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Book Review — !nnovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change Our World by Kim Chandler McDonald

Kim McDonald Book Cover

I have never encountered such a useful compendium of lessons learned and personal insights about innovators. The closest I have come would be Dr. Alex Bennet’s 2005 unpublished dissertation entitled, “Exploring Aspects of Knowledge Management That Contribute to the Passion Expressed by Its Thought Leaders.” The dissertation covered the core themes that emerged when Alex interviewed 34 KM thought leaders across the globe. Alex and David Bennet established the Mountain Quest Institute.

Kim Chandler McDonald, on the other hand, has furnished every entrepreneur and business person with a mosaic of traits, characteristics, backgrounds, failures, successes, and experiences that provide the crucible for innovation in our world today. Kim has covered an incredible breath of industries, expertise, and subsequently, the thoughtful generations of knowledge mavens who are now triggering more innovation and creativity where they think and play.

Kim McDonald Photo

Kim and her husband, Michael, have also created the Flat World Navigator. I pray that Kim has the budget to follow up this stimulating expose of intriguing case studies in a decade to ascertain where these folks have gone. For example, Kim interviewed Jack Andraka, winner of the 2012 International Science Fair. Will Mr. Andraka be teaching or will he be leading an innovative healthcare industry lab?

Being an educator and knowledge activist, I was particularly taken by Kim’s interviews with thought leaders in Higher Education. I appreciated one of Kim’s interview questions with Adam Glick: “So should education be a business?” As many of us who are attempting to innovate in higher ed survey the broken educational landscape, few institutions can be identified as embracing the transformative changes that need to take place. If making high education a “business” can speed up the transformation and provide a more tangible business value proposition to students, then I would throw my lot into that emerging industry.


Finally, the framework provided by Bill O’Connor gave me a “nice warm feeling,” because I design frameworks, breathe frameworks, think frameworks, and facilitate the pragmatic application of frameworks with my MBA learners. The Seven Essential Innovation Questions applies the mnemonic ILUMIAM (Imagine, Look, Use, Move, Interconnect, Alter, and Make) to a method for framing innovation initiatives in anyone’s particular circumstance.
Bring a smile to your face! Read these inspiring personal stories and extraordinary narratives. The world may appear a bit dreary right now, with the American Government no longer operating and the previous “Great Recession from Hell” we all experienced beginning in 2008. Nonetheless, “let the sunshine in!”


Innovation Cloud

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Eric Morley of Mod a-go-go: Another Entrepreneur from the Gore School of Business at Westminster College, SLC, UT

Mod a-go-go Building Cropped Night 1 x

A new business professor at Westminster College, Dr. Lisa Jones Christensen, and I met last week with Eric Morley and Marcus Gibby, co-founders of Mod a-go-go. The enterprise is a mid-century, used furniture store and art gallery at 242 E. South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, UT. Eric and Marcus had a dream to build their interest in modernist art, home décor, and the designs of mid-century furniture into a sustainable business. They both exhibited a passion for the art and design of the 1950s and ’60s.

Eric and Marcus stumbled upon an incredible opportunity to lease the old King’s Row Formal Wear building from Steve Price, owner of the Price Realty Group. Steve was attempting to locate the best tenants for the site, by being very selective of potential lessors. Eric and Marcus convinced Steve of the business value proposition they represented, and renovated the building. The result was an exceptionally designed and comfortable space for both artists and furniture buyers.

Westminster College Logo

Westminster College Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eric graduated from Westminster College earlier in 2013 with his MBA. Eric worked intensely within the finance sector as an undergraduate. American Express has been is firm of choice for more than 14 years. Eric does a lot of volunteer work for the LGBT community and displays a passion for business. Eric and Marcus have been in a relationship for almost 3 years. Eric’s other priority is his 3 children, and he spends time with them at every opportunity. The last few years have been a challenge with balancing family life, a relationship, and finishing his graduate education.

Mod a-go-go Eric Morley and Marcus Gibby

Eric selected the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business at Westminster College for a number of reasons that many learners choose the school:

  • excellent reputation,
  • diversity of learner populations,
  • open-minded and tolerant campus,
  • business community respect and recognition, and
  • intimacy provided by small classes and professors engaged directly with learner success.

In the spring 2013 semester, Eric attended Lectures in Entrepreneurship, a course taught by Linda Muir , Director of the Center for Entreprenurship at WC, and I. Eric swears that without the experience of using in that class, he would not have been able to launch his virtual business side engaging with customers through social media. Now he engages in conversations in the virtual world with:

At Westminster College, Eric also studied economics, ethics, finance, global business, marketing, statistics, and strategy. The experience that really helped him move away from being a risk-averse business person was his work with Linda Muir at the Center for Entrepreneurship. He became fascinated with entrepreneurship. The lecture series also provided principles, tools, techniques, lessons learned, and the self-confidence to successfully launch Mod a-go-go.

Marcus is an aficionado of the mid-century period, continually collecting furniture exhibiting clean lines, natural wood and material products, and high quality artistry in construction, as well as creating unique art pieces. Eric was introduced to the style by Marcus. They began their relationship when both decided to run a lot and try to get into better physical shape. Regretfully, the effort and time required to build a new business sometimes impacts their ability to keep a consistent schedule for exercising.

Mod a-go-go Modern Pillar and Chairs x

Eric and Marcus studied and purchased a number of examples of mid-century furniture, building best practices and genuine appreciation for the two possible extremes, quality period furniture or junk. Through numerous acquisitions, they have been able to better discern the valuable pieces from those that are garbage. Marcus is an artist on a quest, having begun his formal education at Weber State University and the University of Utah. He has been able to create and sell many pieces through the gallery, which envelopes the luxurious and period pieces of furniture throughout the store.

Mod a-go-go Chair Showdown 2 x

Eric and Marcus enjoy building a unique business in Salt Lake City, because of the community support from other local galleries and customers who appreciated art and furniture. One of their two goals was to create a space to support launching new artists in the art gallery scene epitomized by the monthly gallery stroll. The store appeals to customers and clients who enjoy both art and unique home décor.

Mod a-go-go Building Cropped Day x

Eric and Marcus are exemplars of how life-long learners can leverage a range of Entrepreneurship classes into the building of Mod a-go-go, where professors and learners provided valuable feedback to help launch the business. At their recent Modern Chair Design Showdown, over 600 people showed up for the opening. The business is already generating an excellent revenue stream, albeit, much of the profits being reinvested into acquisitions of additional inventory.

Mod a-go-go Chair Showdown 1 x

I look forward to visiting their store once and while to see what new art and furniture reflects their excellent taste in design. Please visit the store as well…you may see me in one of the comfortable chairs.

Mod a-go-go Building Cropped Night 2 xN.B. Photos of Mod a-go-go outside–shots thanks to Eric Morley & Marcus Gibby.

Sheer Ambrosia – Official Invitation

Please link to:

For those in SLC…I will see you there for the VIP launch!

