Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? — T. S. Eliot
That’s a pertinent question that we need to ask ourselves. We take immense pride in meeting project deadlines and delivering courses within budgets; however, somewhere in our quest to showcase our potential, we may have forgotten about the core objective — Delivering Knowledge.
So, what differentiates knowledge from information?
A learner gains knowledge when he/she uses the provided information to actually do things and receives feedback about what he/she has done. The courses that we create provide the learners with tons of information. However, it is not knowledge until the learner does something with that information. Apply it, criticize it, organize it, or manipulate it if you must, but do something with that information.
Let’s reflect on what we actually do when we learn something. There are numerous models of the learning process that have been created over the years; let’s look at a fairly simple model developed by Hughes, Toohey and Hatherley (Hughes, C., Toohey, S., & Hatherley, S. 1992, “Developing learning-centred trainers and tutors”, Studies in Continuing Education, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 14-27.)
If we really want the people who take our courses to learn, we need to provide them with a platform where they can make mistakes and then provide them with meaningful feedback.
That brings me back to my original question. Are we really delivering knowledge or just dishing out information?
Think about it.