Tacit Knowledge Acquisition and Dissemination in Distance Learning

Annel Ketcha, Jokull Johannesson, Paul Bocij, International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications, Dec 26, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is quite a good discussion of the concept of tacit knowledge, how it evolved since its original description in Polanyi, and focusing on the the "organisational view supporting the articulation of tacit knowledge" by people like Nonaka and Takeuchi. Tacit knowledge is "is that part of knowledge that is widely embodied in individuals but not able to be readily expressed." In more recent years, one objective of e-learning in organizations has been to disseminate tacit knowledge across the organization, but as the authors note, this use is contentious. "Many researchers argue that means to share tacit knowledge cited by the previous schools are no longer suitable in the current digital era." Maybe so. Or maybe - as I think - all knowledge is tacit knowledge. Either way, the discussions of tacit knowledge in the field are premature. "A major gap in tacit knowledge in e-learning research is the lack of empirical evaluation of tacit knowledge and its flow among online learners and tutors." Image: Nonaka and Takeuchi (1997) (from here) (more).

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