Those in the learning and training industry are currently debating the trend of social learning. There are still many questions surrounding its effectiveness. Many are unsure about social learning as there is a lack of data showcasing its impact.
In the simplest terms, social learning refers to learning from others. Social learning can be any kind of learning, it is about attaining knowledge and discussing this information with colleagues or friends.
This kind of learning is triggered by collaboration, and collaboration in learning always has a positive impact. The phenomenon of social media has drastically altered the way people see things and go about their daily lives. These social platforms have impacted every aspect of our lives, and this communication tool can be leveraged upon regarding learning and education.
There are many misconceptions surrounding social learning. Here, we unpack them:
The industry is a-buzz regarding social learning in organisations. But did you know the concept of social learning has been around for over 50 years?! However, with the advent of social media and the rapid growth of innovative technology, this concept has been accelerated.
Although social learning clearly appeals to Millennials, it is relevant to other learner profiles.
Many believe that social learning works on social media platforms, but cannot be adapted to offer a serious learning solution. While social media can be used for social learning, you can create your very own custom platforms, supported by your very own learning strategy, to create a social learning environment for your students or learners.
Social learning offers Learning and Development teams with another platform of learning. It is important to note that the desired impact is in proportion to the strategy you put in place.
But, why does it work?
As mentioned previously, social learning is not a new concept. It has always played a role in learning, and there are theories that support this. The 70/20/10 Model for Learning and Development, Active Learning, and Social Learning Theory make a great case for social learning.
Not convinced? Take a look at these facts and stats and see for yourself:
Think of social learning as a larger prism, part of the Learning and Performance Ecosystem.
You can combine a variety of learning when it comes to learning including: informal and formal learning, and complement your learning with Performance Support and social learning elements. This gives your learners more options and a diverse learning experience.
Learners enjoy learning in a variety of ways, all their preferences differ. Offer them a platform with multiple options ensures they will have a style of learning that appeals to them.
Besides, this approach will help you not just achieve the required levels of acquisition and application of knowledge on the job but a positive return on investment on your training.