What is Social Learning?
Social learning is one of the three key pillars of an engaging learning and development programme (the other two are gamification and personalisation). But what exactly is social learning? And how do Growth Engineering help you and your learners tap into its power?
Social learning is the way people learn from each other, this can be observation, imitation or modelling. It forms a large part of how we learn. In fact, the 70/20/10 model of learning and development puts social learning at 20% of all learning we do at work!
Ever since the water cooler rose to fame in the early 1980s, workplaces across the world have been experiencing the ‘water cooler effect’. This means that people have been informally sharing their knowledge and expertise at the water cooler, and as they do so they learn from each other and cross-pollinate ideas.
This effect couldn’t be replicated through meetings or team building as the informal, spontaneous aspect would be lost. As a result, the power of social learning proved difficult to harness until the advent of the internet, when it took off beyond all expectation!
Social Learning in Learning and Development
With NextGen learning systems at the ready, encouraging and facilitating social learning in the workplace has never been easier.
Done well, the addition of social learning to a learning and development programme will create a ‘pull’ effect for learners. This draws them into the learning environment and engages them, all whilst building a culture of community and collaboration.
It’s an approach that is paying off in spades. In fact, social learning has a 75:1 ROI ratio over purely web-based training.
According to Brandon Hall 44% of L&D professionals cited social and collaborative tools as one of their top learning technology priorities for the next 12-24 months. This reflects the power of social learning.
How Does Growth Engineering Facilitate Social Learning?
Social learning is an integral part of all our learning technology products. You’ll find everything on our platform, from a newsfeed, live chat, ask an expert, forums… and Clubs!
These mini social communities bring the water cooler effect into the technology space by focusing the discussion on one topic in each Club. This encourages informal Q&A sessions and the sharing of knowledge between the very people who use this information day-to-day.
What Are Clubs?
In the real world, clubs are places where people who share a passion or interest gather to exchange knowledge and ideas. This could be anything from knitting or reading, through to mountain climbing or cliff jumping.
These clubs build communities of like-minded people. They come together to learn and reinforce their knowledge. Because they all have a shared passion, they all have something to contribute, whether they’re simply a beginner or they’re a world-renowned expert.
At Growth Engineering, we’ve brought this same principle into the world of learning technology. We’ve replicated everything that makes clubs so much fun and built them into the heart of our products.
Clubs can span entire companies, or smaller groups focused on a specific subject. It might be that you have one club for sales staff to share tips and another for managers to discuss strategy.
Clubs in Action
Clubs bring people together across a wide variety of topics and sub-topics. They can even bring people together across different departments and different continents. This means that your staff based in Tokyo can share their wisdom with the team in Toronto.
Clubs are a place where you can upload pictures and videos, post a question, or like and comment on other people’s posts on a shared topic or interest. Some examples of clubs and their uses:
- “Friday Lunch Club” – a company-wide conversation about a fun weekly social event
- “UX Wizards” – a specific departmental discussion focused on related issues
- “Beginners’ Bootcamp” – a club for new starters with induction modules and advice
Social learning software is a key weapon in the battle against unengaged learners and a closed company culture. Clubs are just a part of our social learning strategy deployed on our Academy LMS and The Knowledge Arcade that will help you to combat this.