Update on Westminster College’s, Gore School of Business Entrepreneur – Rita Magalde


An update on my previous post description of Sherrita “Rita” Magalde, MBA learner at Westminster College’s Gore School of Business. Rita would like extend an invitation to the:

  • VIP Grand Opening: Friday, August 23 from 5pm-8pm
  • Regular Grand Opening: Saturday, August 24 from 9am-7pm

Rita’s business location:

Sheer Ambrosia
Sandy Village,
834 E 9400 S,
Suite 58,
Sandy, UT  84094.

Magalde, Rita_07

See you there!

Leadership Summit with Jack Zenger & Joseph Folkman (Zenger|Folkman )

Recently, I had the privilege to attend the 4th Annual Extraordinary Leadership Summit in Park City, UT, sponsored by Zenger|Folkman (ZF). I had learned about ZF through an article I downloaded from their website, Leadership Under the Microscope. The firm educates emerging and seasoned leaders and coaches through an approach I had been peripherally aware of. After attending the 3-day summit, I realized that I should have investigated and studied this material much earlier.

I attended a variety of very insightful seminars; and I took two workshops:

  • The Extraordinary Leader, led by Barbara Steel; and

ZF Extraordinary Leadership Book Cover

  • The Extraordinary Coach, led by Jack Zenger and coaching expert Kathleen Stinnett.

ZF Extraordinary Coach Book Cover

I had not anticipated such exciting, well-developed, engaging, and useful material. Pre-work for The Extraordinary Leader required the participants to execute 360-degree assessments with managers, peers, and direct reports. Since I was from an academic environment, I chose participants ranging from Associate Provost, Dean, and Department Chairs. I then selected a number of faculty members as peers, and a variety of my undergrad and MBA learners as direct reports. I must say, the results were extraordinary, and provided me with very useful insight for professional development.

Pre-work for The Extraordinary Coach asked participants to demarcate the difference between coaching, mentoring, advising, and consulting. We also needed to prepare a number of responses to questions that reflected upon our previous coaching experiences. The outcomes were also extraordinary, and furnished me with more useful approaches and techniques than a previous credential/certificate I achieved as a Master Coach.

First, and foremost, this was by far the best organized summit/conference I have ever attended. Details were attended to with grace and timeliness. Second, listening to Jack Zenger, Joseph Folkman, Robert Sherwin, and other leaders made me wake-up to a firm that has created one of the most simple, straightforward, and easily applied suite of methods I had ever encountered. The investment in the research to back up their assertions is second to none.

I intend on becoming certified in the method as soon as I can invest in each follow-on workshop. I would recommend that other emerging and experienced leaders consider The Extraordinary Leader, The Extraordinary Coach, and The Inspiring Leader workshops.

ZF Inspiring Leadership Book Cover

Profiles of Entrepreneurs at Westminster College’s Gore School of Business – Rita Magalde

Sheer Ambrosia - Gourmet Baklava for Life's Special Occasions

Sheer Ambrosia – Gourmet Baklava for Life’s Special Occasions

Over the next year, I will be profiling successful entrepreneurs and business folk who are currently learning and developing professionally at Westminster College’s Gore School of Business undergraduate and MBA programs.

Sherrita “Rita” Magalde is an MBA learner at the Gore School of Business that all of us should watch, study, commend, look up to, and support. While working at a Greek owned restaurant in North Carolina many years ago, her love for Mediterranean gastronomy blossomed. Her business was built upon Baklava, a rich, sweet pastry with its birthplace in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines (Greece, Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon).

She will be increasing production and expanding a number of additional pastry lines, due to her previous  success. Rita’s business is Sheer Ambrosia, and is located in the Sandy Village at 834 E 9400 S, Suite 58, Sandy, UT  84094. Look for the distinctive “chocolate and blue” awning above the door, which is the branding theme of her website. She would be in your debt if you could LIKE here Facebook page.

Rita lived and studied in Quito, Ecuador and Santander, Spain. She is a multi-lingual international traveler with visits to Italy, Mexico, Argentina, France, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. She has resided in Utah for the past 15+ years; and co-owned a travel agency for 9+ years, before launching her pastry/bakery business out of her home as a “cottage industry.”

Rita is her own corporate Director of R&D and experiments constantly with new flavors, aromas, tastes, and mixes to improve her pastries.

Rita at Sheer Ambrosia's Retail Entrance

Rita at Sheer Ambrosia’s Retail Entrance

During the spring 2013 semester, Rita attended Prof. Linda Muir’s and my course, Lectures in Entrepreneurship. Consequently, as Rita mentions to many of her friends and colleagues, she decided to jump-in and launch the a full-time business she had been planning. The success of her original cottage industry in the last few years along with a rigorous business plan, led her to invest substantially in her new retail outlet and production facility. With help from friends and contractors, she has built the facility from the bare walls out.

Rita After Setting Up Her New Ovens and Fridges

Rita After Setting Up Her New Ovens and Fridges

Right now Rita is finishing up the electricals, walls, painting, ovens, and fridge at her new facility. In late August, Rita will be launching her business with a VIP Party at her new location for her friends and current customers. Later, a Grand Opening is planned.

Rita would like to extend an invitation to her fellow MBA learners and Westminster College Gore School of Business Alumni to the VIP Party Opening. Stay tuned for the date and time. Sign up for her newsletter. Let’s support those entrepreneurs who make us proud. Please telephone her with your order to 801-601-8880 or email her about the VIP Party and Grand Opening at Consider writing a review for Rita at either:

Next month I will try to profile another successful learner in the business programs at the Gore School of Business.


Book Review: Disrupt! Do Epic Sh*t


Cactus Collection

When I first became re-acquainted with Bill Jensen last year, I thought that the book entitled DISRUPT! DO EPIC SH*T, [Publisher: Net Minds Corporation, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-0988879522], would be an iconoclastic manifesto to action, similar to his best seller Simplicity.

I was not let down. Anyone who could work the directive DO EPIC SH*T into the title, might be an author and colleague I could have a lot in common with. I was correct.

Bill Jensen

I have read and reread his text with the goal of finding ways to integrate it into my MBA Executive Development (Leadership) Course in the Gore School of Business at Westminster College. I want to acquaint my learners with approaches that are totally and absolutely unconventional. Most of my learners are professionals building a credential to move up in their own organization or another enterprise. They need to STAND OUT!

Early in my career I encountered situations that I was unfamiliar with. One of my early mentors gave me an obscure text entitled Career Karate: How To Keep Your Job While Everybody Else Is Losing Theirs, by Sam Sackett, [Publisher: Graduate Group, 1998, ISBN-13: 978-0938609223]. The book helped me to “bob and weave” around many barriers without becoming embroiled in politics or dead-end situations. I was able to parry and deflect negative attitudes and incidents sent my way ….and I survived.

Jensen’s book extends and expands the concepts and practices of Career Karate. In fact, it should propel youthful Millennials, Gen Xs, and Gen Ys to create and sustain a range of habits to successfully approach the chaotic world we see in business and elsewhere. Not unlike Covey’s The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective People, Jensen says at the very beginning,

“Do not read Disrupt! From cover to cover. It contains 25 successful habits for thriving in a disruptive world. But nobody masters disruption all at once. Pick five or six habits that excite you, scare you, challenge you, or have the most traction for your current situation.”

