Social Learning for Online Training

Hey social butterfly, it’s time to learn!

Social learning employs things like peer feedback and review, ranking and awards to engage students in the material and learning process. It’s been making the rounds in many elementary and high school classrooms, but can you incorporate it into your online training too?

According to Jane Hart’s Social Learning Handbook 2014, “When we consider what social learning means inside an organization, it’s not just adding social media to instructional programmes or letting people interact with one another. It’s more about helping people learn from one another as they work together—enhanced by collaborative enterprise social tools.”

In order for your employees to want to work together, they need to feel like they know each other. Research suggests that to truly establish and project social presence, learners need the capacity for affective expression, open communication and group cohesion. Encourage them to share their ideas and listen to each other.

So how do you create a social learning community?

Try using discussion boards, incorporating Twitter feeds and allowing your learners to share content on Facebook. Letting learners continue the discussion on their Facebook profiles helps them connect and see each other as real people, especially if they work in different departments or offices and haven’t met. It also allows for peer feedback and review, which are essential components of social learning.

(Pictured above, Lectora allows your learners to share content on the most popular social media networks.)

After all, today’s learners have worked hard to create and maintain their digital identities. They expect to collaborate in the learning environment the same way they do in work and in life. Social learning tools, like an LMS that makes it easy to set up discussion boards and real time chat encourage learners to interact and learn from each other.

Start small, and soon you’ll have an interactive learning community on your hands!