Rationale and Design of a Knowledge Maturing Environment for Workplace Integrated Learning

T. Nelkner. University of Paderborn, (2012)


Organisations have to react fast on changing circumstances on their markets in order to stay competitive. To the same extent, knowledge workers have to adapt to fast changing requirements and need to gain new knowledge in the context of their work. The Knowledge Maturing Phase Model describes a theory of goal oriented learning on a collective level. Based on this model, this thesis tackles the problem of the design of a software concept, so that its implementation supports knowledge maturing in particular scenarios. That is to say, how may a Learning and Maturing Environment support individuals in designing effective and continuous learning processes, communities in collaborative and purposeful knowledge development and organisations in encouraging, motivating and guiding their employees to achieve their business goals efficiently. This thesis examines the Knowledge Maturing Phase Model and puts several theories of individual and social learning in relation to it in order to shape the understanding of knowledge maturing in the different phases. Furthermore, it examines the results of three different empirical studies and derives concrete software requirements from it. Based on these results, a general concept for a Learning and Maturing Environment is developed. An instance of this concept was developed in a participatory design process and evaluated in three different contexts in order to gain insights to which degree it might support knowledge maturing. Based on the theoretic and empirical insights and the evaluation results, it can be concluded that the presented software concept can be applied for developing a Learning and Maturing Environment. However, the concrete manifestation depends on the application context and it should be designed with a focus on its most relevant Knowledge Maturing Activities. Moreover, it has to be flexible enough for a seamless integration into individual work processes.

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