Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 161–185 | Cite as

Integration of knowledge management and collaborative learning by technical supported communication processes

  • Andrea Kienle


To date the development of technical systems to support learning either in schools and universities (CSCL-systems), or in companies (knowledge-management systems) have largely developed separately concurrent, with no or little mutual exchange of experience. The approach presented here seeks to combine the strengths of both lines of development in order that both benefits from each others advantages achieve advantages for each development. Detailed requirements engineering is presented regarding, three research fields: communication theory; learning processes; and a study in companies. The requirements collected led to a sophisticated concept of annotations where annotations serve as communicative contributions, and (segmented) material is used as context. The combination and distinction between communicative contributions, and the material itself is a suitable approach for integrating the advantages of CSCL-systems (communication support) and knowledge management systems (support of content storage). These requirements are combined in a software system, KOLUMBUS, presented with its key features. To gather experience with KOLUMBUS and to convey potential for further improvement, two case studies were conducted. The main results, advantages and further potentials derived from these two case studies are described in this paper. The paper concludes with design recommendations for similar technical systems, as well as organizational hints for CSCL-groups (in schools or universities as well as in companies).


CSCL Learning platform Knowledge management Communication support Evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fraunhofer Integrated Publication and Information Systems Institute (IPSI)DarmstadtGermany

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