Academic Management

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to assessment in an academic environment: there are the ‘knowledge testers’ and the ‘skills developers’. While both are right in their own way, it is only through combining their approaches that a sustainable and performance-enhancing assessment process emerges. Read the rest of this entry »

In this third post on the subject of Web 2.0 usage in business, we look at the impact of social networking sites and other Enterprise 2.0 applications on performance and try to disentangle the myths of ‘receive wisdom’ from the behavioural reality.

It seems that the management response to social network applications and other collaborative tools falls into two categories: ‘how can we use this to promote the business’, and ‘employees shouldn’t be accessing these sites during working hours’.

Using Enterprise 2.0 to assist in the promotional strategy is the subject of the final post on this subject and I’d like to try and deal with the myths and misconceptions that have grown up about employees having access to social networking sites during working hours. Based on some research down by my students, the vast majority of companies that allow or require their employees to have access to the internet for their work also ban them from accessing certain websites – usually the social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, the video and photo sharing sites (YouTube and Flikr) and the microblogging sites (Twitter). The justification for this Read the rest of this entry »

In this second posting on the subject of Enterprise 2.0, we look at whether enterprises should use these technologies, and in what circumstances.

The overriding problem facing all enterprises when it comes to information systems and ICT is the assumption that they are necessary and one should be able to use all the applications and technology available. The truth is rather different: ICT and its associated applications are simply tools that are best suited, in the first degree, to carrying out repetitious, rule-based and essentially transactional activities with a greater degree of accuracy and untiring attention than can be provided by humans. Technology is about achieving orders-of-magnitude improvement in productivity.

The second degree of usage stems from the technology’s ability to support applications which allow the user to manipulate data in small or large tranches. This ability finds its place in spreadsheets, word processing and graphic design programs. These activities are much less transactional and much more knowledge-based than those in the first degree of usage.

For the majority of enterprises, these two degrees of usage form the primary usage and application of ICT and other usages are a distraction and, possibly, a hindrance. For these enterprises, Web 2.0 is not something they can make good use of and, beyond email and an informative (or possibly, an interactive) website, they should not expend scare resources of time or money on considering Enterprise 2.0 technologies. Read the rest of this entry »