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Knowledge Forum

by Robert Baird


With the prominence and growth of online education and its increasing popularity among student communities, various software tools have been developed in order to facilitate the interaction between the online tutors and their students. One such educational software application which was designed in order to facilitate collaborative learning online is referred to as Knowledge Forum. Initially, when this system was developed it was known as Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environments or CSILE. It was in the year 1983 that CSILE was incorporated as an archetype of a university course and this was followed by its inclusion within school courses in the year 1986. In fact it is considered to be the first ever tool developed in order to facilitate the progress of collaborative learning and aid considerably in the imparting and spreading of knowledge considerably. Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia are considered to be among the primary significant contributors in the growth and development of this system. The birth of this Knowledge Forum was heralded in the year 1995 when the Computer Supported Intentional Learning Environment program was redesigned in order to serve the interests according to the needs of the World Wide Web. In terms of its functioning, Knowledge Forum came close to those of the learning management systems or the virtual learning environments. Knowledge Forum emerged as a prominent e-learning platform comprising of a uniform Computer Mediated Communication or CMC technology. It is extremely useful in benefiting the cause of online education as it facilitates collaborative learning by allowing graphical and textual content to be represented in this platform. The Institute for Knowledge Innovation and Technology is responsible for looking after the management of affairs related to Knowledge Forum. In different sections of the globe form the Americas to Europe, Australia , New Zealand and Asia , Knowledge Forum is widespread and is used in about 19 countries of these continents. The Knowledge Forum Server works efficiently in cooperation with various operating systems from Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac. Similar to all the learning management systems, it possesses several features like online assignments and uploading facilities for documents.

The most significant feature of Knowledge Forum is known as 'note' which allows users to write contents and also comment on a public forum regarding a previous note or make additions to that note in order to improve its quality. Another important technique essential in the functioning of Knowledge Forum refers to 'scaffolding' which can be used by the students to improve their understanding and increase their knowledge in due course.

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