Did you know that having the right knowledge can dramatically impact your success and your income? There are 12 types of knowledge and each one matters. Having the right kind of knowledge can help you create an engaging course that would ensure the success of both the curriculum and the students.
Therefore, if you are a solopreneur, digital entrepreneur, lifestyle entrepreneur, edupreneurs, female entrepreneur, digital creator, life coach, personal coach, the concept of knowledge will be different to you and you might need to know exactly what types of knowledge you should possess in order to master your craft.
For example, you might want to create a digital course online and you need to have a clear view over what kind of knowledge you need to possess in the process, in order to have the highest possible impact in front of your audience. If you are committed to excellence in creating a digital course online, then what follows might come in handy.
Apparently, there are many different types of knowledge and the classification is done considering different fields and dimensions.
Some of the types of knowledge are explained below:
1) Learning from Experience Knowledge
When we go through different experiences, we learn from them and the knowledge which we obtain based on these personal experiences is what is called “Learning from Experience Knowledge”, or, fancy speaking (by fancy we mean philosophically), the “a posteriori knowledge”.
Learning from experience knowledge is Not learned from the words of others, not from books and certainly not from Googling (I know you do it, I do it too). For example, one can know to not use sugar in scrambled eggs and instead use salt, only after they have made scrambled eggs with sugar once at least.
- In the field of education, some say that it’s better for students to learn from experiences; to learn from their failures. By seeing and performing, to either fail or succeed, the students will obtain actual knowledge. It has been proven by research and experimentation that when students experiment, through trial and errors, they learn from their mistakes and understand the potential gaps between theory and practice. I still remember the colour of Potassium permanganate that I mixed with water in Chemistry lab. Our teacher allowed us to see the reaction of the compound with different acids, and the ability to conduct the experiment on my own helped me retain the knowledge even after many years.
- In your course creation, your Learning-from-Experience knowledge is fundamental to pass on to your students. Make sure when you create your course that you include all the real-life examples that you have been through as you applied knowledge to real-life situations. Make sure to include case studies and stories. For example, if John is an online professor designing a course for Entrepreneurship, he could start by asking the students to brainstorm for innovative ideas in case of real-life business situations, and go forward in the future lessons with the same ideas that they come up. It would help them relate to the course in a much better way.
2) Reasoning Knowledge
One of the most important types of knowledge you can pass on to the students in your course is Reasoning Knowledge. Some reasoning knowledge is easy…which step do I need to do next? But to me, the more important reasoning knowledge is to be able to “reason” through situations that are not covered previously.
These situations often require good judgment and enough expert knowledge or domain knowledge to reason through them to reach sound conclusions. Running a business is the best example. Pros and cons have to be discussed according to the field, expert opinions have to be gathered, and team analysis is needed before attempting anything. And this is where Group Knowledge can really be useful because hanging out with other course creators can help you with Reasoning Knowledge. (So, as you will see, these types of knowledge link to each other and the more you are aware of the 12 types of knowledge, the better course creator you will be.)
Simply said, Reasoning Knowledge has to do with the knowledge obtained through the process of intellectual reasoning, without the need to experience something. Reasoning Knowledge is what philosophers would call “a priori knowledge”, “a priori” meaning “that which comes before” in Latin.
Reasoning Knowledge is the opposite of the Learning from Experience Knowledge previously mentioned. The two are like the two sides of a coin, one needs experience to obtain, while the other doesn’t need any experience at all. To obtain Reasoning Knowledge, one can study the reasoning and logic behind a concept without experiencing it in real life.
- Both mathematics and logic are usually considered as “a priori”, “before the fact” disciplines. Many philosophers think that Reasoning Knowledge is superior to other kinds of knowledge because one can derive it without any biases and dependencies.
- Meanwhile, in the field of education, especially in the field of sciences, a person can use their Reasoning Knowledge to conduct experiments and researches. It’s all because they have the knowledge beforehand and know that it will all hold up under testing.
3) Dispersed Knowledge (mastermind groups)
This is the kind of knowledge where you can “put your heads together” to come up with a better outcome than one you can achieve alone.
This is the value of belonging to mastermind groups. It is shared knowledge. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. This is a type of knowledge that is obtained by gathering different people and combing their individual knowledge all into one.
Each person has a part of the knowledge, and no one has the complete knowledge. For this purpose, different teams of experts are combined to work on specific topics. This is also known as “Group Knowledge”.
- For example, to cook a steak: you need someone (a butcher) to clean and prepare the meat, and then someone else (the chef) needs to cook the meat into the desired dish. The butcher possesses different knowledge regarding how to cut and clean the meat, while the chef has different knowledge on how and what kind of steaks can be cooked.
- For the field of psychology, different specialists can combine and perform research as a team. An example can be a research team of a clinical psychologist, a cognitive psychologist along with a development psychologist performing research on the effects of media on the psychological state of teenagers.
- From education’s point of view, different teachers of different fields can come together to teach their students. An example can be the field of statistics in the areas of economics and accounting. One teacher will be in charge of teaching accounting, another of economics and a third one will be responsible for teaching statistics. All of these different sources of knowledge combined can be used to perform statistical analysis for quantitative data, analyse inflation, unemployment etc.
