Editorial by yaofenji


									 To Share is to Multiply                               Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

 Contents                                                                    Issue 28 January/February 2005
 The Search For The Ultimate KM
 Simulation Game ................................................3
 The Virtual Welding Trainer..................................6
 Short News ........................................................9
 K2 contacts...................................................... 10

                                           Tony Gore, Editor

We are now well into the new year of                                       actually do much of what you might want
2005. Time seems to pass ever more                                         to do on the move.
quickly and we all try to get ever more
                                                                           How is this relevant to e-learning? For me,
into it.
                                                                           it has allowed me to make use of odd
Time for learning and for sharing                                          moments of time e.g. waiting at the
information often gets squeezed – how                                      doctor’s surgery, I can pull it out of my
often have you heard people say, “I                                        pocket, it switches on instantly and I can
haven’t got time to learn this or that”.                                   be doing something useful.
This is a pity – I always think of the old                                 This PDA is the first to have a high
English saying (and there is an equivalent                                 resolution screen – 640 x 480 pixels, and
one in every language) “a stitch in time                                   it can be used in landscape or portrait
saves nine” – which means that doing                                       mode. Those of us who are older can
something sooner will save a lot of time                                   remember when VGA was launched –
later.                                                                     typically going from 320 x 240 and 16
                                                                           colours to 640 x 480 and 256 colours. 640
Much of the technology used in learning is
                                                                           x 480 was the standard screen resolution
fairly “heavyweight”. For example, it may
                                                                           when the web had its first explosive
be computer-based training. To use this
                                                                           growth some 10 years ago. A plug in
“on the go” means getting out a 3kg
                                                                           memory card for the PDA is about €60 for
monstrosity, waiting whilst it powers up
(OK I know you could have used suspend
mode, but even this is not instant) etc.                                   So, the PDA in my hand today, at a cost of
Mine had reached the stage where the                                       €500 is
actual time I could use it on a short flight
                                                                              •   As fast as a typical laptop from
was reaching the stage where it was
                                                                                  about 4-5 years ago
hardly worth it.
                                                                              •   Has the same storage capacity as a
Recently I got my first PDA because the
                                                                                  computer from around 10 years ago
specification of these had reached the
                                                                                  (but at much lower cost)
point where they looked like they could

 Newsletter for Education, Learning and Training
 To Share is to Multiply                 Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

   •   Has the same graphics capability as             that are nicely formatted and updated
       a computer from around 8 years                  whenever the PDA is sat in its docking
       ago                                             station or has wireless access.
And it is a lot easier to use than a PC and            Buried in here I have found some real
more reliable.                                         gems e.g. AskOxford.com: Passionate
                                                       about Language and Learn2Hand, which is
OK – an interesting and capable piece of
                                                       a very interesting concept in learning a
technology. But are there any e-learning
                                                       foreign language. Because the information
                                                       is ready for you, it is quick and accessible.
Let us start with the most basic –                     The business model is good too – a limited
electronic forms of books. E-books seem                amount is free; after that you can pay for
to have faded from the scene after initial             more.
enthusiasm. That may have been because
                                                       I have seen one aspect of future e-
people did not want to pay the price for a
                                                       learning, and for me it is PDA. It has many
single function device. Recent versions of
                                                       of the good features of the PC without
Adobe Acrobat have a tagging function
                                                       most of the drawbacks, and can only get
that allows text to be re-flowed when
                                                       better. Alternatively, think of it as a
viewing on a device such as a PDA. This
                                                       miniaturised tablet PC.
allows the wide text of “paper” to be
reduced to the width of the smaller                    ¡Gracias, adios! (from my first PDA
screen. It does mean that many                         Spanish lesson, taken whilst waiting in the
documents can now be carried on the                    opticians shop)
memory card. I carry the instruction
                                                       A report from the international conference
manuals for things such as cameras, GPS
                                                       on mobile learning (MLearn 2004) is in a
etc. For engineers, it is possible to carry
                                                       previous newsletter at http://www.know-
data     sheets     and    manuals     very
conveniently.    And    for   very    basic
education, I have taken many classic, out              Tony Gore
of        copyright       books        (see
www.gutenberg.org for many of these)
and converted them to read in odd
With a decent media player, I have
complemented this with software that can
compress a DVD and transfer it to the PDA
– around 100M of storage is needed per
hour. Having instructional videos in your
hand is quite useful, and I can even get it
to use the same Bluetooth earpiece that I
use with my phone. Sadly the primitive
interactive facilities of DVDs are not
supported yet.
What has really got me excited about
using a PDA for e-learning is a type of web
caching    service      called     AvantGo
(www.avantgo.com). This has channels

 Newsletter for Education, Learning and Training   2
 To Share is to Multiply             Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

     The Search For The Ultimate KM
            Simulation Game
         Andrew Haldane Learning Futures, United Kingdom
                           Eelco Kruizinga CIBIT, Netherlands

