Learning is best conducted in a social atmosphere – a truth that reiterates in our workplace as well, for we learn best through the knowledge and shared experiences of our co-workers. But will Social Learning benefit you and your workplace? Read on to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’…
Why Social Learning, and why should I buy into it?
- Availability: Even low-end mobile phones now have apps that enable the user to view his or her favorite networking site on-the-go. Harnessing such technology ensures that the learner has access to the learning material at all times and can learn as per his or her schedule.
- Learner-driven: Through social interactions with their peers, superiors and instructors, learners can clearly identify their learning needs. Learners can also create a ‘dream team’ that shares similar work objectives and learn from each other, thus creating a platform for constant discourse and a repository of knowledge – driven by the needs of the learner.
- Experience-based: With social learning, learners can learn from everyone in the organization – be it the CEO or the team working at the very ground level. Thus building a strong sense of community, social sites are the informal platform where experiences can be shared freely – regardless of organizational hierarchy.
- Re-enforcer: There is much merit in instructor-led training and traditional e-learning, where the flow of learning is structured to provide the learner the necessary knowledge and skills for better work-standards. Social learning can provide strong learning re-enforcements to the corporate learner, through small learning modules that can be accessed through their favorite networking site – anywhere, anytime.
How to implement Social Learning and derive the most out of it.
- Start small: Wikis, Blogs or Communities on social sites like LinkedIn – or your own Intranet portal – can be a good place to start to give the learners an informal platform of fruitful communication and collaboration.
- Align existing learning platforms with social learning: Connecting the social learning platform with existing learning platforms, such as an LMS, can align it to the overall learning path of each and every learner across the organization. WiZDOM Social – G-Cube’s social learning portal –can be accessed through the LMS as well as via Facebook. Learners can view the courses assigned, signed up or completed on their individual ‘report’ page; and these are synched to the organizational LMS as well.
- Social learning-based mentoring: A Mentor can be assigned to an individual learner or a group of learners through a social platform. This can support the learner on many levels – through pertinent information and just-in-time assistance and by aiding the growth of overall knowledge.
- Create a space for intentional or ‘push-based’ learning: In addition to informal learning through discussions and sharing of experiences, social learning can benefit structured learning as well. As in an LMS, learners can be assigned specific courses available on social learning platforms. This increases the accessibility of the content, beyond the LMS.