Last week we were at Graz, first for a MATURE Consortium Meeeting and then for the I-KNOW conference, which I always enjoy for its atmosphere. It is far more relaxed and suitable for networking with long lunch and coffee breaks in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the quality of the talks did not live up to my expectations based on previous years’ experience (despite the fact that the MATURE project contributed 7 presentations and one poster presentation). This is strikingly similar to the WM 2009 in Solothurn. Is this a (rather alarming) indicator that traditional knowledge management forums do not attract the top research contributions? Or is the topic as such no longer fashionable?
On the other side, the event hosted the kick-off event for the Special Interest Group on Professional Learning (www.sig-protel.eu), which tries to increase the visibility of the topic on a European level, first by better networking among the concerned European research projects like MATURE, APOSDLE, ROLE, and others. In the discussion, it has turned out that despite the ambiguity of the term, professional learning seems to be umbrella term for KM and workplace learning. This SIG is a promising sign for a maturing community.
This year, Christine and I were giving a talk on integrating motivational aspects into the design of informal learning support, which reported on our findings on how to integrating motivational measures into tools for informal learning (the paper is available from here). Christine has done most of the work in ethnographic studies and their analysis. Currently, together with our colleague Athanasios, they are struggling to integrate their ideas into the four demonstrators of MATURE Year 2 demonstrators.