About the course

What is MSLOC 430?

MSLOC 430 Creating and Sharing Knowledge is a course in the Master’s Program in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University. We focus on topics related to enterprise social networking.

This site – msloc430.net – is designed to fill two purposes.

  • It is an open hub for the public works of Northwestern graduate students enrolled in the 10-week sessions of the formal MSLOC 430 course.
  • It is a connection point for any practitioner interested in the topics we cover to explore or contribute.

Topics we explore

Our bias is to think about a course as a contract among learners to explore a set of topics over a defined period of time. The formal course sessions run in 10-week sections twice every year: From early January to early March and from early April to late May. In each session we explore two major topic areas.

How does enterprise social networking change an organization?

We explore and reflect on research and case studies that look at enterprise social networks (ESNs) and:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational culture
  • Organizational change
  • Innovation
  • Learning and development
  • Personal learning networks
  • Individual digital literacy, presence or identity

How might we create new models to change work practice or learning in organizations?

When we look for new ideas that leverage enterprise social networking technology to truly transform the way we work and learn, we see two things:

  • Innovations addressing how we work or solve work-related problems coming from business and management practitioners – like working out loud, idea jams, crowdsourcing, and open design.
  • Innovations addressing how we learn coming from education or organizational learning practitioners – like MOOCs, connected courses, virtual communities of practice and communities of inquiry.

Our goal is to think about these two streams of innovations as one. To explore the potential innovation that comes from criss-crossing domain boundaries.

  • How might innovations coming out of open, networked courses – including MOOCs – change the way we think about leadership development in organizations?
  • How might crowdsourcing be used as part of an open course? Or open design processes (think Open IDEO)? Or working-out-loud?
  • What might virtual communities-of-inquiry teach us about approaches to continuous learning in professional settings?

Activities: How you can join us

You can join in activities to explore, create or innovate.


Explore sounds a bit better than lurking. So, choose your preferred term. Either way, it’s ok to just scan updates and resources and maybe share a post or two with your network.

You can scan all the latest updates from contributing bloggers via our home page.

You can scan through different streams – MSLOC student bloggers, open participants or our Diigo social bookmarking group – via the Streams menu item.

Or scan through our Inspirations – content that we find helps us think differently about the topics we’re interested in exploring.


You’ll see student blog posts and shared resources exploring some of the topics noted above.

You may create and share your own blog posts to add to the conversations. (See Connect your blog). Here’s how that works:

  • You create and write on space you own and manage but utilize syndication technology to update msloc430.net.
  • When you write a new post that you categorize or tag as being for msloc430, a summary of that post will appear here on msloc430.net.
  • When someone clicks on a headline from your work on msloc430.net they are taken to your site to read and comment. Connected courses like this are distributed by design, yet offer a way for all participants to follow threads and build new network relationships.

You may also create by sharing resources or ideas via Twitter (#msloc430) or by adding to our Diigo Group, MSLOC 430 Resources.

Some ideas for blog posts and sharing resources

Consider blogging or sharing resources about any of the following topics. Students in the Northwestern course will be doing the same.

Leadership: What does it mean to “lead” in a more connected enterprise? Or be a change agent in a connected enterprise?

Organizational culture: How does organizational culture influence enterprise social networking? Or the reverse: How do enterprise social networks influence organizational culture?

Organizational change: How do enterprise social networks influence the way organizations design and execute strategic change?

Innovation: How do enterprise social networks influence organizational innovation or idea management?

Learning and development: How do enterprise social networks change the way we think about learning and development? Leadership development? Talent management?

Personal learning networks: Do personal learning networks pave the way for individuals in organizations to become more self-directed learners?

Individual digital literacy, presence or identity: How do we think about our “work identity” as a participant in an organizational enterprise social network? What digital literacy skills are key in that context?

New models of networked work or learning: Where do we find inspirations – examples of individuals or organizations working to develop new ways of using networks, communities, crowdsourcing, open design, open or connected courses, etc.? What are some moonshot ideas that we might find interesting to explore?


Students will also share innovations that emerge from their efforts thinking about case studies from organizations and how those organizations may benefit from application of networked work or networked learning concepts.

See Innovations for more detail.

We’ll share some of the student ideas for innovations. You can join us by:

  • Sharing your thoughts about those innovations after we post them.
  • Using the ideas to experiment in your own organization (we’d like to hear how it goes).
  • Submitting some of your own ideas (more on that in the near future).