4) Expert knowledge
This is the type of knowledge that your course content should be built upon. You are a knowledge worker and a knowledge source at the same time. Find that place where you are an expert and create your course around that knowledge.
Being an expert does not mean having to go through a lot of formal education. It can be like a hobby knowledge of something you love, a niched expertise, etc. Having this kind of knowledge means possessing an incredibly deep understanding and knowledge about a particular field. And meanwhile the knowledge about other fields might be only general and barely sufficient.
- For example, a physicist with a doctoral degree, currently on postdoctoral position, may conduct research and have a lot of knowledge about the field of physics but they might not know how to cook for themselves, they might not know anything about gardening, or managing their finances. They might have only heard of these things, but in comparison to their understanding of physics? It would be like hitting an egg with a hammer.
- In the field of psychology, clinical psychologists might not have much idea about counselling psychology. Since they are completely two different fields in themselves. They might know the general know-how but it will be nothing against their knowledge of clinical psychology.
- Teachers of linguistics may not be able to solve calculus problems, but they would be able to talk on length about Shakespeare. These diverse experts are important to allow students to explore their own interests and pursue their niche of interest.
5) Subconscious Expert Knowledge
The Subconscious Expert Knowledge is the knowledge of an expert who knows something, but may not have enough awareness of it to teach it. Teaching it will help make it conscious.
Sometimes people have a certain type of knowledge for a long period of time and they can’t remember where they obtained such knowledge, but they do know that it is true and that it works even though they can’t explain it or its origin.
- Students, sometimes, might hear about topic and might understand the intricacies of it but are not able to explain it. For instance, students can use simplified methods to solve mathematical problems in an innovative way, their previous understanding and knowledge about the subject allowing them to command over a subject they cannot fully comprehend.
- AS AN EXPERT creating a course, it is your job to turn tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge. This is an important link and application between these types of knowledge.
6) Conscious Expert Knowledge: Knowledge Development
The opposite of “Tacit Knowledge”, this knowledge is the type of knowledge that can easily be explain to others. It is also called “Conscious Expert knowledge” by some. This knowledge is the most common type of knowledge, it’s easily to pass onto others, it can be written down, articulated, stored, codified and readily accessed.
All kinds of books, both online and offline, research papers and articles are all explicit knowledge. Explicit knowledge does not need to be general, but it can be about anything, as long as it satisfies the above criteria of storing and accessing. Companies and schools can have their own explicit knowledge.
- In the field of education, explicit knowledge is everywhere and with everyone. Data for research purposes is gathered, analyzed and stored and later on used for further actions.
7) Researched Knowledge
Everything I share in my blogs is based on both Learned-from-Experience Knowledge and Researched Knowledge. The multiplication of knowledge from our research-based universities is enormous and growing every year. If you know this kind of research, by all means, include it in your course. If you do not, it’s fine.
But Researched Knowledge is where academics set up from specific experiments and control for as many variables as possible so that they can say with confidence that a certain outcome is objectively true.
The Researched Knowledge is the type of knowledge obtained through the use of one’s senses. It is different from Learning from Experience Knowledge by the constraint of having to obtain experience though the senses alone. While Learning from Experience Knowledge involves all kinds of experiences, the Researched Knowledge can involve mental, emotional, physical aspects and so on.
For example, the concept of gravity or “all things falling down” is an example of Researched Knowledge that many of us believe. It is because we have observed things falling down onto the ground, and so far, there hasn’t been any evidence to prove it otherwise.
- Both quantitative and qualitative research has empirical knowledge for students. Since the research is observed, the answers and the interviews, all the data is observable. Academics focus on gathering researched knowledge to be able to add to meaningful and valid knowledge.
- All of the psychological information and evidences that has been gathered has been through a process of careful observation and experimentations, with the focus being on experiments.
8) Mastery Learning Knowledge
What’s the best way to acquire knowledge? What is the science of learning?
This is the type of knowledge which is about knowledge itself, i.e. it describes knowledge. Such sources like books, bibliographies, philosophy of knowledge and epistemology are all examples of meta-knowledge.
- Students use meta-knowledge to plan, model, learn and combine the domain knowledge to obtain their desired results. This helps them since they have knowledge about a variety of information and data and can use it effectively.
- Educators use their meta-knowledge of the various types of knowledge and combine them to achieve their aims of helping their students. They make use of explicit, implicit, situational, embedded knowledge and combine them to better conduct their research and move towards their goals.
9) How to Knowledge (Step-by-Step Processes)
As a course creator, this is where your knowledge and experience would meet. We can share with our customers/students the theory and the practice. What does the actual how-to look like?
This knowledge lets a person know how to accomplish a task effectively. This involves a general understanding about the task and the steps to achieve it. This knowledge is also known as “Imperative Knowledge”.
This type of knowledge can be about anything, such as family recipes where the elders in the family know secret ingredients or steps for the recipes, or some kind of job specific task. It also involves the practical aspect of the knowledge in some cases.
