Knowledge Maturing

Currently there are plenty of systems in place that are supposed to facilitate learning. However, the time lag between innovation in research and development departments, and the acquisition of knowledge in the areas of marketing and customer support (and other departments in between) still is the critical factor for speeding up the rollout of new product on a high quality level. This can be traced back to discontinuities in the chain of interconnected learning processes. In order to pin down these discontinuities and analyze them further, this chain is conceived as a knowledge maturing process and adequately structured:

Knowledge Maturing Process

In order to make this knowledge maturing process more efficient, we conduct research on the following topics:

  • How can the construction of individual knowledge be facilitated by improving personal information management through Semantic Web technologies?
  • How can the visibility of artefacts suitable for learning (at the different maturity levels, e.g. entries in discussion forums, wikis, email messages up to didactically prepared learning material) be increased by making systems aware of both the context of the user and the context of artefact creation and usage?
  • How can the management of knowledge be more closely aligned with business processes with the help of business-process-oriented knowledge management?


Christine Kunzmann, Andreas P. Schmidt, Johanna Pirker
Pattern-oriented approaches for design-based research in collaborative research projects: A knowledge maturing perspective
In: Preschern, Christopher and Eloranta, Veli-Pekka (eds.): EuroPlop '16: Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs, ACM, 2016

Abstract Design-based research has become increasingly popular in collaborative cross-disciplinary research projects. Based on the experience in several European research projects, this research methodology allows for more agile research approaches. However, it is still a challenge to turn design experiences into a sound body of evidence that can be transferred to future design problems. In this paper, we want to describe an approach to collaborative research projects that extends design-based research with the use of design patterns. We particularly focus on how emergent knowledge can be captured as proto-patterns, how the knowledge develops along the research process, and how such projects can be geared towards pattern outcomes. Towards that end, we present a pattern maturing process describing phases of pattern development that is based on knowledge maturing phase model.


Andreas Schmidt, Christine Kunzmann
Designing for knowledge maturing: from knowledge-driven software to supporting the facilitation of knowledge development
In: International Conference on Knowledge Management (I-KNOW 2014), ACM, 2014

Abstract Software engineering has been transformed in recent years by understanding the interaction with customers and the target context as an ongoing learning process. Responsiveness to change and user-centered design have been the consequences. In a similar way, knowledge and ontology engineering are undergoing fundamental changes to acknowledge the fact that they are part of a collective knowledge maturing process. We explore three examples: social media based competence management in career guidance, ontology-centered reflection in multi-professional environments in palliative care, and aligning individual mindlines in pratice networks of General Practitioners. Based on these, we extract five types of designing for knowledge maturing and associated technical implementations. This shows that future technology support should especially target facilitation of self-organized, but tool-mediated knowledge development processes, where, e.g., workplace learning analytics can play a prominent role.


Andreas Kaschig, Ronald Maier, Alexander Sandow, Mariangela Lazoi, Andreas Schmidt, Sally-Anne Barnes, Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown, Claire Bradley, Christine Kunzmann, Athanasios Mazarakis
Organisational Learning from the Perspective of Knowledge Maturing Activities
IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, vol. 6, no. 2, 2013, pp. 158-176

Abstract The level of similarity of knowledge work across occupations and industries allows for the design of supportive information and communication technology (ICT) that can be widely used. In a previous ethnographically-informed study, we identified activities that can be supported to increase knowledge maturing, conceptualized as goal-oriented learning on a collective level. The aim of this paper is to investigate the current state of support and success of these knowledge maturing activities and to contrast them with their perceived importance, in order to identify those which have the highest potential for being supported by ICT. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through telephone interviews with representatives from 126 organizations throughout Europe in a sample stratified according to size, sector and knowledge-intensity. The activities that appear to be most promising are ‘reflecting on and refining work practices and processes’, ‘finding people with particular knowledge or expertise’, as well as ‘assessing, verifying and rating information’. Rich empirical material about how these activities are performed and also the issues that emerged and need to be managed were collected. Three clusters of organizations were identified: best performing organizations, people- and awareness-oriented organizations and hesitant formalists. It was found that a balanced knowledge strategy that leaned towards personalization outperformed a codification strategy.