“What was my favorite habit?” you ask. Actually, since I am an activist by nature, (having something to do with being hauled away from anti-war demonstrations in the late 60s and early 70s), quite a few of these habits are close to my heart. I was an early fan of Christensen’s Disruptive Class and The Innovator’s Dilemma.

I am using those two texts to bookend my favorite, which was Habit #5, Blow Stuff Up. This habit emphasized:

“You need to be among the crazy ones…

  • Crazy imaginative
  • Crazy Inventive
  • Crazy optimistic
  • Crazy rule-breaker
  • Crazy visionary
  • Crazy enough to believe in your vision…

No matter what.”

I do not advocate Abbie Hoffman’s war cry of the sixties to “steal this book.” But, I would highly recommend that you “buy this book.” It is the foundation for extraordinary and inspirational leadership.

Check out his website: Disrupt Movement.


New Competitive Intelligence (CI) online courses…

I have been engaged by Salt Lake City Community College’s Continuing Education Division to construct 3 online CI courses (basic, intermediate, and advanced). These will be offered sequentially over the coming academic year.

Competitive Intelligence Overview

Competitive Intelligence is the process of gathering, analyzing, and distributing information to enhance strategic planning in the marketplace and assess your products and services against competitors. Learn how to use metadata, tagging; knowledge bases, and predictive databases to understand your customer better and defend your market strategy.

Registration:, then select the CI link.


  • 3 credit hours = $454 (in state of UT)/course—(not including books)
  • Non-credit hour cost = $350 (out of state or out-of country)/course—(not including books)

Last day to register: August 16, 2013

Classes begin: August 21, 2013


Systematic Competitive Intelligence-Business Intelligence (CI-BI) business practices encompass the intelligence life-cycle continuum: plan, collect, process, analyze, and disseminate information. Most business professionals and knowledge workers are involved to some extent in CI-BI practices. The introductory course examines the principles, roles, responsibilities, and activities associated with CI-BI work, as well as the history of CI-BI. The learner will survey a range of functions, models, practices, processes, techniques, technologies, and tools that will be applied to basic, experiential projects.


You must have a working knowledge of Internet browsers compatible with CANVAS, (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari), for accessing CANAVS. You must also have a few years’ experience with MS-Office tools, such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, and MS-PowerPoint. Graphics should be generated through MS-Visio, SmartDraw, or the SmartArt capability of MS-Office tools. Adobe Reader will need to be downloaded and installed by the learner on his/her computer in order to read some of the downloadable resource material.

If you wish, you may contact me directly about the course:


New Knowledge Management (KM) online courses…

I have been engaged by Salt Lake City Community College’s Continuing Education Division to construct 3 online KM courses (basic, intermediate, and advanced). These will be offered sequentially over the coming academic year.

Knowledge Management Overview

Knowledge Management helps businesses and individuals learn how to create, acquire, categorize, access, manage, organize and distribute digital information. Learn how to use the Knowledge Cycle to meet your information needs. Learn basic, intermediate, and advanced searching techniques. Learn how to organize, access, and distribute knowledge within knowledge bases, wikis, and blogs.

Registration:, then select the KM link.


  • 3 credit hours = $454 (in state of UT)/course—(not including books)
  • Non-credit hour cost = $350 (out of state or out-of country)/course—(not including books)

Last day to register: August 16, 2013

Classes begin: August 21,, 2013


This introductory course provides students with an introduction to a range of cases, concepts, models, practices, theories, and technologies related to the emerging field of Knowledge Management (KM). The course will survey business value of KM; careers in KM; intellectual capital; perspectives of knowledge creation, knowledge transfer, knowledge sharing, and knowledge leadership roles and skills; policies and strategies that enhance effectiveness; issues and challenges of a knowledge-based culture; and identifying and applying knowledge-sharing techniques for team collaboration.


You must have a working knowledge of Internet browsers compatible with CANVAS, (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari), for accessing CANAVS. You must also have a few years’ experience with MS-Office tools, such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, and MS-PowerPoint. Graphics should be generated through MS-Visio, SmartDraw, or the SmartArt capability of MS-Office tools. Adobe Reader will need to be downloaded and installed by the learner on his/her computer in order to read some of the downloadable resource material.

If you wish, you may contact me directly about the course:


Call for Papers and Presentations: ICKM 2013: Montreal, Canada on November 1-2, 2013

The 9th International Conference on Knowledge Management to be Held in Conjunction with ASIST Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada on November 1-2, 2013.  I have been invited to be one of the co-chairs for this conference, and invite you to submit a proposal for a paper or presentation.

 The International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM) provides researchers and practitioners from all over the world a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas concerning theoretical and practical aspects of Knowledge Management. The 9th International Conference on Knowledge Management will be hosted by the Association for Information Science and Technology and will be held in conjunction with ASIST annual meeting, which is scheduled for November 2-6, 2013.

The main theme for ICKM2013 is “Knowledge Management Metric, Performance Measurement; Capacity Building and Certifications.”  ICKM 2013 encourages submission of high-quality research papers, case studies, country reports, posters and oral presentations.

Research papers, practitioner’s presentations, research in progress and posters should be submitted online

Selected papers from the conference will be published as a special issue of Journal of Information and Knowledge Management (IJKM).

Knowledge Management Association in Salt Lake City

Knowledge Cactus: prickly, but beautiful.

I met two fascinating individuals recently for lunch at the Citrus Grill to discuss establishing a chapter of the Knowledge Management Association in SLC (and a LinkedIn Group exists). The prime movers for this initiative will be Kipp Sorenson, SharePoint Consultant and President of Soren Innovations, and Sarah Carlson, CKM, Manager, Global Knowledge Management Operations at eBay. I support their goal to launch the chapter sometime after Labour Day, 2013. Both individuals have LinkedIn (LI) websites, so you may wish to invite them to join LI networks. The Knowledge Management Association (KMA) is practitioner focused, and I am in Kipp’s and Sarah’s debt for including me in this new chapter by counting my 2+ decades of KM work I executed as a practitioner, before I came to the academy (GRIN).

KM is very elusive as a field of study and practice. During the writing of my doctoral dissertation, (defended in 2007 at McGill University), I identified over 200 divisive, non-congruent, and inter-related definitions of KM. Since then the emerging Body of Knowledge has still not zeroed in on one, accepted definition. Most thought leaders feel KM may never be defined; but can only be described within a very broad framework and context.

In order to get us talking about KM within LinkedIn and the merging KMA chapter, we may wish to describe what we are talking about. I am only proposing the following, (synthesized by me for the dissertation), for us to build talking points.

