise staff, but with more structured performance agreements.
  • Between individuals in the enterprise and external peers. Collaboration between individuals and peers outside the enterprise will be facilitated dramatically by enterprise application solutions, adding substantial value. Faculty and staff will be able to share insights more effectively with peers and colleagues.

The value of different kinds of collaboration will vary from process to process, setting to setting.

Collaboration will leverage technological and human networks to share tacit knowledge, develop insight, and make enterprise processes more responsive to client needs.

Communities of Practice. The ability to create communities of practice will be among the most important of the new competencies developed by faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. These communities will cross organization boundaries, fusing the power of professional societies and associations with the instrumental needs of individual organizations.


Consider just a few examples of the communities of practice enabled by the next generation of enterprise application solutions:

  • Applications implementation communities are created by enterprises implementing ERP systems, LMS/ LCMS, or other major applications. They include online repositories of technical and process information, help desks, and communities of users, organized by functional or process subgroups. These communities are the foundation for participation in solution provider user groups.
  • Disciplinary communities of practice would link learners in a discipline in ways that span and bridge experiences in individual courses. Such linkages could both complement course-based experiences and enable redesign of course experiences. These communities may not represent traditional disciplines at all, but emerging, hybridized disciplines or aggregations of integral, transpersonal knowledge that will constitute the curricula of the future.
  • Enrollment services communities of practice linking an enterprise’s cross-trained generalists in enrollment services (spanning admissions, recruitment, registration, advising, financial aid, and other support services) linked with professional societies and their bodies of knowledge and tradecraft. Similar communities could evolve for other academic and administrative support processes.
  • Adjunct faculty and consulting communities of practice for consulting adjunct faculty, providing departmental management, support networks, and access to pedagogical resources and linkage to disciplinary learning resources. This community would link currently disjointed adjuncts into the mainstream of the learning community and change the dynamics of the adjunct faculty experience.

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  The key to successful collaboration and knowledge transfer lies not in technology but in allowing people to build social networks connected by networks.
Martha Patillo-Siv