Birgit R. Krogstie, Andreas Schmidt, Christine Kunzmann, John Krogstie, Simone Mora
Linking Reflective Learning and Knowledge Maturing in Organizations
In: 3rd Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Technology-Enhanced Learning, co-located with ECTEL 2013, 2013

Abstract Reflection is a key activity for learning in organizations. While technology support for reflection on the individual and collaborative level is promising, it remains challenging to embed these learning activities into the organization. To better understand and support reflection in the workplace, it is important to see the mutual dependencies between reflective learning activities and knowledge maturing. In this paper, we seek to bridge the gap by presenting a conceptual model linking reflection and knowledge maturing. Based on the model we put forward three propositions: In reflective learning, expertise moderates knowledge maturing, discrepancies be-tween knowledge elements trigger reflection, and the maturity of knowledge used in reflection influences the reflection process. We use findings from empirical studies in two care homes to support the propositions. We address implications for the design of technology enhanced reflection support by discussing a prototype reflection tool for care homes.


Andreas Schmidt, Christine Kunzmann, Andreas Kaschig, Alexander Sandow, Ronald Maier
Knowledge Maturing: Creating Learning Rich Workplaces for Agile Organizations

Abstract The agility of organizations has become the critical success factor for competitiveness in a world characterized by an accelerating rate of change. Agility requires that companies and their employees together and mutually dependently learn and develop their competencies efficiently in order to improve productivity of knowledge work. As a reaction to failures of organisation-driven approaches to technology-enhanced learning and the success of community-driven approaches in the spirit of Web 2.0, we have recently seen a paradigm shift in technology support for learning towards more participatory approaches in which learners are seen as active contributors. Within enterprises, this new perspective brings together traditionally separated disciplines like e-learning, knowledge management, and human resources development, but also requires a fundamental change of the culture of the respective enterprise towards an enterprise 2.0, which is characterized by enhanced collaboration and a cultural of employee participation. These developments are at the heart of how individuals and companies value and deal with knowledge. To make sense it and to productively shape the change process, we need a new conceptual framework that is both well-grounded on extensive research and pratically relevant and proven through application in numerous projects. The Knowledge Maturing perspective is a novel approach that helps understanding the fundamental change, the barriers and disruptions in knowledge development, but also shows opportunities and gives guidance to make use of them.


Barbara Kump, Kristin Knipfer, Viktoria Pammer, Andreas Schmidt, Ronald Maier, Christine Kunzmann, Ulrike Cress, Stefanie N. Lindstaedt
The Role of Reflection in Maturing Organizational Know-how
In: 1st European Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Learning Networks (ARNets11), in conjunction with EC-TEL 2011, Palermo (Italy), September 21, 2011, 2011

Abstract The Knowledge Maturing Phase Model has been presented as a model aligning knowledge management and organizational learning. The core argument underlying the present paper is that maturing organizational know-how requires individual and collaborative reflection at work. We present an explorative interview study that analyzes reflection at the workplace in four organizations in different European countries. Our qualitative findings suggest that reflection is not equally self-evident in different settings. A deeper analysis of the findings leads to the hypothesis that different levels of maturity of processes come along with different expectations towards the workers with regard to compliance and flexibility, and to different ways of how learning at work takes place. Furthermore, reflection in situations where the processes are in early maturing phases seems to lead to consolidation of best practice, while reflection in situations where processes are highly standardized may lead to a modification of these standard processes. Therefore, in order to support the maturing of organizational know-how by providing reflection support, one should take into account the degree of standardisation of the processes in the target group.

