A Tacit Understanding: The Designer's Role in Capturing and Passing on the Skilled Knowledge of Master Craftsmen
Nicola Wood, Chris Rust, Grace Horne


Over the past 7 years we have investigated how craft skills may be elicited and embodied in multimedia learning resources. This led to an understanding of the principles of eliciting and transmitting such knowledge (Wood, 2006). The most recent project has developed and evaluated a practical system for designers who wish to undertake this work. By engaging with master craftsmen, expert learners and novices to create and use a web-based learning resource it was found that well-motivated learners, working in physical isolation but supported by an online community, could acquire difficult new skills and use them in creative ways. The paper also outlines key theory from the preceding research to explain how this is achieved. It indicates how the focus of the research has moved from the production of highly structured conventional multimedia materials to the use of web 2.0 resources that invite participation and exchange by learners.

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