A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Vignettes from the e-Knowledge Future   © SCUP 2003
  Page 34      

Tales from the Not-So-Distant Future (continued)



Chapter 2

Vignettes from the e-Knowledge Future

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Book Purchase

Case Studies
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Michelle Bodine—
Perpetual Learner, Wisconsin Department of Welfare, USA

Michelle Bodine is undertaking a graduate program in psychiatric social work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She recently entered her program after completing her baccalaureate degree in social work at Ohio State University (OSU).

Exemplary Transformed Elements

  • Reinvented undergraduate learning — new forms of learning and assessment, choice, personalization
  • Portal-centric graduate learning
  • Lifelong access to a body of knowledge
  • Greater involvement of professional societies in continuing graduate professional education
  • Fusion of internship experiences with formal learning

Reinvented Undergraduate Learning at OSU. While at OSU, Bodine sampled a wide range of learning experiences, from the traditional to the transformed. She especially liked OSU’s “buffet” approach to many of its undergraduate courses, which had previously been handled in large lecture sections. This approach enabled her to select from a buffet of lectures, individual discovery laboratories (in-class and Web-based), team/group discovery laboratories, individual and group review (live and remote), small-group study sessions, videos, remedial/ prerequisite/ procedure training modules, contacts for study groups, oral and written presentations, active-large group problem solving, and individual and group projects. While at OSU, she never purchased a traditional textbook. Instead, she acquired a variety of article-rich course packs, online text and video materials and anthologies/ syntheses of insights and new developments. Some of these materials were available as freeware, including some of the best materials.


Many faculty have redirected student resources under their influence from traditional texts into this variety of virtual contentware. As Bodine got into coursework associated with her major, she had the option of purchasing one-time versions of textual materials or subscribing to a perpetual subscription of materials that would be continually updated.

Portal-Centric Resources & Interactivity. At the University of Wisconsin, Bodine uses the UW enterprise portal to completely organize her daily life—academic events, her work activities, schedules, finances, cultural events—everything. She has personalized her portal to provide gateways to the full body of knowledge for psychiatric social work available through several sources. She personally prefers the portal services offered by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which includes access to communities of practice for a variety of specialists, including psychiatric social workers. This portal provides either subscription or pay-for-use access to searchable repositories of all the latest theories and practice methods. It also accesses ongoing communities of practice where she can either seek guidance on particular issues or obtain syntheses of insight on new developments in the field. Bodine uses a number of other marketplaces that specialize in body-of-knowledge resources for medicine. She prefers those that offer three features: 1) expert reviews of content and its applicability in different settings; 2) syntheses of new developments by leading experts; and 3) databases of case histories, searchable by medical topic/issue, patient characteristics, and other variables.

Portal-based resources and interactivity are key to every aspect of Bodine’s graduate education—access to a body of explicit and tacit knowledge, socialization into the profession and interaction with other learners, her advisor, other faculty, and experienced practitioners. To a greater extent than has ever been possible, the portal is Bodine’s gateway through which she experiences her profession.



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  In the not too distant future, e-learning will be a seamless and unscheduled activity.
Dale Spender