Lian Ruan's Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training


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Lian Ruan's presentation at CALA Midwest Chapter 2011 Annual Conference on May 21, 2011 at Indiana University Southeast (IUS) Library

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Lian Ruan's Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training

  1. 1. Digital Knowledge ManagementStructure for Fire Service Training Lian Ruan Director/Head Librarian Director of IFSI China Programs Illinois Fire Service Institute University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign CALA Midwest Chapter Annual Conference May 21, 2011 Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, Indiana 1
  2. 2. Abstract• The findings from my doctoral thesis study suggest that librarians and information professionals should develop a systematic and structured way to manage fire service training instructors’ informal/personal and group network- mediated sources of information that do not exist in writing and cannot be found in the library or the archives. There are successful knowledge management practices in corporate library settings that can be studied and borrowed. This presentation will report how a digital knowledge management structure of fire service training can be developed and implemented. 2
  3. 3. Information-Seeking and Sharing Behaviors among Fire Service Field Staff Instructors: A Qualitative Study Lian J. Ruan Graduate School of Library and Information Science University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Committee Members: Professor Linda C. Smith, Chair Professor Carole L. Palmer, Director of Research Professor Caroline Haythornthwaite Professor Marshall Scott Poole 3
  4. 4. Objectives of the Study• 1) On the empirical level, the study aims to discover and analyze fire service field staff instructors’ information-seeking and sharing behaviors. The findings will help enhance library collection and information services to support their information sharing and collaboration in a complex information use environment of daily routines, such as training, teaching, curriculum development and actual incident response;• 2) On the conceptual level, it aims to extend existing conceptual frameworks of information-seeking and sharing of professionals;• 3) On the practical, operational and technological level, it will inform librarians and information professionals about the information-seeking and sharing behaviors among fire service field staff instructors, so they can be more responsive in key areas, such as information services, user training and collection development. 4
  5. 5. Research Questions• 1) How do fire service instructors, in particular the Fire Academy’s field staff instructors, organize, work and perform their training, teaching and curriculum development?• 2) What views of the world and theory of work inform their instructional activities?• 3) What are the typical problems that lead them to engage in information- seeking while they are involved in their training, teaching and curriculum development activities?• 4) What kinds of information sources do they look for and where, to solve these problems?• 5) How does collaborative teamwork affect an individual field instructor’s information-seeking behavior?• 6) What obstacles do they perceive in the search for and use of necessary information during the course of their work? 5
  6. 6. Firefighters & Fire Service Training• Respond to emergencies and save lives• Responsibilities: a broad spectrum of emergencies in areas such as firefighting, emergency medical care, aircraft crashes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, hazardous materials incidents, civil disturbances, rescue operations, explosions, terrorism and other emergency responses (Angle et al., 2008)• Dangerous and high risk profession involving the risk of death or injury• Comprehensive training for firefighters becomes a must if firefighters are to respond to emergency incidents effectively and safely. 6
  7. 7. Target Population: Field Staff Instructors at the Fire Academy. Core training force for the fire service in the state where field staffinstructors work. Part-time: Primarily employed by local fire departments tosupplement full-time faculty at the Fire Academy. “Street Expert”. Coordinated team fashion. Actors and creators of the Fire Academy’s teaching, training, andcurriculum development 7
  8. 8. Qualitative InterviewingQualitative Interviewing:• Study behaviors that are context-dependent (Rubin & Rubin, 2005)• Obtain highly personalized data (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003)• Interpret, recall and convey group experiences narratively (Fisher, 1984)Semi-Structured Interview:• Allow data collection in a limited period of time for small scale study• Ask questions that are not anticipated at the start of the interviews• Collect data through interview questions in order to answer research questions and relate to Taylor and Leckie’s models 8
  9. 9. Informal/Personal Sources of Information• Informal/Personal Sources of Information: - Restricted audiences temporarily; Storing it in either one-to-one communication channels or one-to-many channels (Garvey, 1979) - Site of community knowledge, social source (Lloyd, 2007) - Corporeal site; Tacit and difficult to articulate (Lloyd, 2007) - Highly situation-dependent, experience-based and held privately• Support fire service knowledge structures of KSA, especially psychomotor domain learning and skills training but little written information available• Instructor Participants’ Own Sources of Information: . Personal Social Network of People (Internal and external) . Street Experience (“Know how” knowledge through direct hands-on training and storytelling) . Personal Collections (Assembled to satisfy instructor owners’ special needs) 9
  10. 10. Figure 6. Actors in Field Staff Instructors Personal Social Network
  11. 11. Figure 7. Personal Experience as Source of Reference in CurriculumDevelopment
  12. 12. Group Network-Mediated Sources of Information: Transactive Memory System (TMS) as Informal Source of Information• Transactive Memory System (TMS): - Specialization, coordination and credibility (Wegner, 1987)• Group network-mediated sources of information, especially transactive memory system (TMS), support learning in all three domains of KSA• Instructor participants’ TMS exists at the beginning of the instructional process: - Highly collaborative groups, ranging from 2 to 25 persons - Group members handpicked by lead instructors - A shared and combined knowledge system based on members’ different domains of subject expertise and experience - Clearly aware of others’ knowledge to access and utilize it 12
  13. 13. Practical Implications - Help to find innovative ways to furthersupport field staff instructors’ work practices - One major suggestion: Digital KnowledgeManagement Structure for Fire ServiceTraining 3
  14. 14. Figure 10. Subject- and Program-Centered Knowledge ManagementStructure
  15. 15. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• Focus on the information-seeking and sharing patterns of individual instructor groups that have different subject backgrounds but share similar information routines and practices
  16. 16. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• The library serves as the portal and integrative center of knowledge management to assess and validate knowledge management needs within the groups of training programs.• It facilitates instructors’ information-seeking and sharing among various actors in social networks and multiple types of information sources.
  17. 17. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• Informal/personal sources of information, such as street experience and transactive memory systems, can be organized and made accessible in separate, yet linked archives – side by side with formal/institutional sources of information.
  18. 18. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• Connecting fire terminology across information products and actors can help improve capabilities for searching multiple sources of information and multiple actors across databases.
  19. 19. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• The knowledge management structure informs instructors of new work in primary interest areas; shares instructors’ street experience; facilitates crossover subject information- seeking and sharing; and identifies relevant actors, places and activities in common subject areas.
  20. 20. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• I suggest tying the knowledge management structure closely to the fire service knowledge structures of KSA to represent the overall field of fire service training in the three learning domains.
  21. 21. Fire Service Knowledge Structures of KSA:Table 1. Knowledge/Skill/Affective (KSA) Profile for Firefighters(Adopted and expanded from Carter & Rausch, 1999, p. 416) (Partial)Knowledge Skills Affective (Attitude)Cognitive Domain Psychomotor Domain Affective Domain(“know why” (“know how” or procedural (feeling and emotion)knowledge) knowledge) (“Know who” knowledge)Organization of fire Hose evolutions AttitudedepartmentScope of fire Ladder evolutions InterestdepartmentoperationStandard operation Breathing apparatus use AppreciationproceduresFire department Forcible entry Teamworkrules andregulationsSafety policies Ventilation operations HardworkingFire behavior – Hydrant operation and Trustworthychemistry of fire connectiontypes of fire etc.
  22. 22. Digital Knowledge Management Structure for Fire Service Training• A knowledge management structure can be further developed to concentrate on the most critical actors in the instructors’ social networks of people: the expert instructors with their multiple roles of expert, mentor, role model and source of feedback.
  23. 23. Questions?• Contact Information: Lian Ruan• Thank You!