A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Paths to the e-Knowledge Future   © SCUP 2003
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Tracking the Indicators of the e-Knowledge Economy (continued)



Chapter 3

Paths to the
e-Knowledge Future

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Portalization and Personalization. Learning enterprises are dramatically enhancing their capacity to interact effectively with learners through the creation of portals. Enterprise portals are gateways that can be personalized to fit the information and communications requirements of individual learners. Institutions like the University of Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Weber State University, Monash University, and the University of British Columbia are using their portals to establish active, intimate relations with alumni and learners for a lifetime of better relationships with learners. At EDUCAUSE 2002, Kenneth C. Green reported that roughly half the institutions reporting on his survey had developed or were planning enterprise portals. (Green, 2002) Other learning enterprises are using the tools of CRM to add value to and streamline their managed learning and/or knowledge environments. Some university teaching and learning departments, such as University of Wisconsin’s Learning Innovations Department are turning their LMS into a Relationship Management System (RMS) through building administrative relationship support to students.


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The portal movement is powerful in other sectors. Corporations have used organization intranets to develop powerful, flexible platforms for organizational, team, and individual learning and business development. Association portals are creating powerful communities of practice constructed around the body of knowledge for the industry, profession, or craft represented by the association. Today, many individuals are using portal capabilities from their employers, associations, and universities. Tomorrow, even more powerful portal-based experiences will be available.

In the future, individuals will use personal portals to manage daily interactions with enterprise portals from their employer, university, associations, civic organizations, and other sources of information, insight, and interactivity. Portals will be selected based on their value and ease of use.


New Generations of ERP and CRM. Companies like Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, SCT, Datatel, and Jenzabar are enhancing their existing ERP offerings in a variety of ways to accommodate portalization, communities of practice, and LMS interaction. In addition, some are incorporating customer relationship management tools. Future ERP will need to integrate with LCMS and other knowledge management tools. The next generations of Student Information Systems (SIS) developed by software companies such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SCT are likely to have more of the characteristics of CRM systems, focusing on relationships in addition to transactions. Consortia involving universities and software companies, such as Uportal, are also collaborating to deliver extra-institutional portal technology that is positioned for longevity and (open systems) interoperability. From the individual user’s perspective, these trends in portal development also complement the growth in nomadic computing technology (laptops, palm tops, wireless devices) that will provide for true device independence where personal information services will follow the person not the device.


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  More advanced knowledge management techniques applied in the higher education arena have the potential to improve the way we plan, teach, and learn.
Pamela K. Stewart