  • Knowledge Management (KM) is an emerging field that promotes a systematic stewardship of the knowledge assets used in an organization. The knowledge assets are usually expressed in terms of two [primary types] of knowledge—tacit and explicit.
    • Tacit knowledge is the informal, difficult to communicate knowledge that resides ‘between our ears.’
    • Explicit knowledge is the formal, codified knowledge that is more easily transferred from one individual to another and is externalized in many forms: hardcopy, digital, audio, video, photographic, and rarely microform.
  • Examples of tacit knowledge may include the knowledge of workers in terms of their expertise, intuition, work practices, and work experience.
  • Examples of explicit knowledge may be located in databases and documents, business and competitive intelligence, photographs of physical facilities, and documented organizational policies, processes, and procedures, to name but a few examples.
  • KM incorporates a life-cycle approach to managing the knowledge assets of an organization from acquisition and creation stages; through secure access, mobilization, diffusion, and commoditization stages; and finally terminating at the retirement, recycling, or archiving stage.

I am currently teaching a May Term undergraduate course in Personal Knowledge Management and Team-based Knowledge Management at Westminster College. The course is very pragmatic, but does interject a bit of theory and philosophy when appropriate. The learners have come to engage in blog and wiki work as a means to “manage” their personal and team-based digital stuff (information that may trigger moving tacit to explicit knowledge for the reader).

One of the more interesting pieces I ran across while setting up the lesson plans for the course is the text:
Jones, W. (2012). The Future of Personal Information Management—Part I: Our Information, Always and Forever. Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services. Morgan & Claypool Press, 4(1), 1–125. The text may also be purchased from The author, whom I respect a great deal, has also published: Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Information Management (PIM).

Personal Information Management Word Cloud From:

Personal Information Management Word Cloud

The Table of Contents for this Part I volume contains the following chapters:

  1. Chapter 1: A New Age of Information, , where PKM and PIM are defined, contrasted, and compared.
  2. Chapter 2: The Basics of PIM, where the object of PIM is described and the managing activities for PIM are outlined.
  3. Chapter 3: Our Information, Always at Hand, where the physical and digital characteristics of information and knowledge are described, along with the overriding reasons to record personal information in terms of lifelogging: Recollecting, reminiscing, retrieving, reflecting, and remembering intentions.
  4. Chapter 4: Our Information, Forever on the Web, where scenarios are proposed for living with the web, living through the web, and living on the web.

Part II (Building Places of Our Own for Digital Information) is slated to be available in late 2013, and will consist of the following chapters:

5. Chapter 5. Technologies to eliminate PIM?, where incredible advances in the technologies of information management beg the question: “Do we need PIMs?”
6. Chapter 6. GIM and the social fabric of PIM, where Group information management (GIM), especially in small teams and business units go “hand in glove” with good PIM. [Of course, part of the goal of my course this term]
7. Chapter 7. PIM by design, where methodologies, principles, questions, issues and concerns are explored to help understand PIM better and to integrate PIM into “our tools, techniques, and training.”
8. Chapter 8. To each of us, our own, where the author describes the lifelong process of design and practice of an integrated framework for PIM, including “tips, traps, and tradeoffs” for practicing PKM/PIM.

The KMA will be hosting a webinar on May 29, 2013, that may be of interest to some of you:

  • Knowledge Mapping & Simulation Clarity – How knowledge mapping can improve communications and increase business profits.
  • Date: Wednesday, May 29th, 2013, Time: 1:00pm Eastern Time
  • URL:
  • Meeting Number = 5726217
  • Telecon: 1-866-214-2635, Access Number = *5726217*
  • Event capacity is 125 participants*

In this webinar, Jena Jordahl, Infinite IQ, will share the a new way to approach knowledge mapping and how you can better express yourself, help others communicate, and increase business profits. Knowledge engineering has been relegated to the enclaves of high tech software development. Find out how new techniques make the discipline relevant to everyone.
Jena Jordahl is a highly experienced Senior Business Strategist with demonstrated success in creating cost cutting or revenue generating opportunities that have saved or earned her clients significant expenses through the delivery of strategically placed technologies based upon patented data visualizations.

Patterns of Technology Use in Wikis in Higher Education

Thomas and Minocha (2007) reported student feedback on the introduction of a Moodle wiki in a Requirements Engineering (RE) course at the UK Open University. The authors proposed three questions to review the success of the wiki and the course (p. 2):

  • Did the wiki activities facilitate collaborative learning as we intended?
  • What other tools might support collaborative requirements development?
  • What are the challenges in teaching collaborative RE using a wiki?

A number of issues arose during the course. The design of the original course was based upon independent learning by the students. The introduction of the wiki created a collaborative, group-based approach to fulfilling the assignments. The scoring system had to be revised to take into account both individual contributions and group activities. In addition, the andragogy moved from an independent learner to include numerous elements of social constructivism. Finally, one of the other issues revolved around motivation. In order to get the students to apply the wiki, numerous papers, and articles related to requirements engineering were used as the topics for discussion. Those outcomes suggest that traditional courses should not just be changed with the introduction of a wiki, but need to be completely redesigned, similar to problem discovered in moving traditional courses to online courses.

Mixed methods for deriving answers to survey questions were used by the authors to query up approximately 117 students. Qualitative feedback from many of the open-ended questions suggested:
the sharing of ideas, including constructive feedback, contributed to the students ability to reflect and modify their own views;
collaborative authoring contributes to the iterative requirements engineering process;
missed assumptions and inconsistent requirements were more easily identified.

In the next iteration of the RE course, Thomas and Minocha (2007) indicated that a number of initial problems encountered in the first offering had been overcome. A significant problem was the lack of discussion capabilities within the version of the Moodle wiki, and enhanced capabilities would be included in the future. In a five-month course, the logistical challenges of getting students together to self-organize for meetings requires the application of a scheduler augmented to the wiki. Finally, the inability of the students to meet face-to-face and carry out other online socialization activities diminished the trust among group members who were relative strangers. Again, the insights we gain from these findings are the need to significant functionality as part of a wiki platform.

Thomas, King, Mincoha, and Taylor (2008) followed up this initial study and expanded it to include 250 students in two courses at the UK Open University encompassing 56 wikis. The two courses included a post-graduate Computing course, Software Requirements for Business Systems, which emulated the original Requirements Engineering course in 2007; and a post-graduate course in the Business School entitled Current Issues in Public Management and Social Enterprise. A qualitative inductive analysis was applied to identify emergent themes. The wikis were strictly text based and designed to be exceptionally simple in the toolset. The goal was to concentrate on content, not presentation. Even simple changes to a wiki page were not being tracked, since any modification by a new author may be captured at the page level, but the author of the change cannot normally be associated with text changed within a wiki page.

Simple wikis were defined as “a pull, not push, technology, which means that contributions are unknown unless one deliberately looks for them” (Thomas, et al., 2008, p. 79). Constrained tools like a simple wiki exhibited many limitations. Simple wikis are strictly text-based, do not accommodate rich formatting, and cannot handle diagrams, images and photos. Richer, more complex wikis can accommodate multimedia material, provides alerts and subscriptions to modified pages, and has very rich features for formatting text and data on the page. In conclusion, an attempt to utilize simple wikis failed because the students anticipated very rich formatting of content as well as accurate presentation. Additionally, many of the logging and discussion forum features that would comprise function rich wikis were identified as very useful, again suggesting sophistication in the tools need to appropriately apply a wiki to a classroom situation.

