Social learning is the process of learning through social interaction between peers. The most common illustration of social learning in the workplace is the chance meeting by the water cooler. Two or more people run into each other, share ideas, and walk away a little more knowledgeable in the process; this is social learning.
Social learning can take place in informal one-on-one encounters, among teams in the course of real-time problem-solving, communities of practice, through social software, expertise directories, and more. The key is that the company fosters a culture of continual learning, in which employees are empowered and encouraged to share what they know with each other and to seek out colleagues’ expertise to increase performance across the organization.
In order to retain more new material, it’s extremely helpful to enable the learner to actively engage in the process. Human beings learn best by asking questions, discussing issues, sharing ideas, and teaching what we know. When we are engaged — repeating information and ideas while interacting with others to explore an area of learning — it stimulates deeper critical thinking. No matter what a person’s dominant learning style is — auditory, visual, or tactile — active participation is the most effective way to solidify new knowledge for the vast majority of people. This is the potential power of social learning done well.
The Benefits of Social Learning Technology
Social learning enhances traditional training methods by bridging the gap between formal and informal workplace education. Social learning software solutions bridge this gap by offering:
- The ability to upload user-generated content, including sharing of best practices and collateral by peers
- Opportunities for self-directed learning, which fosters engagement through autonomy, mastery, and purpose
- A platform to develop learning communities: groups that collaborate on their shared learning experience
- Mobile learning opportunities, available anytime from anywhere for the modern, on-the-go workforce
- Metrics beyond a “grade,” including content access reports, gamification, and leaderboard-type measurements of engagement
To learn more, check out our white paper, “Social Learning and the Future of Work.” It explores how social learning can empower and engage your employees while allowing them to learn in a way they prefer.
Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation
Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.Download Now