Business games have been around since the late 1950s
and computer simulations of the business environment
have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years.
Given the level of demand for new knowledge
management professionals and the need for managers
in other disciplines to develop knowledge management
(KM) capabilities, it is, at first sight, surprising that
there has not been a proliferation of games and
simulations to assist the development of KM
competences.                                                     Andrew Haldane,
                                                                 Learning Futures
One reason for this is that there are some
characteristics of knowledge management as a business
discipline that make the development of a simulation
game a much more complex process than the
development of similar tools        to  meet other
management development needs:
1. KM is a domain characterised by ill - defined
2. Many decisions require qualitative judgements even
though they will impact on quantitative key
performance indicators;
3. Modelling the domain requires a credible interaction
between two models; the KM model and the business                Eelco Kruizinga,
model;                                                                CIBIT

4. Building a credible simulation that helps to develop
KM-specific competences involves the development of
realistic scenarios with decision points that involve KM-
specific decisions as opposed to more general business
strategic/tactical decisions.
Although focussed on the knowledge management
domain, the KM Quest (see also www.kmquest.com)
experience offers some more general insights into how
gaming and simulation can be used to develop
management competence across a much broader range
of business disciplines.
A unique characteristic of an engine for the
development of any KM simulation is that knowledge
 To Share is to Multiply             Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

itself is the entity whereas, in other contexts, the
simulated entity is the implicit result of the application
of knowledge.
1.   Is intangible and difficult to measure;
2.   Is volatile, that is, it can ‘disappear’ overnight;
3.   Is, most of the time, embodied in agents with wills;
4. Is not ‘consumed’ in a process, it sometimes
increases through use;
5. Has wide-ranging impacts in organisations (e.g.
‘knowledge is power’);
6. Cannot be bought readily on the market, as it often
has long lead times;
7. Is ‘non-rival’, different processes can use it at the
same time.
The primary target group for the simulation game, (now
completed and branded as KM Quest™), is managers
who have acquired, or are about to acquire,
responsibility for KM implementation in their company,
or senior managers from other disciplines who wish to
learn more about Knowledge Management.
Firstly, to facilitate interaction with the business model,
players of the game were invited to use a specific four-
phase knowledge management process model (Analyse,
Focus, Implement, and Evaluate) to guide their
decision-making actions.
The result was a KM process model that could serve as
a main driver for the simulation, whilst maintaining a
sense of reality. It took some introspection (“How does
this really work? How are the model steps connected at
a very detailed level?), but in hindsight, having
constructed KM process model has greatly enhanced
our explicit knowledge on setting up knowledge
management initiatives, making it possible to
disseminate our knowledge on KM much more widely
than is possible with a limited number of consultants.
Secondly, a custom-built simulation engine, (known as
KMSim) was developed to incorporate a business model
constructed as a layered set of variables. Of the four
layers in the business model structure, two are specific
to the Knowledge Management domain in order to

 To Share is to Multiply          Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

simulate the impact of KM.-specific decisions on key
performance indicators. Building the simulation engine
itself enhanced the competence of the consortium
greatly: once the simulation engine and accompanying
tools for editing and uploading business models were
available, the project was able to focus on the
intellectual work of creating the models, instead of
worrying about the difficulties of making the model
work in software.
The above structure is also inherently flexible,
potentially enabling the development of customised
versions of the simulation game that could model
Knowledge Management Processes across a very broad
range of organisations and contexts.
The most important thing that the project consortium
learned in our search for the ultimate KM simulation
game was to simplify, without compromising reality too
The constructivist elements, the problem-based
learning approach and the emphasis on collaborative
learning with a collective team decision required at each
intervention point were perceived as providing a highly
practical training experience of genuine value to
participants. However, the opportunity to access,
integrated within the KM Quest simulation, an
essentially constructivist pedagogic format, those
underpinning principles of Knowledge Management,
necessary for making informed decisions, contributed
significantly to both the process and outcome of a
genuinely active learning experience.
Participants found the Coltec case study material and
the interaction with the knowledge management and
business models provided a sufficiently realistic
experience for us to claim that the pedagogic model
objective of providing a “situated” learning experience
had been achieved.
Problem-based learning, where the interventions made
by the team impact on the key performance indicators
of the hypothetical company will clearly stimulate a
process of reflection when participants come to review
the consequences of their decisions.
The area of Knowledge Management is one of many
domains characterised by ill-defined problems, which

 To Share is to Multiply                    Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

are seldom addressed by the use of business
simulations, much less by online interactive simulations.
  This article is a greatly abridged summary. The full article can be
  found in Researching Technology for Tomorrow’s Learning
  book launched at the K2 summit September 2004 and freely
  available on the K2 web site.

