Social learning is a basic fact that impacts all of us. We all learn from observation, interaction and collaboration with others. It can be defined thus- learning from and with, others. Every day we participate in social learning in situations that range from chatting in the cafeteria to erudite interactions on channels of social media.
The ideas of social interactions and collaboration have always resulted in positive outcomes and greater impact. From the traditional instructor led classroom training which embraces social learning, the mode of training has evolved to online training or e-learning. In this scenario, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn have provided ubiquitous modes of social interaction and learning.
When used in corporate training, social learning works wonderfully as a strategy of learning. But there is much more to social learning than using tools like instant messaging, posts, comments, boards for group discussion, video chats, wikis and so forth.
For corporate training to be meaningful, you must create an approach of semi-structure to enhance collaboration among trainees. This is possible via virtual communities which serve as a platform to share ideas and knowledge and also encourage them to provide more inputs to current repository of knowledge.
EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL LEARNING
Without doubt, social learning has many benefits. Success of several social media platforms is ample proof but this can be substantiate by 2 theories:
Social Learning theory:
According to this, there is acquiring of new behaviour by observation and imitation. Learning happens to be a cognitive process which occurs in a social context. It can happen via direct instruction or observation, even without direct reinforcement or motor reproduction.
Active learning theory:
It stresses on the value of making learners more directly involved in the learning process. Thus learning is enhanced by students playing an active role (by writing, reading, discussing, solving problems), rather than just listening.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL LEARNING FOR BUSINESS
If e-learning seems to lack social learning, the concept of Instructor led online courses comes to the rescue. Businesses can benefit from social learning delivered in this manner.
Social learning allows many benefits for a business:
- Enables engagement of learners
- Causes learners to do self-organization
- Sparks collaboration
- May be used to supplement all types of training needs
- Improve impact of fresh undertakings like Change Management.
WHERE TO APPLY SOCIAL LEARNING
Some areas where social learning can be applied are:
- Projects of group collaboration
- Mentoring or coaching
- Group discussion
- Sessions for knowledge sharing
- Workshops for design thinking
- Social surveys and polls
These are some aspects about social learning.