Case Study: The Knowledge Management honours degree programme @ Southampton Solent University

Abstract: During 2007/8, Southampton Solent University worked on a Leadership Foundation project focused on the utility of the multi-functional team approach as a vehicle to deliver innovation in strategic and operational terms in higher education (HE). The Task-Orientated Multi-Functional Team Approach (TOMFTA) project took two significant undertakings for Southampton Solent as key areas for investigation, one academic and one administrative in focus. The academic project was the development of an innovative and novel degree programme in knowledge management (KM).

The new KM Honours degree programme is timely both in recognition of the increasing importance to organisations of knowledge as a commodity, and in its adoption of a distinctive structure and pedagogy. The methodology for the KM curriculum design brings together student-centred and market-driven approaches: positioning the programme for the interests of students and requirements of employers, rather than just the capabilities of staff; while looking at ways that courses can be delivered with more flexibility, e.g. accelerated and block-mode; with level-differentiated activities, common cross-year content and material that is multi-purpose for use in short courses. In order to permit context at multiple levels in common, a graduate skills strand is taught separately as part of the University’s business-facing education agenda.

The KM portfolio offers a programme of practically-based courses integrating key themes in knowledge management, business, information distribution and development of the media. They develop problem-solving, communications, teamwork and other employability skills as well as the domain skills needed by emerging information management technologies. The new courses are built on activities which focus on different aspects of KM, drawing on existing content as a knowledge base. This paper presents the ongoing development of the KM programme through the key aspects in its conception and design.

S J Rees and Jing Lu: (2009) Innovation and Employability in Knowledge Management Curriculum Design. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences 8(1), 27-38.

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Full text from Southampton Solent University’s Electronic Archive.

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