Thursday, November 22

Knowledge@Wharton (Instant Favourite!)

Knowledge@Wharton is an online resource that offers the latest business insights, information, and research from a variety of sources. It is developed by the University of Pennsylvania business school along with corporate sponsors. Content is divided into 14 sections, covering areas ranging from Finance and Investment to Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Here you will find analysis of current business trends, interviews with industry leaders and Wharton faculty, articles based on the most recent business research, book reviews, conference and seminar reports and links to other websites.


Ironically, this amazing online resource has been an idle URL on my blog in the Podcasts section (right column somewhere!) ever since I began my learning adventure here (around 4 months ago!). I suppose sometimes we need to rediscover a resource from somewhere else, and embrace it before we truly value it. After reading Wynn Williamson's reflection about this online resource, I explored it again and within minutes of exploration it become my instant favourite online business learning resource (for now! No science! Only Gut-feeling after few sips!). In other words, there is no point having a URL on your blog, if you don't (or someone) use it (Ouch!). Coming to think of it, the same applies often to knowledge, too. Hmm, Let's focus on this resource and juice!

According to Wynn Williamson, "...the website (this online resource!) falls somewhere in between a top-class economics newspaper such as The Economist and a university lecture forum like Princeton WebMedia. For me, what sets Knowledge@ apart is the professionalism it bring to open university discourse. The articles deal with timely economic and financial issues while tying the discussion to university research and academic theories. Meanwhile, the materials excel in accessibility - in addition to HTML pages, all pieces are downloadable as PDFs or mp3s. And the posts are always trailed by many smart comments... Knowledge@Wharton has made itself a stellar example of an open academic resource by modelling itself as a topic business journal, but free and made by academics."

Also, looking at the online visitor traffic, this site is already widely used around the world. Nearly 700,000 registered users (already signed-up, too!), 13,775,000 unique visitors per month, and a average visitor session length of 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Interestingly, 13.5% of the registered users are from the Asia/Pacific region ...more stats!

What about the learning juice? Here are some of the juicy sections (14 all together!) that excite me:

That is too general, give me some individual articles/podcasts to get me going? Alright!

Remember, only registered users can access articles older than 30 days! If you ask me, I would love my courseware to look a bit like this juicy online resource (at least for qualitative subjects!). You don't need to give me a 30-40 page chapter/module (or 5-15 screens of chunked spoon-fed topics!), and then link me to resources, and expect me to have time (or motivation!) to explore further.

Ideally, I would prefer simply a one-page topic (why not a one-page course? Course plan?) telling me what it expects me to learn (synopsis, learning objectives/outcomes and related online/offline resources!), provides me with a bunch of relevant world class resources (URLs!), and empowers me to discover and learn on my own (or with my classmates, or connects me to related experts and communities around the world!). Then we get together online/offline to discuss, reflect, construct new meanings, and nurture new ideas and knowledge out of these learning juices.

In short, I love Wharton's online journal, because it provides substance quality (to my humble understanding!), latest trends/news in different research/study areas, simply interface design, it is pleasing to the ear (podcasts! listen or download) and eyes (clipart and text/transcripts), links to related articles/resources, a discussion area (comment section) for each article, and finally it makes it easy for us to recommend or share their resources to others around the world (e.g.

I suppose if they add a dynamic blog, forum, and a wiki for each section (14!), it could actually become even a more dynamic learning resource (or courseware) that is more than sufficient for me (I personally don't need 3D virtual worlds to get engaged! Though, perhaps for dynamic demonstrations/illustrations/exercises/experiments it would be useful!). Well, I suppose we all have our own learning tastes, preferences, styles and dreams. However, I believe we all want content with substance quality from experts in their respective fields, and I suppose you might just find some of that here :)

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