GDRC Project

The GDRC Learning Lab

Staying on the Learning Curve ...
The Learning Lab



he delivery of timely and packaged information at the right level to the right users has considerable externalities for a variety of purposes - in facilitating informed decision-making or in reducing unequal access to resources.

Recognizing the importance of this need, GDRC has interlinked the three programmes under its Information Sphere (Knowledge Management, Information Design, and Information and Communication Technologies or ICTs) to form a 'Learning Lab'

What is a Learning Lab? It is a place where different aspects of the learning process are analyzed and studied. It looks at the entire life-cycle of information management, from collection and analysis, to presentation and use of information.

For GDRC, the Learning Lab represents a critical skill that we all have to posses to be able to use the right form of technology to present information in the right format, in order to manage knowledge properly.

Information Literacy The aim of the GRDC Learning Lab is to promote the concept of Information Literacy - the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.

Information Literacy goes beyond just access to information and looks at how, who and why the information is used. Information literacy is closely related to the achievement of SDG #4 on quality education.

The objectives of the GDRC Learning Lab are:
1 To understand the process of learning: Learning takes place at different levels and scales targetting different stakeholders and for different purposes

2 To collate lessons learnt in developing GDRC's programmes: The 15 programmes of GDRC in themselves provide an interesting opportunity for implementing and learning lessons in information and knowledge management

3 To develop systems of design and dissemination for effective learning and implementation: We need to resolve the classic dilemma of whether to produce a 200-page manual or a one-page bulleted list, so that the right decision can be enabled.

The three programmes of GDRC that fall under the Learning Lab are intrinsically linked together in a cyclical loop. The ICTs programme looks at online technology systems, the Knowledge Management programme looks at knowledge systems, and the Information Design programme looks at design systems.

ICTs for Development: What is the current thinking on information and communication technologies or ICTs? What information systems and software packages can be used to display and manage content? And how does GDRC's Programme on ICTs facilitate this?
Knowledge Management: How do people actually learn? How do they use information? Who are these people?? People learn (a) to change behaviour or (b) to add to existing knowledge. How does GDRC's programme on KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT facilitate this?
Information Design: What is the main message we want to share? Which medium we want to use? What resource are we to use? Who are the main end-users? How can information be presented for this purpose? And how does GDRCs Programme on INFORMATION DESIGN facilitate this?

The research activities and project implementation, including training and capacity building, carried out by GDRC have provided an excellent opportunity to observe and record the way people learn. Development of the websites of GDRC's 15 programmes have themselves been a learning opportunity!

The outputs from the Learning Lab's three programmes are listed in the table below. Please use your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.

ICTs for Development:
One Pager - What are ICTs? - Use of Internet for Citizen's Participation
- Packaging Knowledge: An Information Continuum
- Gender and ICTs

Knowledge Management
- What is knowledge management? Some definitions
- Accessing Information is not Acquiring Knowledge
- User Analysis for Knowledge Management
- Global Convergence and Local Divergence: Implications of Online Information Explosion
- Learning Systems
- Collaborative Learning
- Learning Ideas: Lessons learnt when developing GDRC's content

Information Design
- Packaging Knowledge: An Information Continuum
- Leadership in the Information Age
- Info-Ideas: Presenting Information
- Jack of all Trades, and Master of Quite-a-Few
- The Information Design Cycle: Making the 'A-ha!' Happen
- Message in a bottle: Graphic Communications
- Info Design: Lessons Learnt at the GDRC

Other outputs - Pedagogy blog: Learning about Learning
- GDRC's Capacity Building Policy

- Learning Strategies to use GDRC's Website
- Haiku on Learning

Return to:
The Learning Lab is a joint initiative of three research programmes of GDRC:


earning is more than just acquiring information. It includes the skills, capacities, morals and behaviours needed to make use of that information.


isit the blog maintained by the Learning Lab - Pedagogy: Learning About Learning

GDRC endorses and supports
SDG #4 on Quality Education


Learning haiku:

Donít be afraid
Of what you know
The unknown can be learnt

... more