Athanasios Mazarakis, Christine Kunzmann, Andreas Schmidt, Simone Braun
Culture Awareness for Supporting Knowledge Maturing in Organizations
In: Motivation und kulturelle Barrieren bei der Wissensteilung im Enterprise 2.0, Workshop auf der Mensch & Computer 2011, 2011

Abstract The success and sustainability of informal learning support at the workplace largely depends on motivational, social, and cultural aspects of the involved individuals, teams, and organizations. In this paper, we present our empirical findings from a large-scale interview-based study on those aspects with respect to knowledge development in companies. We draw some conclusions that influence the development of future culturally aware systems for the enterprise and organizations.


Simone Braun, Christine Kunzmann, Andreas Schmidt
People Tagging & Ontology Maturing: Towards Collaborative Competence Management
In: Randall, David and Salembier, Pascal (eds.): From CSCW to Web2.0: European Developments in Collaborative Design Selected Papers from COOP08, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Springer, 2010

Abstract Competence Management approaches suggest promising instruments for more effective resource allocation, knowledge management, learning support, and human resource development in general. However, especially on the level of individual employees, such approaches have so far not been able to show sustain-able success on a larger scale. Piloting applications like expert finders have often failed in the long run because of incomplete and outdated data, apart from social and organizational barriers. To overcome these problems, we propose a collabora-tive competence management approach. In this approach, we combine Web 2.0-style bottom-up processes with organizational top-down processes. We addressed this problem as a collaborative ontology construction problem of which the con-ceptual foundation is the Ontology Maturing Process Model. In order to realize the Ontology Maturing Process Model for competence management, we have built the AJAX-based semantic social bookmarking application SOBOLEO that offers task-embedded competence ontology development and an easy-to-use interface. Following evolutionary prototyping within the design-based research methodology we conducted two field experiments in parallel with the system development in order to test the approach of people tagging in general and to explore motivational and social aspects in particular.

Andrew Ravenscroft, Andreas Schmidt, John Cook
Designing Complex Systems for Informal Learning and Knowledge Maturing in the ‘Web 2.0 workplace’
In: Proceedings of International Conference on Educational Media (Ed-Media) 2010, Toronto, June 29-July 2, 2010

Abstract This article presents an original approach to designing complex systems to realise informal learning and knowledge maturing that is being conducted as part of a large-scale EC project called MATURE. In addressing the challenge of designing work integrated Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) systems within the ‘web 2.0 workplace’, we have developed and tested an agile and ‘federated’ approach to the design of complex social and semantic technologies. This follows a paradigm of Deep Learning Design that incorporates: early technical and conceptual Design Studies; Use Cases of envisaged scenarios; Demonstrators which synthesise the technical and user requirements; and, a flexible Evaluation Framework that coordinates the related activities. After presenting this approach and how it is realised in an ongoing project, we offer some conclusions about designing complex socio-technical systems for TEL in the future.

Andreas Kaschig, Ronald Maier, Alexander Sandow, Mariangela Lazoi, Sally-Anne Barnes, Jenny Bimrose, Claire Bradley, Alan Brown, Christine Kunzmann, Athanasios Mazarakis, Andreas Schmidt
Knowledge Maturing Activities and Practices Fostering Organisational Learning: Results of an Empirical Study
In: Sustaining TEL: From Innovation to Learning and Practice 5th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2010, Barcelona, Spain, September 28 - October 1, 2010. Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol. 6383, Springer, 2010, pp. 151-166

Abstract Knowledge work is performed in all occupations and across all industries. The level of similarity of knowledge work allows for designing supporting tools that can be widely used. In this paper an activity-based perspective towards knowledge work is taken. Based on findings from a previous ethnographically-informed study, we identified valuable activities to be supported in order to increase knowledge maturing inside companies. The goal of this paper is to contribute to which knowledge maturing activities are deemed important, so that they can be supported by IT services. Quantitative and qualitative data have been collected in 126 organisations of different size, sector and knowledge intensity. Important feedback and issues emerged and need to be managed in order to support success in the knowledge maturing activities that allow improvement of organisational learning through the dissemination and application of the most appropriate knowledge.


