Knowledge Co-Creation Process Based on Informal Learning Competences Tagging and Recognition

Knowledge Co-Creation Process Based on Informal Learning Competences Tagging and Recognition

Francisco J. García-Peñalvo (GRIAL Research Group, Department of Computer Science, Science Education Research Institute (IUCE), University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain), Miguel Á. Conde (GRIAL Research Group, Department of Mechanical, Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering, University of León, León, Spain), Mark Johnson (Institute for Educational Cybenetics, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK) and Marc Alier (Department of Services & Information Systems Engineering, Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/ijhcitp.2013100102
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Abstract

The present paper deals with the problem of tagging, acknowledge and recognize of informal learning activities. It describes TRAILER project, a solution based on a methodology and a technology framework that facilitates learners/employees and institutions the co-creation of knowledge from informal learning instances. The TRAILER architecture has been implemented as a proof of concept and it is initially validated through some expert testing, from which is possible appreciate the integration difficulties of the co-creation processes.
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1. Introduction

In contrast to expert-led, institutionally-driven formal education, the “co-creation of knowledge” is a term that has gained popularity in recent years as an educational approach which privileges peer-based support and communication, educational facilitation (rather than teaching) and learner self-efficacy. Technology plays a central role in these conceptions of co-creation by providing a medium for communication, transparency of engagement, empowering of learner self-organization and integration of disparate fragments of experience. Unsurprisingly, enthusiasts for technology have argued for its potential to break down barriers between personal and professional life and between learning episodes within institutions and within workplaces (García-Peñalvo, Colomo-Palacios, & Lytras, 2012). However, the challenges for realizing these ambitions range from the need to establish new patterns of personal practice (and overcome existing normative behavior) to transforming institutional practices within both the workplace and within educational establishments.

Arguments in favor of approaches to ‘informal learning’ have had political, sociological, educational and technological motivation. Politically, arguments around the personalization of learning and transformation of institutions, for example (Illich, 1971), has given ‘informal learning’ specific recognition within the Bologna process in the European Union (1999). This political recognition acknowledges the broader sociological concern for the nature of the knowledge economy, and the increased need for reflexivity in a post-industrial society (Giddens, 1986; Beck, 1992). Educationally, such initiatives are framed by long-established discourse on the social and experiential nature of learning in pedagogical theories going back to Dewey (1938) and Knowles (1950). Technologically, the Internet and the rise of social software have been seen to provide a vehicle for social learning and personal organization which has widely been seen as at least a complimentary (if not a competing) medium for educational development (Attwell, 2007; Ajjan & Hartshorne, 2008; Casquero, Portillo, Ovelar, Benito, & Romo, 2010; Fielding, 2000). The political, sociological, educational and technological discussion has typically been brought together in the subject of the ‘Personal Learning Environment’ (PLE). However, for all the rhetoric of the PLE, the integration of formal educational processes dominated by curriculum and expertise with the real competence requirements of professional life presents significant organizational challenges.

The relationship between the workplace and education has traditionally been structured around institutional certification of competency where certification is gained through formal learning. For specific competencies relating to a business’s requirements, specific training opportunities are usually provided. The raising of specific competencies is both the product and a fundamental element in the internal reflexive operations of the business: in order to remain viable, businesses must ask themselves questions about their operations in order to identify their competence requirements and devise means to acquire them. However, socialization within the workplace and appreciation of individual strengths, interests and enthusiasms of the workers also play an important role in the internal reflexivity of an organization (Dale & Bell, 1999; Halliday-Wynes & Beddie, 2009). Richer communications and deeper interpersonal knowledge can provide an important means of kick-started reflexive and creative organizational processes, which further increase the business’s viability.

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