I led a research project on knowledge management for the Institute for Health Care System Management and the TU Berlin. My team developed the metaphor of a knowledge house. I wrote my master thesis on the topic, by applying a system engineering approach to education.
During my master studies I followed a course in “Systems Engineering of Health Care Systems”. In this context, a small team and me worked on the question, how to foster innovation in health care.
We mapped steps of a user-centered design process on an innovation lab architecture. Entering the lab, a team proceeds through the lab. Each room is equipped with the material crucial for the respective step. To go from on room to another the team needs to pass a quality gate by gathering user feedback. Every room has access to an external co-working space, opening innovation to external ideas. Furthermore, simulation areas accessible at every point of the process.
The university work brought me a job in the professor's company and department
Knowledge house metaphor
My profressor liked the manner I approached the task and offered me a job in his company. Short before retirement, he gave me the task to organize his knowledge on health care ergonomics and make it accessible online. As a starting point we developed the metaphor of a knowledge house. We talked to stakeholders from education (students, professors and teachers) and specialist from the health care (physicians, engineers, ergonomists). A knowledge house has three levels representing relevant aspects of knowledge management. The model is shown below. It might seem trivial, but testing showed that it represents a powerful metaphor to talk about knowledge management.
In the coming months I explored the metaphor in various ways. (1) I restructured knowledge on health care ergonomics accordingly. (2) I sketched a digital prototype of the online offer. (3) I explored the education aspect of knowledge work in my master thesis.
An explanation clip
To explain our idea, I created an instructional video.
Redesign of website
To support our project, I overhauled the professor's website.
Restructuring higher education
The largest part of the project became my thesis on higher education.
Higher education is a mess these days. Through the evolvement of new (digital) players the traditional system is in chaos. It reacts with protectionism, by stating providing real qualifications is reserved for them only. At the same time new players still lack consistent arguments, why their model is a superior alternative.
In my thesis I took a popular system engineering model and applied it to higher education. The resulting model enables to see qualification dismantled from resources. As such, an online offering, using digital materials for teaching, is authorized to give the same qualifications a traditional university may. The model provides good scaffolding in a complex system of higher education and might be a first step for improvement. The thesis was graded with 1.3.
MOOCs, adaptive learning, connectivism and On-the-Job learning are terms I know to handle.