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Title: Personal knowledge development in online learning environments : a personal value perspective
Author: Haag, Markus
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 1067
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates personal knowledge development in online learning environments and the impact that personal values have on it. Personal knowledge development was investigated from the perspective of Nonaka’s SECI model of organisational knowledge creation. This model served as the basis for an adapted model that conceptualises personal knowledge development in online learning at the individual level. The personal value types of the Schwartz Value Survey and the Portrait Values Questionnaire were adopted to measure personal values and their impact on personal knowledge development in online learning environments. Three data collection approaches were used. First, an exploratory study was conducted which elicited online learners’ experiences of their personal knowledge development in online learning; this study used online discussion forums for data collection. Second, a Delphi study was carried out. Experts were asked which of the ten individual-level value types by Schwartz are likely to be particularly relevant in the context of online learning. Third, an online survey was created. Its aim was to measure the impact that personal values and background variables, such as gender and age, have on personal knowledge development in online learning. A measurement instrument was devised that measures three of the SECI modes, namely Externalisation, Combination and Internalisation. This instrument measures the magnitude of online learners’ Externalisation and Combination activities as well as their level of Internalisation, i.e. the outcomes of personal knowledge development. Results of the exploratory study show that there are widely diverging experiences of personal knowledge development in online learning. The literature review suggests that the cultural situatedness of an online learning environment is an important influencing factor on personal knowledge development. The results of the Delphi study suggest that Self-Direction, Stimulation, and Achievement are particularly relevant value types in the context investigated here. Finally, the online survey confirms this view, as all three value types were found to be positively correlated with Externalisation, Combination, and Internalisation, with the exception of the Achievement-Combination relationship. A modified version of the SECI model is proposed, which extends the applicability of the original SECI model from the organisational to the individual level. It is argued that this model is suitable to describe personal knowledge development in the context of online learning. The study also contributes to closing the gap in research on the impact of personal values in the context investigated in this study. Moreover, a measurement instrument was created that can be used to measure Externalisation and Combination, i.e. personal knowledge development processes, and Internalisation, i.e. personal knowledge development outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: personal knowledge development ; online learning environments ; organisational knowledge creation ; knowledge management ; online learning ; C812 Educational Psychology