A study of explicit knowledge management in Knowledge Community from a technical perspective

Bernard Tam Chung Hong
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR, China

Knowledge management has been widely studied and implemented in many industries for more than two decades. However, it is still a new concept and few research studies and implementation have been done in the education industry. Although 'knowledge is power' and education is described as a breeding ground of experience and knowledge -- a land of exploration for future knowledge -- the related research topics of knowledge management in education have scarcely been studied. As a result, much valuable past experience and knowledge has not been stored, transferred or reused, which has caused knowledge loss or duplication across different schools or organizations along with the misallocation of resources in knowledge management.

Knowledge Community (KC) is a web-based Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) tool developed in Hong Kong since 2001. A number of KC projects have recently been implemented in Hong Kong primary schools. Their main objectives were to illustrate how a group of students built up their knowledge in a personal and collective way through online learning communities (Tam, 2003).

This paper will introduce the difference between explicit and tacit knowledge. It will use Knowledge Community as a prototype to study how KC manages students' knowledge through six steps of a knowledge management cycle (Turban, 2002) in the combination mode (conversion of tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge) of Nonaka & Takeuchi's model (1995) from a technical perspective so that the workflow of knowledge management can be improved, which can avoid wasting resources in knowledge management. It can also be used as a reference to the other three modes of Nonaka & Takeuchi's model in future research projects.