The Social Dimension of Networks (Nohria & Eccles)

This was a fascinating article, which makes an argument similar to the one I have been working on.  The authors do note that there is little hard evidence to support their argument that, "[a]t the core, the network organization depends on a network of relationships forged on the basis of face-to-face interaction" (304). Nonetheless, I … Continue reading The Social Dimension of Networks (Nohria & Eccles)


Cultivating Tacit Knowledge Online

This article discusses tacit knowledge, using the definition proposed by Polanyi (1967) of what we know but find hard to articulate.  I think tacit knowledge is part of becoming, or the learning that goes a step beyond knowing and doing.  Tee & Kareny argue that "although text book publishers or e-learning course producers can process … Continue reading Cultivating Tacit Knowledge Online

Distance Matters: Copresence vs Technology-Mediated Interaction

Olson & Olson argue in this article that "[t]here are characteristics of face-to-face human interactions, particularly the space–time contexts in which such interactions take place, that the emerging technologies are either pragmatically or logically incapable of replicating" (p. 140-1).  For example, though one study showed no difference in the output produced by a face-to-face (collocated) … Continue reading Distance Matters: Copresence vs Technology-Mediated Interaction

Perspective-Taking in Online Discussions

In this article, Jarvela & Hakkinen (2003) use Selman's (1980) sociocognitive construct of "perspective-taking" to evaluate the level of asynchronous discussions.  As they do, they had some interesting things to say about human- and machine-interaction.  They write, for example, that "[s]ome of the most important processes in human communication, like creation of mutual understanding or … Continue reading Perspective-Taking in Online Discussions

Jonathan Swift & E-Learning

This article is the opening editorial for the journal E-learning.  I wanted to just record one insight that I found especially interesting.  The author writes that Jonathan Swift's "writing machine" in Book 4 of Gulliver's Travels reminds him "of various 'teaching machines' that promised an automation of teaching and learning. And perhaps also thinking, in … Continue reading Jonathan Swift & E-Learning

Promoting Access to Knowledge, Strategy, & Disposition

Just a few words on this article by Richard Prawat (1989).  Prawat is making an argument about acccess, which he defines as "the ability to draw on or utilize one's intellectual resources in situations where those resources are relevant" (p. 1).  He discusses three major sets of variables identified by the cognitive psychologists: knowledge base, … Continue reading Promoting Access to Knowledge, Strategy, & Disposition

Online Communities: Usability & Sociability

Tonight I finished an article by Jonathan Lazar & Jennifer Preece (2003), which discusses the factors which lead to and possible measures by which to gauge success in online communities.  One factor is usability -- how useable the software and internet interface is.  The other factor discussed is sociability, since "[i[nformation from a disembodied source … Continue reading Online Communities: Usability & Sociability