Bruns and Humphreys (2007) stumbled upon a very insightful observation associated with user interface. After noting that a sparse MediaWiki environment hindered the learners in a course, the Bruns and Humphreys introduced Atlassian Confluence™, which had much richer functionality. The correct technology appeared to effect adoption as well as learning. Schroeder (2008) suggested that the use of a wiki by learners required the development of best practices that need to be conveyed in order to successfully overcome the challenges of using the wiki architecture by novice learners:

  • Create a culture of trust among wiki participants;
  • Set up conventions and require students to abide by these;
  • Have a common goal for all participants;
  • Assign meaningful, authentic activities;
  • Include explicit instructions and provide time for practice;
  • Remind students of course deadlines and schedules;
  • Define and identify roles for collaborative activities;
  • Provide clear and explicit course expectations;
  • Model examples of collaborative activities; and
  • Be patient with students and realize they may need help.

Bruns, A., & Humphreys, S. (2007). Building collaborative capacities in learners: The M/Cyclopedia Project, revisited. In Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis (WikiSym ’07). New York, NY: ACM.
Schroeder, B. (2008). Within the wiki: Best practices for educators. Presented at the Educause Western Regional Conference.
Thomas, P., King, D., Minocha, S., & Taylor, J. (2008). Wikis supporting authentic, collaborative activities: Lessons from distance education. In Rethinking the Digital Divide. University of Leeds, UK.
Thomas, P., & Minocha, S. (2007). Using a wiki to facilitate learning on a Requirements Engineering course. In Proceedings of the Higher Education Academy’s Eighth Annual Conference, August 2007. (pp. 28-30). University of Southampton.

New Forms of Learning

Cactus 6

Silverstein (2009) suggested increased learning absorption and retention by undergraduate students taking an engineering course in Material and Energy Balance. The learners were obligated to interact with a wiki after a lecture and reflect upon selected textbook chapter elements. Although many benefits were observed in the evolving student learning after lectures and through the interaction on the wiki, Silverstein did note two outcomes that were contradictory:

Comparing exam performance by this semesters’ students with previous terms students show no statistically significant differences… Students that the instructor suspected at the start of the course would be unable to complete the course were successful early in the course and were able to demonstrate learning sufficient to pass the course with a ‘C’ or better. (par. 19)

Tselios, Altanopoulou, and Katsanos (2011) confirmed this last observation in their study involving 36 first-year students attending an Introduction to Web Science course. The study consisted of a pretest-posttest design. In this study, learners who initially were poor performers improved almost 30% over the duration of the course. Not only were notable learning gains reported but the students also indicated better writing performance, increased self-organization skills, and improved collaborative group processes. The authors concluded “…that a properly designed, framed wiki-based activity could substantially facilitate students to achieve high levels of learning.” (p.5).

Forte and Bruckman (2006) executed a detailed study of freshman learners in an American government course at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Three basic questions drove the study (p. 3):

  1. To what extent do students’ interactions online affect their reasoning and writing?
  2. How does publishing influence students’ beliefs about their writing and motivation to write well?
  3. How does publishing influence the content and tone of students’ writing?

Reasoning and learning was affected. The analysis of the first and final drafts of essays showed that 80% of the learners using peer evaluation in the wiki to revise papers and 90% received feedback associated with the argument of the essay and its content. Most learners did not perceive the public nature of a wiki as a site that would be outward facing to the public, especially after the course finished, when it would become a resource. Explicit permission was obtained from learners to reuse their material in the future, but learners were quite naïve and did not comprehend the true nature of the wiki or the fact others (in the public) might find their work interesting. The pilot suggested that an online audience of a public wiki played a crucial role in creating meaningful and effective writing-to-learn. In conclusion, the authors described the basis for moving forward from this pilot (p.6):

…wiki-supported information resources … signal a unique opportunity for student writers to enrich public discourse in a way that serves a real purpose and engages a real audience…Online publishing can encourage students to adopt the view that writing is one part of a collaborative process that involves both their efforts and the disposition and ability of their readers experiences. A sense of audience is a vital part of written communication.

A study by Guth (2007) at the University of Padua confirmed the value Forte and Bruckman discovered for engaging learners on public, classroom-based wikis (p. 65):

  • writing on a public wiki promotes collaboration beyond the classroom;
  • publishing online leads to an increased sense of responsibility and more accurate writing;
  • knowledge sharing on a public wiki gives students a sense of empowerment.

Nonetheless, Guth concluded that learners using a semi-public wiki, because they did not lose ownership of their pages to anonymous users, experienced a higher comfort level.


Forte, A., & Bruckman, A. (2006). From Wikipedia to the classroom: Exploring online publication and learning. In Proceedings of the International Conference on the Learning Sciences, (Vol. 14, pp. 182-188). Bloomington, IN.

Guth, S. (2007). Wikis in education: Is public better? In Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis (WikiSym ’07). New York, NY: ACM.

Silverstein, D. (2009). Improving student learning by encouraging reflection through class wikis. In Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Conference (AC2009-493), Austin, TX. Retrieved from:

Tselios, N., Altanopoulou, P., & Katsanos, C. (2011). Effectiveness of a framed wiki-based learning activity in the context of HCI education. In Proceedings of the 2011 15th Panhellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI ’11). (pp. 368-372). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society.

Week 1: Speaker: Mark Newman, CEO, HireVue

Mark described a new digital tool for revolutionizing the job interview. The tool is a SaaS [System as a Service], cloud-based, on demand application that corporations are implementing to save considerable time and effort during the recruitment process. According to Mark, a number of activities surrounding the recruitment process have become highly automated over the last two decades, except one, the actual interview.

When a firm creates an opportunity for candidates to be interviewed, the recruiter creates a number of questions, emails a link to questions and invites candidates to record responses via webcam – whenever, wherever. Then the recruiter can watch, rate, share, and compare the candidate interviews at anytime! Kind of like streaming my favorite videos.
HireVue’s Digital Interview Platform™ encompasses digital interview guides, question libraries, real-time evaluation, and feedback tools. According to Mark, the platform, improves consistency and quality of interviews, permitting the recruiters to perform 10X faster, 9X cheaper, and significantly better. Once prescreening of candidates takes place, the short list of potential candidates can be moved around the firm to other stakeholders, who view and rate in their own time. Upon finalization, a candidate or suite of candidates may be invited to a face-to-face interview, or a more detailed asynchronous interview with new questions to be answered.

His Story:
Mark is Canadian, and has a wry sense of humour that someone like me, who is also Canadian, can really appreciate. Mark told some great stories of his startup days, mentioning the close, cramped quarters he and his original team shared for a number of years. However, the firm has now grown substantially. Mark mentioned how 2012 was a turning point for the firm. For the fiscal year ended January 31, 2013, HireVue’s revenues grew by ~170%, it added 140 new customers (an increase of more than 100% over 2011) and it received > 150 renewal/add-on transactions from existing its customer base.
Mark proposed a number of suggestions to the audience. He said that if you talked too much about an idea, without action, you might as well give it up. You must act and build to its achievement and success. He commented on how life is an adventure, and if you are fearful of acting upon your goals, then you will not contribute, learn, or experience your potential.

