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KM, elearning, performance support

I’m trying to wrap my head around the relationship between elearning, knowledge management, and electronic performance support. I’ll start with general definitions of each:

Elearning: Learning enabled by technology…improving accessibility and effectiveness…placing the learner in control…the model of learning for today’s societal/organizational needs (linked, connected, open)

Knowledge management: the blending of technology, people, information, processes to create organizational awareness of what is known/exists…and to utilize the “known/exists” to create value for the organization. (KM is tough to identify…if you don’t like my ad hoc definition…feel free to suggest a different one…:). More KM definitions: What is KM).

Electronic performance support systems (EPSS): Electronic help/support available to employees/students when it is needed. More info: What is EPSS?

Okay, so elearning is basically about learning, KM is about generating organizational value from “what is known/exists”, and EPSS is focused on providing support for people at the time of need.

To align them by strategic role in an organization: elearning is created to ensure staff/student competence in a certain area…knowledge is captured and placed into the “system” to ensure information is “fresh”/current…EPSS delivers the blend of elearning/KM to people when needed. Currently, they are not at all integrated in most organizations. I think they should be…they should all feed off the same database…any thoughts?

One Comment

  1. Jay Cross wrote:

    I see eLearning, KM, and EPSS as a continuum, not separate entities.

    The “blended” sandwich of alternating slabs of online learning and instructor-led training will soon be seen for the oversimplification it is. Its replacement? I call it bouillabaise learning. You can pluck out a piece of this fish or that, a knowledge nugget, a real-time support tip, a fact from Google, or a chunk of instruction, whatever seems appropriate at the moment.

    The best-selling book at the ASTD Bookstore is “Telling Ain’t Training.” Sad. Since I’m concerned with results, not semantics, I really don’t give a damn if it’s training or not. I favor whatever it takes. Same goes for “Information is not instruction.”

    Sometimes a worker needs to learn in order to perform. Sometimes all the worker needs is a little information. Sometimes an automated prompt will get the worker over the hump. If information gets me where I want to go, why should it matter if it’s not instruction?

    eLearning, KM, and EPSS are the Three Musketeers, one for all and all for one.

    Sunday, February 2, 2003 at 1:41 am | Permalink