Social learning is an evolving collaborative learning theory where learners get an opportunity to learn, exchange their ideas, and learning experiences among their coworkers. With social learning, your learners can learn from others by observing their ideas, views, and behaviors with outcomes. As a result, learners can simulate and model those views and behaviors for acquiring new knowledge and building a collaborative learning environment. The learning process does not stop even after leaving an LMS, and socially interacting with coworkers is an essential part of the learning process and keeping learners engaged.
Social learning is important because it makes learners observe each other’s actions and make them capable of making decisions based on their observations. With the advancement and evolution of social media and eLearning, social learning theory became more dominant.
Online learning is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of engaging learners in the learning process. However, with social media, learners started making significant interactions online which even boosted learner engagement, motivation, and performance.
Advancements in social media
Social Media has penetrated the lives of almost everyone in this world. It could be through one or more channels. Be it Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or even Whatsapp to name a few. All of them have successfully connected each of us in some way or the other. Today a world without social media cannot be even imagined.
So the million-dollar question is what made social media become an integral part of our lives?
The answer to that question is not that simple. Different people have different reasons to be a part of a social media channel. Some people use it to connect with their friends and families. Some might use it to be kept abreast of global events and news. While some might want to share their experiences and discover new people and things. The list is endless. But ultimately, Social media has turned out to be an integral part of everyone’s lives because of its ability to struggling our emotions connected to social life. For instance, people crave attention and motivation to succeed in their life and what better way to get it than on a social media platform.
Owing to the popularity of social media, almost every industry and vertical has tried to leverage this global phenomenon and extract the best use out of it. And one such industry that is using the core concepts of social media to its benefits is e-learning.
Social Learning as a feature
The impact of social media on the e-learning industry has been so profound that it has led to the coinage of a separate feature called social learning in an LMS. According to this feature, you create a collaborative learning ecosystem where every learner can interact with other learners to learn better. This has a direct impact on the engagement of the learners with the courses they have enrolled in. When learners interact with each other, it motivates them to learn faster and helps them retain information for longer periods.
The reason why social learning works for everyone is that it creates a blanket of informal air around the entire process of learning. This is something that everyone enjoys. Here your peers magically turn into your course instructors and you can get your doubts clarified with ease, unlike the typical formal doubt clearing session you might have with the real instructors. Importantly, your instructors might not be immediately available for clearing your doubts, but your peers in a social forum might be always there to clear your doubts.
Apart from this, the Social Learning feature also facilitates learners to connect through live streams and web-conferences all within the platform of an LMS to spice up the learning even further.
The role of Groups in Social Learning
One way to successfully implement social learning is by organizing the learners into groups. A group is a bunch of learners from the same organization who have similar interests. When like-minded people collaborate, it can multiply the productivity of everyone in the group and that is what is achieved in learning through groups. Learning in groups drastically improves the course completion rates and leads to an overall successful training regime.
KloudLearn makes it quite easy to create groups and assign a course to them. Learners can also self-organize themselves into a group of their choice and all courses, deadlines, and notifications are published to the group feed.
The role of group feed in social learning
Once your groups are created, the next thing to focus on is the group feed. In a group feed, learners can like, share, comment, interact with other learners, and ask questions to them. It is similar to any feed that welcomes you when you open your favorite social media platform.
Apart from sharing knowledge with each other, a group feed is also a perfect forum to know what others are learning and how they are going about their learning journey. It serves as a motivation factor to complete the course on time. In KloudLearn, there is an interactive news feed that is user-friendly and will be as enjoyable as the social media feed that you are habituated to. You may also share audio, video, and other files within the group feed to support your opinions. Here is how the group feed of KloudLearn looks like –
Facilitates Social Hearing
A forum like a group feed not only helps the learners in sharing the information amongst each other but also helps you as a course author on where to improve. Social media is increasingly becoming a forum for people to talk about their grievances in using a product or service. An LMS is not different. Here the learners will talk about how the course is and can give you interesting and useful feedback through their comments in the social feed. Through this, you will be able to consistently improve the courses in your organization and improve the overall learning environment of your organization.
How to Implement Social Learning Theory in the Workplace?
Encourage Teamwork across Workplace:
The first step in promoting social learning at the workplace is to encourage a spirit of teamwork. Employees should be comfortable in reaching out to their coworkers and helping out with their tasks, projects, and assignments. Ensure your employees work together when allocating projects. This will help you create opportunities for teamwork and allow you to accomplish your learning goals via social learning theory.
Make Teamwork a vital part of your Social Learning Strategy:
An effective eLearning program is one that offers opportunities for learners to communicate with their coworkers. In simple terms, social learning channels in your eLearning training program enables learners to come together and learn from each other, thus, increasing their overall engagement and course completion rates.
Identify your Social Tools:
Your employees will interact with each other on social media for discussing their ideas. Leverage social tools like slack, project management tools like Asana, or video conferencing tools like Zoom where your employees can co-exist, collaborate and communicate with each other easily.
Adopt Continuous Feedback:
For promoting social learning, workplace communication should streamline in all directions. In other words, offering consistent and valuable feedback to employees will motivate and encourage them to implement social learning at the workplace.
For smaller teams, you can set up a brainstorming session on a weekly basis where your employees can share their ideas and feedback about specific projects.
Leveraging Social Learning theory at the workplace facilitates better learning retention, engagement, motivation, performance, and healthy company culture. However, successful implementation of social learning will require the right kind of tools like a Learning Management System. The L&D department of every organization is facing new challenges. Poor training results and abysmal completion course rates are two of the primary challenges that they are plagued with today. An LMS like KloudLearn can help in solving this through its social learning feature. Through this, you enable learners who are used to social media platforms and expose them to a similar ecosystem in learning. This makes it quite interesting and engaging for them leading to better performance and subsequently the perfect results you expected out of the training. To know more about the social learning feature of KloudLearn, click here