A second story he told resulted from an audience member’s question asking how to prepare for an interview. Mark mentioned first to “be yourself” use the STAR model to frame responses to the interview questions:

  • S – Situation: Describe a situation from your work or personal experience that would hook the interviewer and demonstrate your capabilities/skills.
  • T – Task: Outline the tasks that were involved, so the recruiter understands the context.
  • A – Action: Indicate the actions you took to solve the situation that challenged you.
  • R – Results: Specify any measureable results that could be attributed to your actions.

Mark demonstrated excellent storytelling skills and certainly was very humble about his success.

My Short Bio

Dr. Michael Sutton is an Associate Professor at the Gore School of Business,

Westminster College Logo

Westminster College Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Westminster College, in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. I am a faculty member responsible for motivating and stimulating the learners in my classes, which have included:

  • organizational behavior,
  • leadership (executive development),
  • strategy,
  • coaching,
  • entrepreneurship,
  • competitive/business intelligence, and
  • knowledge management/knowledge mobilization.

The learning I anticipate from the Lectures in Entrepreneurship course is:

  • increased knowledge and access to local and national entrepreneurs,
  • increased writing practice and rich feedback in the concept papers submitted,
  • new knowledge of using a blogging platform to express my insights, opinions, and reflections on the speakers.

My external website is
My external blog is
My email is: and
I may be contacted at 801-832-2563

I intend on being involved, engaged, and committed to this class, especially since I will be one of the two facilitator/coaches for the course, along with Linda Muir, the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Westminster College.

MY SECRET: For those who have been in my classes, you will have heard this; but most have not: I spent 2.5 years working as a Project Director (Consultant) for a major reengineering project to architect, construct, deliver, and train officers in the new Knowledge Management-based intelligence and administrative systems in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Following that, I also spent a short time in the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE) as a consultant. For those unfamiliar with these organizations, CSIS is the equivalent of your CIA, and CSE is the equivalent of your NSA. Of course, I was not a spy, just a member of the civilian administration.

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Theories of Learning (Associated with Wiki Applications)

Plug and Play wiki

Barton (2008, p. 186) proposed to answer the question “What are key pedagogical benefits of wikis?” in a philosophical treatise. His conclusions, which suggested a starting point for this section, were:

  • Wikis demonstrate, in a clear and obvious fashion, how knowledge is a function of communities engaged in ongoing discourse.
  • [Wikis also] demonstrate and build upon the interconnectness of knowledge and illustrate plainly that no discourse exists in isolation from other discourse.
  • …wikis make the fundamental importance of rhetoric clear to students.

Ironically, Barton, using an undergraduate course in Computers and English as a case, described the challenges of deploying a knowledge-based tool in the classroom in support of knowledge creation, representation, sharing, and diffusion. Barton proposed that his learners needed to incorporate service learning and civic action within their wiki activism. He felt learners needed to inculcate the concept of “giving back to their community” in order to become shapers of the public space.

Wikis … offer a democratic alternative to the mass society… Wikis are truly mass-produced, many-to-many writing spaces whose very design prevents the corporate control structure so prevalent in the ‘culture industry.’ They allow the people to participate directly in making meaning.” (p. 192)

Visions of the world, society, and self appear to undergo transformation through the text and images projected by the different publics. Wikis, in Barton’s opinion could become an ideological tool for changing society beyond the classroom.

Inquiry into the issues of applying wikis in the HE classroom is widespread, crossing many disciplines and subjects. Vie and deWinter (2008, p. 111) proposed a number of pedagogical reflection questions on the issues of ownership and collaboration within classroom wikis:

  1. [What is] the way in which traditional authorship is upset by wikis?
  2. How can wikis be used to explore fostering the challenge of collaboration?
  3. How can wikis encourage students to move beyond traditional notions of ownership and academic writing and into more collaborative, public discursive activities?

Cubic (2007) highlighted the value of a framework for supporting the use of wikis with a learning and teaching process framework. The theoretical foundation for her study encompassed constructivist learning theories of Vygotsky (1978), Gravett and Peterson (2002), and Novak and Patterson (1998). Cubic described 13 lessons learned from the two case studies. Cubic concluded, “…students’ engagement with wiki-based learning activities is directly proportional to the quality and frequency of tutor’s feedback and the clarity of the underlying learning and teaching process” (p. 11). The learning and teaching process frameworks consisted of:

  • Feedback-driven learning and teaching framework;
  • On-line learning and teaching framework;
  • Feed-forward JITT (Just-In-Time Teaching) process; and
  • Facilitation and collaborative learning process.

The underlying andragogy described by Dalsgaard (2006) asserted that social software tools, such as wikis, support a social constructivist approach to e-learning. Learners incorporate collaborative tools in order to engage in social networking activities. Consequently, learners direct their personal problem-solving process within the context of a social environment. Social constructivism emphasizes the importance that the learner must be actively engaged in the learning process. Counter-prevailing viewpoints that are professor-centric suggest that the teacher is responsible and accountable for delivering knowledge, requiring only passive learning from the learner. In this study, the motivation for engaging communities in the application and use of wikis is scoped to the educational sector alone. Often, the findings within work and practice-based environments do not stand up to the test of validity and reproducibility of empirical experiments. Content, communication, and collaboration comprise three critical dimensions to evaluate the value of learning within the social context of a wiki.


Barton, M. (2008). Is there a wiki in this class? Wikibooks and the future of Higher Education. In R. Cummings & M. Barton (Eds.), Wiki writing: Collaborative learning in the college classroom (pp. 175-193). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Retrieved from;idno=5871848.0001.001;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=dcbooks;xc=1;g=dculture;node=5871848.0001.001%3A6

Cubic, M. (2007). Wiki-based framework for blended learning. In Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis (WikiSym ’07). New York, NY: ACM. Retrieved from

Dalsgaard C. (2006). Social software: E‐learning beyond learning management systems. European Journal of Open, Distance and Elearning, Volume II. Retrieved on January 10, 2012 from:

Gravett, S. & Petersen, N. (2002). Structuring dialogue with students via learning tasks. Innovative Higher Education, 26(4), 281-291.

Novak, J. & Patterson E. (1998). Just-In-Time teaching: Active learner pedagogy with WWW. In J. Gil-Mendieta & M. H. Hanza (Eds.), Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education (CATE ’98). May 27 -30, Cancun, Mexico. Anaheim, CA: IASTED/ACTA Press. (pp. 130-133).

Vie, S., & deWinter, J. (2008). Disrupting intellectual property: Collaboration and resistance in wikis. In R. Cummings & M. Barton (Eds.), Wiki writing: Collaborative learning in the college classroom (pp. 109-122). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Retrieved from;idno=5871848.0001.001;rgn=div1;view=text;cc=dcbooks;xc=1;g=dculture;node=5871848.0001.001%3A5

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.




