Knowledge-Based Skills for today’s Distance Education Student

Hello and Happy Independence Day! 238 years ago today, the great nation of the United States of America declared its Independence. I’m eternally grateful for the freedom that the many brave women and men who have selflessly served our nation have provided so that my family and I may have the freedom we enjoy today. God bless the USA!

I came across an insightful article today by Tony Bates entitled “Are universities teaching the skills needed in a knowledge-based economy?” ( In his article, he proposed what skills today’s knowledge-based worker requires, particularly as it applies to knowledge management (KM). I thought about what skills I felt I could improve in my own exploration and implementation of KM. In Tony’s reference to the baseline skills required of knowledge management, “how to find, evaluate, analyze, apply and disseminate information, within a particular context,” I think there are a couple of prerequisite or perhaps sub-skills that should also be factored in.

Initiative is required in today’s knowledge-based worker, to even take the first step in finding information. One can say they practice knowledge management because they understand the process, but getting one to implement KM requires initiative on their part. As much as the idea of KM has become immersed in society I believe many choose to not practice it, simply because it takes too much time or effort for what can be perceived as little ROI.

Decisiveness is the other sub-skill I think is required in today’s knowledge-based worker. I’ve found since resuming graduate study that it is very easy to be absorbed in the process of evaluating and analyzing new information, knowledge and wisdom. So much so that one can suffer from ‘analysis paralysis’ — being stuck in an endless cycle of seeking more and more new knowledge to counter or support what’s already been discovered. In the grand scheme of KM, decisiveness is what the knowledge-based worker requires to make the transition from finding, evaluating, and analyzing, to applying and disseminating. Just my humble opinion but I think it is applicable to today’s KM environment.


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