 The Virtual Welding Trainer
                                                             Tony Gore
WAVE – the Virtual Welding Trainer, was a project in
the EUTIST-AMI project cluster – a project on agents
and middleware. My contact with it was as a reviewer of
the project.
WAVE was an ambitious project; with the level of
funding it had, there were initially some doubts that it
would achieve all its aims. These concerns were proved
unfounded, and WAVE was not only successful as a
project, but successful in the marketplace.
There are some interesting observations and lessons
that can be learned from the project.
WAVE is a virtual welding environment dedicated to
welding training. However, what made this different is
that a modified welding torch is used, that sense
proximity to the screen. The welder uses a normal
mask, and the screen can be adjusted in height and
angle, to accurately emulate what happens in the real

 To Share is to Multiply            Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

Where WAVE differed from many projects is that there
was a clear business rationale. When students first start
welding, they use a lot of metal test pieces until they
have learnt the precise control of the torch. In this
learning phase, each student typically will use €1,500 of
metal. This is scrap, a cost, and an environmental cost.
WAVE is used in this first phase of learning.

A central console   allows a teacher to set exercises and
monitor progress    of many pupils; unlike the real world,
a pupil’s work      can be “replayed” to help them
understand what     they did wrongly and what they did
The welding torch is also used as the “mouse” to select
from the menus on the screen.

                                                                More information on WAVE can be
                                                                found at http://wave.c-s.fr/ (French)
                                                                and    http://wave.c-s.fr/en/index.htm

 To Share is to Multiply            Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

There were some additional benefits reported by the
students from the trials. Electric arc welding, with
sparks, heat etc. can be off putting to nervous students
at first. With WAVE, the students have learnt and
practised the precise manual dexterity before they do
this for real. This resulted in a shorter learning time for
many students and an improved experience.
Why was this project so successful?
   1. The “virtual reality” was very close to reality –
      the operator used the same equipment that is
      used in the real world, with only minor
   2. There was a sound pedagogy behind the project.
      People who teach welding drove the project, not
      people who make virtual reality.
   3. There were clear economic benefits – a
      substantial cost saving per student. This occurred
      mostly because there is a high cost in
      consumables in training in this area (welding).
A small, but contributing factor to the success of one
aspect of this project came about because this project
was in a cluster. Early on in the WAVE project, they
were at a review/cluster meeting and saw the results of
a project that had started earlier, with a quite different
application. They immediately recognised that this
project could provide the solution to the problem of how
to do the central server and administration.

 To Share is to Multiply                 Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

 Short News

The European Commission has published its 4th call for
research projects with a deadline of March 22nd 2005.
For more details of the call and to download the associated
documents    please    visit   the   CORDIS    web    site:-



 The following list of events gives some of the forthcoming events
 advertised via the K2 web site on the Events Page
 http://www.know-2.org/index.cfm?PID=22. The list is updated
 frequently. Log in and access the page to check the latest details.
 It is worth logging in to ensure that you get all the latest
 information available.

 Call for papers Mobile learning 2005, Malta, June 28-30:
 Mobile Learning is not only a new technology; it is also an
 exponent of new modes of learning. Education gradually shifts
 from the transfer to the development of expertise. The need is
 there to develop skills and understanding at the spot, just when it
 is needed. This conference will provide you with the newest state
 of the art on portable devices, like the mobile telephone, the PDA
 and the many combinations of the two, including functionalities
 like full WWW-access (via Bluetooth, WLAN or GPRS), photo/video
 cameras, GPS and a navigational system, playing and recording
 MP3 music and MPEG4 movies, and not to forget a large amount of
 games and simulations. Indeed we can say that it is just one of the
 many steps from the computer on the desk, to finally see it
 disappear in our watch, our clothes and under the skin.

 UK eLearning Regions and Cities Conference
 21-22 June 2005, Oxford. The 2005 UK eLearning Regions and
 Cities Conference (building on the Lisbon 2003 and La Rochelle
 2004 SEEL eLearning Regions and Cities conferences) is designed
 to bring together both high profile speakers and the latest
 information on eLearning for regional and local authorities,
 ensuring that delegates will be brought fully up to date. The
 conference is aimed at members and officers working in regional
 authorities (at county and at regional levels), and at the
 stakeholder organisations operating within those regional
 authorities, including LSCs, Universities and Colleges, ePublishers
 and providers of technology and content to support regional
 eLearning policies and delivery.
 Contact andrew.brown@elearnaccredit.org

To Share is to Multiply                  Issue 28 Jan/Feb 2005

K2 contacts

Project manager
Eelco Kruizinga (ekruizinga@cibit.nl)
On-line services – www.know-2.org
Tony Gore (tony@aspen.uk.com)
Events, Service pack
Iris de Putter (idputter@cibit.nl)
K2 service pack Contents
   •   KALIF – To Share is to Multiply (book).
   •   How can your project benefit from knowledge sharing?
   •   Your lessons learned toolkit.
   •   Face to Face exchange.
   •   K2 poster.
On-site services
Eelco Kruizinga (ekruizinga@cibit.nl)
The K2 project has been run by:
CIBIT Consultants|Educators B.V.
Eelco Kruizinga (ekruizinga@cibit.nl)
Aspen Enterprises Limited
Tony Gore (tony@aspen.uk.com)
Learning Futures Limited
Andrew Haldane (andrew.haldane@learningfutures.co.uk)
Contact any of the above for facilitation, marketing, collaboration,
knowledge management, project management and web services
throughout Europe.


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