- Let’s take wheat cultivation for an example to explain. To harvest wheat, the steps required are:
- Plough/till and level the soil to prepare it
- Sow the seeds
- Administer fertilizers and water according to the need
- Take pest control precautions
- Tend to the plants everyday and wait till the plants grow and mature for harvesting.
- Harvest the plants.
- In education, there is a step by step process to learning First students start with basics like the alphabets, then they make words and then sentences. It is all a gradual and step by step process.
- Procedural knowledge is widely used in the clinical psychology to better understand some concepts. Suppose someone finds something attractive, but they don’t know how and why that is the case. But to be attracted to something, they must be able to identify attractive things first through some quirks or arrangements and then be attracted to it. This is an instance of procedural knowledge but is not an instance of the know-how.
10) Situation-Specific Knowledge
This is the knowledge that only comes handy in a specific situation or context, and remains specific to that situation and is not understandable out of context.
Situation-specific knowledge is knowledge that emerges out of a specific context or community. It is knowledge that is specific to that situation and is hard to understand from outside of that perspective.
- As an example, knowledge transfer from offline to online can be quite a learning curve. What works in the offline world doesn’t always work in the online world. This is where your expertise really shines. Especially if you are a business owner who is now wanting to create a course teaching about how to do your business, you have to put on a different hat (a different specific context) and become not just a business owner, but also an educator. In creating a course, the situation changes. Your job is to share both your knowledge and the context that knowledge exists in.
- A game of chess can be also used as an example of describing this type of knowledge. The game of chess is a situation and has the context that there are two players and each player has a set of chess pieces to use. Another context within that can be playing the game against the same person repeatedly. In this case, a person will obtain some knowledge about how that person plays and her habits. But if the player changed, that knowledge of habits and tactics will also need to change.
- Students have different situational knowledge if they are experimenting in a lab versus when they are sitting in a class learning about a topic. In a lab they know to be careful not to cause an accident, and to follow a specific set of rules to continue their studies. While in a class the rules change and the requirements also change.
11) Visible Blind spot Knowledge
When we know that there is something that we don’t know about, that’s the known unknowns knowledge. Also known as “Visible Blind spot Knowledge” since we are aware of it.
This is the knowledge of having acknowledged of not knowing something. It can be about some practical things in life, or some theoretical topics. And we know that we need to learn about it, to learn about that specific topic. This might occur when we encounter something new that we have no idea about, it promotes both confusion and curiosity about the topic, leading us to seek some answers about it.
Examples of this can be anything e.g. finance students not knowing how to do programming. Art students not knowing about the science subjects.
It is common to be good at something(s) and be adequate at something else. The saying, “Jack of all, master of none”, can also be applied here. Sometimes we have general knowledge of some things but don’t have any detailed information about them.
- For students and almost everyone, this is one of the most common knowledge. A lot of them know the things that they do not know. And there is nothing wrong with that, all they need to do is study the topic and learn about it and rectify all that.
- Your job as a course creator is to help your students with their known blind spots. As an instructor, teaching your knowledge will help you discover and master your own blind spots. The best way to discover them is to teach what you know and as you do, your students will question you and that will help you to see the “blind spots” that you have in your course.
12) Invisible Blind spot Knowledge
This is the type of knowledge that we don’t have nor do we understand. It’s also called as “Invisible Blindspot Knowledge” since we are not aware of it.
In this type of knowledge, the only thing one can do is be open to feedback. Only by knowing about something, can we proceed to further obtain answers and go into details. If we don’t even know if something exists, how will we find answers and information about it?
All of us have some unknown unknowns, it is not something to feel bad about because it is human nature to know more as we go on. So as we receive feedback, it does not mean it is a fact, it means someone else perceives it to be a fact. How was that done? What caused it? This can all be obtained through feedback.
Unknown unknowns are pieces of knowledge that we do not have and equally are unaware that we don’t have it. This is information that may be beyond our comprehension and beyond our self awareness.
We all have these places. The best way to get to this knowledge is by being open to feedback. A communication principle is that perception is reality, so when you receive feedback from your students, it doesn’t mean it’s a fact, it means your student perceives it as a fact. What did you say or do to create that impression? Feedback is gold. Treat it as such and don’t get defensive.
Defensiveness will keep you from seeing the blind spot.
There are different types of knowledge. And only some of the types were covered in this article. Understanding each type of knowledge and how it can be useful is also a type of knowledge which can be beneficial to you. You can use it at any junction of your life like during course creation, business or helping a friend.
For example, the students usually know about their known blind spots, and seek to know about knowledge through meta knowledge. The teachers may help them by designing a course through tacit knowledge, researched knowledge, expert knowledge, imperative knowledge, and situation specific knowledge depending on the course.
Similarly, enforcing the knowledge transfer through experimentation, reasoning, and subconscious rapport building can help in the learning process as well. All of these knowledge types may seem interconnected, after all it is to seek “Knowledge” that we are here.
You may like to study Bloom’s level of knowledge to help you understand the knowledge that you already have. One can never know everything. Learning is an on-going process. We keep on learning every day. It is better to understand our own abilities and use them in many different contexts.