WEEK 2 – KM 630. Introduction to the Nature of Information/Knowledge; Information and Knowledge Users/Organizations and their Information Seeking Behaviors. Instructor Lynn Lampert – CSUN KM Program. Students Learning Outcomes for Week 2. Students will:
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WEEK 2 – KM 630
Introduction to the Nature of Information/Knowledge; Information and Knowledge Users/Organizations andtheir Information Seeking Behaviors
Instructor Lynn Lampert – CSUN KM Program
1) Analyze the nature and definitions of information and knowledge.2) Discuss the literature of user education and the information seeking process in order to learn about the information seeking behavior of users and its relationship to KM.3) Identify terms frequently used in information seeking behavior research.4) Acquire an understanding about the importance of user education programs in various information settings: corporations, education, libraries, museums etc.5) Students will discuss what instruction and training means in a knowledge management context.
Kuhlthau, C. (1999).“The Role of Experience in the Information Search Process of an Early Career Information Worker: Perceptions of Uncertainty, Complexity, Construction and Sources” Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50(5), 399-412.
What is information?
• Information as thing(Buckland)
• The social life of information(Brown and Duguid) • Information and sensemaking(Devin)
So then, where to start?
To receive sense impressions from the world (in-forming) ~then~
To communicate something to someone
So what is information?
The portion of the environment perceived or generated and used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation
A pattern of organization of matter and energy with no inherent meaning that can be given meaning by us
Information given meaning and integrated with other contents of understanding
Bates, M.J. (2005). Information and knowledge: an evolutionary framework for information science. Information Research, 10(4). http://InformationR.net/ir/10-4/paper239.html
Information as thing
Buckland is thinking about the fundamental nature of information and claims that it has been ambiguous
He attempts to clarify the concept, arguing that it can be seen as “process,”“knowledge,” and “thing”
The three meanings can then be used to describe the domain of Information Science & KM
~In what sense can we consider information a thing?
Why is this a useful approach for information scientists? Is it useful for Knowledge Managers?
~What is the role of the “situation” in the definition of information?
Assumes that information includes becoming informed, with the reduction of ignorance and of uncertainty
Buckland looks at the ways in which the term is used in the field
When we are informed what we know is changed
It is the act of informing...; communication of the knowledge or “news” of some fact or occurrence
That which is perceived in “information-as-process;” the “knowledge communicated concerning some fact, subject or event”
This has been controversial
Information has no materiality or energy
It is all contained in the context of communication
How does Buckland respond to these criticisms?
Is also used attributively for objects, such as data and documents, referred to as “information” because they are regarded as being informative; as “having the quality of imparting knowledge or communicating information”
Information as knowledge vs. as thing
This is a distinction between intangible and tangible
The thing is a tangible representation of the intangible
Sign, data, signal, text, film
Information as thing is a representation of knowledge
It can be touched and measured
It is the basic stuff of information science
Therefore there can be no such thing as a “knowledge-based” expert system or a “knowledge access” system, only systems based on physical representations of knowledge
What is informative?
Information as evidence
It denotes something related to understanding
If found and correctly understood, it could change one’s knowledge or beliefs concerning some matter
It is passive awaiting our action
Info-things that have been stored and processed
Documents and other text bearing objects
Types of info-things
Collections of objects can be informative
Represented by objects (as evidence) associated with the event
Representations of the event itself
Creations and recreations of the event
What is not information?
What is not informative?
Info-things as representations:
Every representation can be expected to be more or less incomplete in some regard
Something of the original is always lost
There is always some distortion, even if only through incompleteness
Representations are made for convenience, which means easier to store, to understand, and/or to search.
Because of the quest for convenience, representations are normally a shift from event or object to text, from one text to another text, or from objects and texts to data
Info-things as representations
Additional details related to the object but not evident from it might be added to the representation, either to inform or to misinform
Representation can continue indefinitely
There can be representations of representations of representations
For practical reasons representations are commonly briefer or smaller than whatever is being represented
They concentrate on the features expected to be most significant
A summary is an incomplete description
The social life of information
Brown and Duguid discuss the importance of understanding information in its contexts
Not to do so lead to tunnel vision and narrow conceptions of design which in turn leads to technologies that are not as useful or usable as they should be
~What does it mean to say that information has a “social life?”
What components (resources) of this social life make a difference for information flow?
How can information have a social life?
Warnings against “Tunnel design”
This is a consequence of ignoring these factors surrounding information
It leads to technologies and strategies that “bite back”
These are the unintended consequences of tunnel design
Information is always embedded in a context
It has a history, background, involves resources, people’s values and interests
The social life of information is what provides it with its meaning, value, and utility
Information as sensemaking
Dervin is discussing the meaning of the concept of “information design” as it is used to describe an emerging discipline
She questions the basic metaphor used to anchor the concept of information and provides a version of the changes in the meanings of the concept over time
She offers the sensemaking metaphor as a foundation for information design
An alternative view
Information has never been natural
It has always been designed
It is not a thing found in nature
It has no necessary correspondence to the external world
It can be data, knowledge or fact, song, image, story, or metaphor
It must be communicated to exist
It exists in the communication and the codification
Case, D. O. (2002). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behavior. San Diego: Academic Press.