The advent of social media changed the meaning of the term ‘social’ for most individuals. The rise of social platforms and related technology and advancements gave rise to the culture of ‘sharing’, connecting the world like never before. Social components are in everything we do in this age and time we live in, so why should corporate eLearning take a backseat? Social learning is a learning methodology now being used in corporate training by various organizations to help employees learn better, playing off of the theory that people learn better when they learn collectively as a part of a community. The use of social networking in your corporate learning program fosters teamwork and team-spirit, in addition to offering a plethora of benefits which will be discussed in this article. Let’s have a look at some tips on how to apply social learning to your corporate eLearning program.
- A Facebook Group or A Forum or Both
To ensure continuous learning, an organization needs to ensure that discussions around the learning and development program take place regularly, and a Facebook group or forum should do that. Here, employees can share their thoughts and ideas around the eLearning courses they attempt, ask questions and provide answers. Anticipation should be built around eLearning courses in advance by sharing creative posts and infographics, while sharing achievements like completing an eLearning course or earning a badge should be encouraged (gamification works wonders with social learning). Employees already use social media on a daily basis, and bringing eLearning to a familiar turf is sure to bring positive results.
Leaderboards are typically a game-play based dynamic, but works like a charm to increase healthy competition and encourage social interactions. Points or badges can be used to signify progress, and the person with most achievements ranks top at the leaderboard. Here too, sharing ranks on leaderboards should be encouraged, and the leaderboard should be available for access anytime in the organization’s learning management system (LMS). Rankings in a leaderboard may not have any tangible value, but has been shown to engage employees immensely.
- Surveys or Polls
The key term here, if you want to apply social learning to your program, is ‘communication’. The more your employees communicate with each other and the organization regarding the eLearning program, the better. Surveys and polls enhance better communication as the organization gets valuable, quantifiable data, which can be used to improve the program. Social networking sites like Facebook let you conduct surveys and polls, which add another spoonful of the social component into the mix.
- Interactions Between the L&D Team and Employees
Social learning is not just limited to harnessing the power of social media to the organization’s advantage. The L&D team must actively participate in accelerating social learning through interactions with employees. Face-to-face communication too, can be a part of social learning. It is the responsibility of the L&D team that their eLearning program succeeds in upskilling employees and that a culture of learning is built within the organization. To do that, they must leave no stones unturned to help the employees navigate the LMS and develop good learning habits.
- eLearning Courses That Require Teamwork
Build eLearning courses that require the employees of a team to work together as one. For example, the same course is shared to all the team-members, but different phases of that course have been built keeping in mind the skills of different employees, and only that employee can access that particular phase or section. This figuratively ties the whole team together, as the completion of the course now depends on every team member individually as well as collectively. You’ll be surprised to see how well this tactic works to increase social learning. On a larger scale, inter-departmental eLearning courses can be designed as well, but that is something that should be thought of only after smaller endeavors have been successful.
Finally, learning should never be a rushed experience. Take your time, and let the employees take their time. Remember that contributing to the organization’s overall growth is the ultimate objective here, and that is what should be focused upon during the application of social learning to your corporate eLearning program. If you require professional help to implement your eLearning program, CBLPro is an eLearning solutions provider which can help you build a custom eLearning program tailored for your organization from scratch. Contact us at www.cblpro.com if interested.