Emergence of Wikis in Higher Education (HE)

English: Wiki Wiki bus at the Honolulu Interna...

English: Wiki Wiki bus at the Honolulu International Airport Polski: Autobus Wiki-Wiki na Międzynarodowym Porcie Lotniczym w Honolulu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wikis in HE were reported in the research literature since the mid to late 1990s (Dillenbourg, 1999; Godwin-Jones, 2003; González-Bueno, 1998; Warschauer, 1998). The initial occurrences of wikis on the Internet and World Wide Web were made available through online services whose purpose was group-based and team-centric collaboration, or what was called at that time computer-mediated collaboration [CMC], (Fabos & Young, 1999; Koschmann, 1996; Krauss & Fussell, 1991). As CMC tools grew in application, the emergence of the formal “wiki” came into existence.

Phillipson (2008) proposed a typology to describe different kinds of wikis within HE:

  • resource wiki,
  • presentation wiki,
  • gateway wiki,
  • simulation wiki, or
  • illuminated wiki.

The resource wiki was flexible and applied to a wide range of courses. The purpose of a resource wiki was a repository to collect a collaborative knowledgebase of information for access that could include a plethora of subjects. Notwithstanding the course goal, a resource wiki furnished a platform for collective constructivism. Learners could piggyback upon peers work in preceding courses as a large corpus of information was collected within a project. Instructors built upon previous work, such as the Wikipedia, soliciting and stimulating the creation of original, new material. On the other hand, a presentation wiki was constructed for the sole purpose of a discussion forum, where peer evaluation might occur by crafting, retrieving, and modifying information. Presentation wikis built knowledge nuggets from the learners’ individual perspectives into large communities of practice for group review and constructive criticism.

Next, Phillipson presented the framework for gateway and simulation wikis. The gateway wiki acted as a data repository for static information that could easily be referenced, once it had been fixed as facts, i.e., “scientific measurements, statistics, calculations, survey results, metrics, and any number of other data sets (p. 26).” In a gateway wiki, the fixed data was the raw material of discussion and analysis. Additionally, a gateway wiki was a platform for logging results of experiments, sharing experiences, proposing well-formulated questions, and making connections between theory and practice. A simulation wiki presents an interactive experience: it is built as a world to explore. A simulation wiki was constructed to convey decision-making outcomes, where indiscriminate, unplanned, and illogical pathways were traversed by the learner. A simulation wiki could force a contrast and comparison of internal decisions vs. real-life models. The subject of a simulation wiki could convey a doppelganger effect in terms of being a proxy for the real world problem. A simulation wiki created a foundation for constructing narrative paths. Therefore, a simulation wiki might be applicable to history projects, event tracking, or creative writing projects.

Finally, Phillipson described the illuminated wiki—a wiki directed toward deciphering or elucidating a problem. In contrasting the illuminated wiki to the gateway wiki, the illuminated wiki mutated the topic under study, tightly incorporating it into the structure and architecture of the wiki. Learners individually and communally marked up text, videos, audios, and images contained on the illuminated wiki, resulting in a corpus that integrated the original material with the discussion and comments generated by the learners. Thus, Phillipson’s proposed framework for identifying the wiki types most suited to specific course and class tasks furnishes researchers and instructors with an a la carte menu to choose an appropriate wiki tool, based upon the learning strategy and anticipated learning outcomes.

In order to segment the information derived from the collected corpus of knowledge, we decided to adopt the same categories that Conole and Alevizou (2010, p. 2) established for a major section of their literature review entitled “Changing learning and learners.” The sub-sections outlined were theories of learning [associated with wiki applications], new forms of learning, patterns of technology use, characteristics of learners, and changing role of teaching and teachers. The authors of this study felt that paralleling Conole and Alevizou’s study of Web 2.0 technology with our study would segment the material into logical elements and provide a basis for cross comparison. Over ninety percent of this chapter’s cases were not addressed specifically in the report by Conole and Alevizou.

In our next blog post, we will speak about the challenge of Theories of Learning Associated with Wiki Applications.

Conole, G., & Alevizou, P. (2010). A literature review of the use of web 2.0 tools in higher education. A report commissioned by the Higher Education Academy. York, UK: Higher Education Academy.

Dillenbourg, P. (1999). What do you mean by collaborative learning? In P. Dillenbourg (Ed.), Collaborative learning: Cognitive and computational approaches (pp. 1-19). Oxford: Pergamon.

Fabos, B., & Young, M. (1999). Telecommunication in the classrooms: Rhetoric versus reality. Review of Educational Research, 69(3), 217-259.

Godwin-Jones, R. (2003). Emerging technologies Blogs and Wikis: Environments for on-line collaboration. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 12-16

González-Bueno, M. (1998). The effects of electronic mail on Spanish L2 discourse. Language Learning & Technology, 1(2), 50-65.

Koschmann, T. (Ed.), (1996). CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Krauss, R., & Fussell, S. (1991). Constructing shared communicative environments. In L. Resnick, J. Levine, & S. Teasley (Eds.), Perspectives on socially shared cognition (pp. 172-200). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Phillipson, M. (2008). Wikis in the classroom: A taxonomy. In R. Cummings & M. Barton (Eds.), Wiki writing: Collaborative learning in the college classroom (pp. 19-43). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Warschauer, M. (1998). Interaction, negotiation, and computer-mediated learning. In M. Clay (Ed.), Practical applications of educational technology in language learning. Lyon, France: National Institute of Applied Sciences.

Object Modelling Framework

OPM Exemplary Text by Dori

A colleague of mine, Joe Gollner, recently suggested some fascinating

to me. We are both affectionados of Object Process Methodology (OPM) by Dori and Crawley. I am attempting to architect a software product for constructing Knowledge Management frameworks, using a modelling methodology like Unified Modelling Language (UML).

Joe wrote a short overview of it on his blog and provides links to some key online resources. . This post also includes a link to a post that was written to try to set the stage for introducing OPM.

Has any reader located worthwhile modelling frameworks you could suggest?

Foundational History of Wikis in the Higher Ed Classroom Environment (Pt. 2)

Wikis evolved as learning platforms when instructors applied the tool to the goals of adult learning. Wikis demonstrate the transformative effect learners have on personal responsibility (experiential and self-directed) vs. hierarchical command and control (professor-centric) classroom situations. For example, a project-based, low-residency MBA program founded upon a wiki of business topics (information), motivated learners to apply self-learning and personal mastery of the elements required to create a business plan, when browsed and applied to specific business problems (Sutton, 2009a, 2010a). The information is mobilized into actionable knowledge by the learner, due to the network of links within the corpus of topics. The learner finds a path through the information in order to articulate and weave a story from the underlying topics. Moreover, because of the HE environment, wikis demonstrate a capability for construction of Higher Education (HE) learning organizations that replace the status quo with nontraditional learning (Barkley, Cross, & Major, 2005; Fuchs-Kittowski & Kohler, 2002; Millis & Cottell, 1998; Raman, Ryan, & Olfman, 2005).

