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Special Section: e-Learning World: Words of Wisdom

Paul Sparta, chairman and CEO, Plateau Systems

"Access to a vast data mine of knowledge is critical in today's business world--but imagine how much more strategic the mine would be if it could proactively deliver targeted knowledge to individuals based on their job roles or unique requirements, without their ever asking for it. That's where the integration of e-learning (or more precisely, learning management) and KM shows its greatest benefit—organizations can create a true readiness platform that stores institutional knowledge and is able to automatically deliver it to individuals and groups of individuals based on their needs."

Elliot Masie, CEO, The MASIE Center

"When e-learning and knowledge management are integrated, each one becomes stronger. Knowledge management has traditionally done a better job of making information reusable and shareable, and e-learning has done a more elegant job of presenting it. You could think of KM as the agricultural side, growing and harvesting information, and e-learning as the consumption side, delivering the information in a gourmet restaurant. End-to-end solutions for fully integrating the two are not likely in the near term, but technology that makes them more compatible will enhance both."

Brandon Hall, CEO, Brandon Hall

"The big prize in integrating KM and e-learning is in becoming a firm that is truly managing its human intellectual assets. We have known for many years that in the information age, the age of velocity and nimbleness, the age of the knowledge worker, the competitive organizations will be those that are able to best foster and benefit from the smarts of their people. We have two great ways to do that: learning (including e-learning) and KM, which have been separate areas within an enterprise. By integrating these functions, guidance from a single group, with a single integrated enterprise system, will ensure the ongoing learning and knowledge sharing across the organization."

Dale Zwart, founder and CTO, Generation 21 Learning Systems

"The greatest benefit of integrating e-learning and KM is that it brings the learning experience closer to the job. In general, only about 10-15% of learning occurs in formal situations; most learning occurs on the job. To support learning at the time of need, KM must include e-learning to provide a structured learning experience. This is especially beneficial for people who are new to the job, or who are performing tasks that are complex or critical. The nexus of the right information to the right people at the right time allows people to learn and perform most effectively."

James Li, CEO, Leading Way

"The biggest obstacle to integrating e-learning and knowledge management is the lack of a widely adopted methodology for design, management and access to learning content. Instructional System Design (ISD), the commonly held best practice, is founded on creating static, event-driven content where expertise and specific learning objectives can be easily identified. Our new methodology, Knowledge System Design, provides designers with a discipline that integrates ISD, knowledge management and performance technology into a knowledge 'ecosystem' that is dynamic rather than static.

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