Knowledge management in a distance education environment : a leveraging tool


Publication date



Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus. Institutt for arkiv, bibliotek- og info.fag

Document type


Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)


Purpose: Taking into account that the primary mission of educational institution is the creation, preservation, integration and application of knowledge vis-a-vis with the rapid advancement in information and communication technology has lead to a convergence of teaching and learning wherein open and distance learning is becoming the most common mode of delivery of education. Knowledge management on the other hand, has become an increasingly high profile approach to making education more effective, particularly for geographically dispersed learning environments since it provides ways of reducing the constraints of existing operational management structures to improve innovation, responsiveness and creativity. Therefore, knowledge management and distance learning could be two complementary fields that address the same fundamental problem that is facilitating learning in organizations. This thesis explores the uniqueness, difference and overlap of these two concepts; and aims to find out if being integrated together can provide better leverage of resources and optimize activities in the field of education. Design/methodology/approach: The study presents a qualitative approach based on the philosophical assumption from an interpretivist standpoint that is based on a relativist perspective. This research employed case study research approach, using the interview methods and document analysis to gather data. Several literature were also reviewed, resources ranged from journal articles, conference presentations and papers, student reports and thesis, as well as a relevant book chapters. Findings: Knowledge management though not explicitly and formally a part of the open and distance education (ODE)provider organizational structure, the experiences and practices that the particular case study has set in place is a manifestation of how knowledge is a highly valued asset of the organization. With all the issues of dwindling funds, evolving needs and technological changes, time, distance and all the other demands in both personal and professional level, ODE providers have found their way to strategize their objectives, goals and activities through tools and techniques that allow sharing, use and re-creation of knowledge to their benefit. Hence, knowledge management did not only becomes a leveraging tool for teaching and learning in a distance education context, but it also places the organization in an advantageous position in the educational arena.


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