Facilitating Knowledge Visualisation as Communication and Knowledge Transfer Mechanism in Postgraduate Learning

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 560)


Advances in technology and subsequent access to inexpensive software have made visualisation, as a method of knowledge creation and transfer, more accessible. Visualisations have been used to support knowledge representation and transfer in teaching but the focus has primarily been on creating visualisations for learner consumption. The idea of students becoming active participants in producing visualisations, as part of knowledge creation and learning, has largely been overlooked.

The study reported here investigated the use of visualisation for summarising knowledge at postgraduate level. The student’s need to assimilate and organise knowledge is an important part of their learning. We suggest that it would be useful for students to learn how to produce knowledge visualisations as part of this activity. The production is an act of knowledge creation, which can improve their comprehension of the research literature.

Producing visualisations is not necessarily straightforward and it is therefore advisable to scaffold the process. We propose a faded-struts learning process that gradually removes scaffolding as the learner masters the principles and becomes more adept. The contribution of this research is to present the idea of providing worked examples and faded examples to support postgraduate learning. This helps postgraduates to craft knowledge visualisations so that they can slowly become more proficient and independent. Due to the ubiquity of mobile devices we propose providing this support on these devices, incorporating their unique constraints and affordances in our learning process.

This is essentially a proof of concept paper, suggesting how the idea could be realised. Further work is necessary to test the idea with students and to extend the repertoire of mobile learning (m-learning) visualisation tasks.


Knowledge visualisation Knowledge transfer Post graduate learning Faded-Struts approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Computing ScienceUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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