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Starting May 29th and running through June 1st, the 2011 NISOD (National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development) Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence will be taking place in Austin. I will be hosting a breakout session called Micro-Collaboration: Team Sharing Between Instructor and Web Developers on Tuesday, May 31st from 2:00-3:00 p.m. At this session I will be covering some great material about how to improve the results of your team collaborations as well as announcing the premiere release of my book, “MindMeld: Micro-Collaboration Between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts.” I would like to personally invite you to come join me at the session and see why I am so passionate about this topic.

A few weeks ago I wrote a short synopsis about the foreword of my book and alluded to the fact that I will be providing sneak peeks at what the book will have to offer in my future blog posts. I would now like to talk about one of the first topics I cover in the first half of my book, explicit knowledge versus tacit knowledge. Developing interactive learning objects (ILOs) is in itself not entirely a difficult thing to do. ILOs can range in sophistication through implementation and design, but those that are truly effective impart both explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge through the nuances of learning simulations. Explicit knowledge may come through readings, videos, audio clips or other direct information delivery devices which are a standard of online learning. However, teaching or communicating tacit knowledge is a much more difficult task that requires various levels of doing or performing an activity which allows for one to explore the half-conscious knowledge that comes only from experience. An ILO that can effectively communicate the tacit knowledge (that only an experienced expert knows) that comes from performing an activity demands an equally effective collaboration between developer and subject matter expert.

I’ve created a diagram that provides a glimpse into how I am defining the continuum of interactive learning objects.

This is a continuum I like to use to illustrate the balance of complexities that go into designing an effective ILO. On the simple end of the continuum there are typical activities that can teach explicit knowledge; on the complex end are activities that have the ability to communicate some of the tacit knowledge that makes an expert an expert. The more complex the learning activity is, the more you will require various methods of getting a subject matter expert to share their knowledge.

If you are interested learning more about how to successfully micro-collaborate with SMEs and increase the effectiveness of your interactive learning objects, please take a moment to check out my book, MindMeld, which details proven methods of improving your online learning initiatives.