Situationsbewusste Informationsdienste für das arbeitsbegleitende Lernen Andreas Schmidt
Situationsbewusste Informationsdienste für das arbeitsbegleitende Lernen
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Karlsruhe, Germany, 2009

Zunehmend werden Lernen und Arbeiten als miteinander verwobene Aktivitäten verstanden, was von existierenden Ansätzen nur unzureichend unterstützt wird, da sie kaum die Arbeitssituation berücksichtigen, in der sie benutzt werden. In dieser Arbeit geht es darum, eine Methodik für die Lernunterstützung zu erarbeiten und auf technischer Ebene situationsbewusste Informationsdienste mittels Kompetenzontologien und Kontextmanagement zu konzipieren und in realen Unternehmensumgebungen zu evaluieren.

Andreas Schmidt, Knut Hinkelmann, Tobias Ley, Stefanie Lindstaedt, Ronald Maier, Uwe Riss
Conceptual Foundations for a Service-oriented Knowledge and Learning Architecture: Supporting Content, Process and Ontology Maturing
In: Schaffert, Sebastian and Tochtermann, Klaus and Pellegrini, Tassilo (eds.): Networked Knowledge - Networked Media: Integrating Knowledge Management, New Media Technologies and Semantic Systems, Springer, 2009, pp. 79-94

Abstract Effective learning support in organizations requires a flexible and personalized toolset that brings together the individual and the organizational perspective on learning. Such toolsets need a service-oriented infrastructure of reusable knowledge and learning services as an enabler. This contribution focuses on conceptual foundations for such an infrastructure as it is being developed within the MATURE IP and builds on the knowledge maturing process model on the one hand, and the seeding-evolutionary growth-reseeding model on the other hand. These theories are used to derive maturing services, for which initial examples are presented.


Andreas Schmidt
Knowledge Maturing and the Participatory Enterprise
In: Online Educa 2008, Berlin, December 3-5, 2008

Andreas Schmidt, Knut Hinkelmann, Stefanie Lindstaedt, Tobias Ley, Ronald Maier, Uwe Riss
Conceptual Foundations for a Service-Oriented Knowledge & Learning Architecture: Supporting Content, Process, and Ontology Maturing
In: 8th International Conference on Knowledge Management (I-KNOW 08), Graz, 2008

Abstract The knowledge maturing model views learning activities as embedded into, interwoven with, and even indistinguishable from everyday work processes. Learning is understood as an inherently social and collaborative activity. The Knowledge Maturing Process Model structures this process into five phases: expressing ideas, distributing in communities, formalizing, ad-hoc learning and standardization. It is applicable not only for content but also to process knowledge and semantics. In the MATURE IP two toolsets will be develop that support the maturing process: a personal learning environment and an organisation learning environment integrating the levels of individuals, communities and organisation. The development is guided by the SER theory of seeding, evolutionary growth and reseeding and is based on generally applicable maturing services.


Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt, Andreas Walter, Valentin Zacharias
The Ontology Maturing Approach to Collaborative and Work-Integrated Ontology Development: Evaluation Results and Future Directions
In: Chen, Luke Liming and Cudré-Mauroux, Philippe and Haase, Peter and Hotho, Andreas and Ong, Ernie (eds.): Emergent Semantics and Ontology Evolution 2007. Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Emergent Semantics and Ontology Evolution (ESOE-2007), ISWC 2007, Busan, Korea, November 12, 2007., CEUR Workshop Proceedings vol. 292, 2007, pp. 5-18

Abstract Ontology maturing as a conceptual process model is based on the assumption that ontology engineering is a continuous collaborative and informal learning process and always embedded in tasks that make use of the ontology to be developed. For supporting ontology maturing, we need lightweight and easy-to-use tools integrating usage and construction processes of ontologies. Within two applications – ImageNotion for semantic annotation of images and SOBOLEO for semantically enriched social bookmarking – we have shown that such ontology maturing support is feasible with the help of Web 2.0 technologies. In this paper, we want to present the conclusions from two evaluation sessions with end users and summarize requirements for further development.

Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt, Valentin Zacharias
Ontology Maturing with Lightweight Collaborative Ontology Editing Tools
In: Gronau, Norbert (eds.): 4th Conference on Professional Knowledge Management - Experiences and Visions, Workshop on Productive Knowledge Work (ProKW 07), GITO, 2007, pp. 217-226

Abstract Ontology building is an important prerequisite for state-of-the-art semantic technologies for knowledge worker support. But ontology engineering methods have so far neglected the early phase of ontology building where a conceptualization only exists rather informally and underlies continuous evolution through collaboration and interaction within the community. We have to view ontology building as a maturing process that requires collaborative editing support and the integration into the daily work processes of knowledge workers. In spirit of current Web 2.0 applications, we present an AJAX-based lightweight ontology editor as a first approach to this problem.

Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt, Valentin Zacharias
SOBOLEO: vom kollaborativen Tagging zur leichtgewichtigen Ontologie
In: Gross, Tom (eds.): Mensch & Computer - 7. Fachübergreifende Konferenz - M&C 2007, Oldenbourg Verlag, 2007, pp. 209-218

Abstract Bisher gibt es kein integriertes Werkzeug, das sowohl die kollaborative Erstellung eines Indexes relevanter Internetressourcen („Social Bookmarking“) als auch einer gemeinsamen Ontologie, die zur Organisation des Indexes genutzt wird, integriert unterstützt. Derzeitige Werkzeuge gestatten entweder die Erstellung einer Ontologie oder die Strukturierung von Ressourcen entsprechend einer vorgegebenen, unveränderlichen Ontologie bzw. ganz ohne jegliche Struktur. In dieser Arbeit zeigen wir, wie sich kollaboratives Tagging und kollaborative Ontologieentwicklung vereinen lassen, so dass jeweilige Schwächen vermieden werden und die Stärken einander ergänzen. Wir präsentieren SOBOLEO, ein System, das kollaborativ und web-basiert die Erstellung, Erweiterung und Pflege von Ontologien und gemeinsamer Lesezeichensammlung ermöglicht und gleichzeitig die Annotierung von Internetressourcen mit Konzepten aus der erstellten Ontologie unterstützt.

Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt
Wikis as a Technology Fostering Knowledge Maturing: What we can learn from Wikipedia
In: 7th International Conference on Knowledge Management (IKNOW '07), Special Track on Integrating Working and Learning in Business (IWL), 2007

Abstract The knowledge maturing theory opens an important macro perspective within the new paradigm of work-integrated learning. Especially wikis are interesting socio-technical systems to foster maturing activities by overcoming typical barriers. But so far, the theory has been mainly based on anecdotal evidence collected from various projects and observations. In this paper, we want to present the results of a qualitative and quantitative study of Wikipedia with respect to maturing phenomena, identifying instruments and measures indicating maturity. The findings, generalized to enterprise wikis, open the perspective on what promotes maturing on a method level and what can be used to spot maturing processes on a technology level.

Andreas Schmidt
Microlearning and the Knowledge Maturing Process: Towards Conceptual Foundations for Work-Integrated Microlearning Support
In: Lindner, Martin and Bruck, Peter A. (eds.): Micromedia and Corporate Learning. Proceedings of the 3rd International Microlearning 2007, Innsbruck, Austria, June 2007, Innsbruck University Press, 2007, pp. 99-105

Abstract As a response to the new flexibility in work environments, work-integrated learning on demand is an appropriate form of learning which is in line with microlearning ideas. But in a world of microcontent, we need to consider that not all content is appropriate for everybody. The knowledge maturing process allows for distinguishing between different levels of maturity, and technical learning support based on the maturity level can provide automated guidance to make microlearning more efficient.

Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt, Andreas Walter, Gabor Nagypal, Valentin Zacharias
Ontology Maturing: a Collaborative Web 2.0 Approach to Ontology Engineering
In: Noy, Natasha and Alani, Harith and Stumme, Gerd and Mika, Peter and Sure, York and Vrandecic, Denny (eds.): Proceedings of the Workshop on Social and Collaborative Construction of Structured Knowledge (CKC 2007) at the 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2007) Banff, Canada, May 8, 2007, CEUR Workshop Proceedings vol. 273, 2007

Abstract Most of the current methodologies for building ontologies rely on specialized knowledge engineers. This is in contrast to real-world settings, where the need for maintenance of domain specific ontologies emerges in the daily work of users. But in order to allow for participatory ontology engineering, we need to have a more realistic conceptual model of how ontologies develop in the real world. We introduce the ontology maturing processes which is based on the insight that ontology engineering is a collaborative informal learning process and for which we analyze characteristic evolution steps and triggers that have users engage in ontology engineering within their everyday work processes. This model integrates tagging and folksonomies with formal ontologies and shows maturing pathways between them. As implementations of this model, we present two case studies and the corresponding tools. The first is about image-based ontology engineering (introducing so-called imagenotions), the second about ontology-enabled social bookmarking (SOBOLEO). Both of them are inspired by lightweight Web 2.0 approaches and allow for realtime collaboration.

Ronald Maier, Andreas Schmidt
Characterizing Knowledge Maturing: A Conceptual Process Model for Integrating E-Learning and Knowledge Management
In: Gronau, Norbert (eds.): 4th Conference Professional Knowledge Management - Experiences and Visions (WM '07), Potsdam, GITO, 2007, pp. 325-334

Abstract Knowledge management and e-learning both attempt to support learning and knowledge transfer in organizations. However, they aim at knowledge of different degrees of maturity. Central hypothesis of this paper is that the approaches can be integrated on the basis of a process that explicitly aims at designing the transitions of knowledge along varying degrees of maturity. The knowledge maturing process is presented as a conceptual model for explaining and analyzing disruptions in the inter-individual flow of knowledge within organizations. These disruptions can be attributed to a fragmented systems landscape and separated organizational units that foster knowledge of different degrees of maturity. The paper presents criteria for a characterization of this process model and discusses its implications for the design of learning support systems.

Hans-Jörg Happel, Andreas Schmidt
Knowledge Maturing as a Process Model for Describing Software Reuse
In: 4th Conference Professional Knowledge Management - Experiences and Visions (WM '07), Potsdam, Workshop on Learning Software Organizations (LSO 07), GITO, 2007, pp. 155-164

Abstract Software reuse has become a major topic in software engineering since reusing artifacts has an important effect on the cost and quality of software products. Accordingly, understanding and managing the mechanisms of software reuse is important for every organization that develops software. In this paper we describe a knowledge maturing process in software engineering and use it to analyze two cases of reusable software artifacts. We argue that the "reusability" of a software artifact is not just an immanent property of the artifact itself, but depends on the "maturity" of the knowledge the artifact embodies. We show that the notion of knowledge maturing can serve as a useful lens for understanding reuse processes and suggest further investigations towards a more holistic concept of reusability.


Andreas Schmidt
Knowledge Maturing and the Continuity of Context as a Unifying Concept for Knowledge Management and E-Learning
In: Proceedings of I-KNOW 05, Graz, Austria, 2005

Abstract Although both e-learning and knowledge management are about facilitating learning in organization, the major obstacle to bring both of them together can be traced back to different paradigms of learning, resulting from the different nature of the knowledge they are dealing with. In this paper, a knowledge maturing process is presented to illustrate the change of nature and the discontinuities. This lays the foundation for a better understanding. In order to overcome the discontinuities, the consideration of context is proposed, which offers the required continuity.