Sunday, 15 January 2006

Not Invented Here

Christopher D. Sessums left a comment in D’Arcy Norman's post: Albert Ip on Learning Objects.

Here at my uni, we seem to operate under a “not invented here” motif, i.e., if it wasn’t created by me, I’m not going to use it in my class.

That is a very sad situation. As a high school teacher for nearly 20 years, I was native enough not to recognise this situation when I was doing my PhD. Bascially, the virtual apparatus framwork was very similar to "learning engine" project by another staff member at the unit I was doing the study. At that time, VAF was demonstratively a better idea. The Director has asked us to work to produce a consolidated solution and I agreed. However, once the agreement was reached, the project started a nose-dive. Was that NIH in its full glory?

That was almost 8 years ago. Thing has changed today?

In the book Co-Opetition : A Revolution Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation : The Game Theory Strategy That's Changing the Game of Business (Paperback) the authors argue that
your competitor does not have to fail for you to win. Conversely, you don't have to fail either. Your failure, in fact, can hurt your competitor. It is better, the authors assert, to have both cooperation and competition.

I have also jokingly remarked many times that R&D as in research and development actually stands for "repeat and duplicate". It is through repeating an experiment that scientific theory gets established. It is through duplication that techniques are learnt and you climbed to the back of the giant before you.

It is really very sad to see academic, who should have understood this better than everyone else not to acknowledge the work of the colleagues and whole-heartedly adopt other's good practice. In my humble opinion, it is the first step of further innovation and discovery.

Argubly, NIH may as well explain why people cannot agree on a common understanding of "learning object" - everyone wants to put a spin on it.

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