A wiki may be metaphorically compared to the behavior of a tornado or maelstrom, pulling text and media from collaborators together into new configurations, where editing and wordsmithing can shape data and information into new knowledge that would not have been visible in solo, personal sources. Static information, when reworked by a community of learner-authors can take on the life of a dynamic entity (vis-à-vis Wikipedia, to name the most prevalent today).

Wikis are under continual improvement and technological development. The wiki has become a utilitarian electronic notebook tool, where the knowledge of the whole evolves to be greater than the knowledge in any single actor. Grant, Owen, Sayers, and Facer (2006) outlined fundamental shifts taking place in the relationship of practice-based knowledge with creativity and innovation, (an element where HE could benefit significantly with applications of wikis in educational environments):

… our relationship with knowledge is changing, from one in which knowledge is organised in strictly classified ‘disciplines’ and ‘subjects’, to a more fluid and responsive practice which allows us to organise knowledge in ways that are significant to us at different times and in different places. … New forms of collaboration tools are also emerging, where people can work together to build new documents or products. (p. 3-4)

Traditional disciplinary boundaries of knowledge and learning quickly erode, because the learner personalizes and appropriates knowledge nuggets from a multitude of sources, regenerating new knowledge in the process. Wikis encourage new engagement patterns with classmates, knowledge, and learning. For example, Christensen and Eyring (2011) described the innovative nature and success of new competency-based, experiential, and project-based BBA and MBA programs founded upon a wiki knowledgebase coupled with faculty coaching of learners at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT. Learning, knowledge production, and diffusion practices were being inexplicably altered by the presence of the wiki. Learners in the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business project-based programs adopted more collaborative and less solitary methods of inquiry and collaboration.

In our next installment, we will discuss the Emergence of Wikis in Higher Education.
Barkley, E. F., Cross, K. P. & Major, C. H. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Christensen, C. & Eyring, H. (2011). The innovative university: Changing the DNA of higher education from the inside out. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass.
Fuchs-Kittowski, F. & Kohler, A. (2002). Knowledge creating communities in the context of work processes. SIGGROUP Bulletin, 23(3), 8-13.
Grant, L., Owen, M., Sayers, S. & Facer, K. (2006). Social software and learning. [Opening Education Reports]. Bristol, UK: Futurelab.
Millis, B. J. & Cottell, P. G. (1998). Cooperative learning for higher education faculty. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. []
Raman, M., Ryan, T. & Olfman, L. (2005). Designing knowledge management systems for teaching and learning with wiki technology. Journal of Information Systems Education, 16, 311-320.
Sutton, M. (2009a). Project-based, Competency-based, Blended Program Innovation in a Learner-centric BBA Degree. Paper presented at the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) 2nd Annual Conference, Ottawa, ON.
Sutton, M. (2009b). A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of KM Educational Programs. In J. P. Girard (Ed.), Building Organizational Memories: Will You Know What You Knew? (pp. 225-243). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. []

Foundational History of Wikis in the Higher Ed Classroom Environment (Pt. 1)

[Image from: Mt. Lebanon School District]

In late 2012, a colleague, Dr. Afsaneh Hazeri, and I were informed that our book chapter on wikis in higher education had been published. The chapter is “Using the Wiki as an Experiential Learning Tool to Engage Students in Undergraduate and Graduate University Courses”, In Charles Wankel, Patrick Blessinger, (ed.), Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Online Learning Activities (Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education, Volume 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 195 – 225. [This chapter is (c) Emerald Group Publishing 2012 and permission has been granted for this version to appear on my blog. Emerald does not grant permission for this chapter to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.]

I will excerpt some of the relevant material to share with my blog readers, and intend on sharing other elements of it over the next few weeks to help establish a context for the use of wikis in higher ed. Wikis are most often applied in the classroom as experiential learning tools, let us look at how this came to be. Wikis are a collaboration software tool that gained notoriety and spawned a revolution, such as the phenomenon of Wikipedia (

In Wikis: Tools for Information and Collaboration, Klobas (2006) outlined a very succinct history of the wiki, beginning with a description of the Portland Pattern Repository established in 1995 by Ward Cunnigham, a virtual location for creating a sense of community and sharing information. Klobas goes on to mention SunirShah’s MeatballWiki founded in 2000, along with Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia, which was launched in 2001. During the next five years, other commercial tools emerged in the marketplace: Socialtext, Confluence, JotSpot, etc. Currently, there are probably over 100 different wiki engines, with a range of names (see Table 1 below).

@wiki InterWiki PHPWiki WackoWiki
ClearWiki IpbWiki PikiePikie WagnWiki
Corendal Wiki JAMWiki PmWiki Wetpaint
DokuWiki LittleWiki QwikiWiki Wikia
EclipseWiki MediaWiki ScribbleWiki Wikidot
EditMe Mindtouch Seedwiki Wiki-Site MoinMoin Wikispaces
eTouch SamePage Netcipia TikiWiki Wikka Wiki
FlexWiki Ogham UseModWiki WikkiTikkiTavi
GetWiki On-Wiki VeryQuickWiki XWiki
Ikiwiki PBWiki ViaWiki XwikiWiki
InstikiWiki PerspectiveWiki VimKi ZwiKi

Table 1: Representative Names of Wikis (not exhaustive)

Wikis became popular during the last decade as a software technology and a location (website) to collect and share a broad range of data and information, from recipes, travel information, and corporate project information to curricula, music lyrics, and movie material. Succinctly stated by Mader (2006), (Using wiki in education: p. 4), a luminary in the field, the

“wiki is simply a website in which users can create and collaboratively edit pages, and easily link them together.”

The wiki pages can normally be accessed and used by individuals with little or no formal IT training. Wikis encompass a suite of common features that have been easily exploited for experiential learning (Klobas, 2006).

The online services for a wiki application can execute from a local server or a remote server as a cloud-based computing application (Software as a Service—SaaS). A critical element of a wiki is the capability to store and sequence the history of each edited page, permitting an edited page to revert to a previous revision, if the user makes a request.

Wikis also engage the collaborators in a set of discussions and exchanges, stimulating the formation, modification, and potential transformation of the data and information amongst a group of contributors, readers, and editors. The formation (capture) and modification (alteration) of the data are easier concepts to grasp than transformation (transmutation), which is the mobilization of information into actionable knowledge by the user learner (see knowledge mobilization [KMb].

In the next blog entry, I will discuss how wikis evolved as learning platforms.


Games Design

Posts on Game Design, Style, Research, Tutorials and more.

Gaming the System

Games, movies, basketball, books (and occasionally the dog). Welcome to my life

Online Alchemy

Online games, virtual worlds, artificial intelligence... and whatever's next


Commentary on Organizations and What's Possible


Innovation with a Capital I!

Knowledge Nuggets That Can Sting -- Faites attention à la piqûre

innovation playground Idris Mootee

Knowledge Nuggets That Can Sting -- Faites attention à la piqûre

The Content Philosopher

Knowledge Nuggets That Can Sting -- Faites attention à la piqûre


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