5 LMS Features To Enable Social Learning

5 LMS Features To Enable Social Learning
Summary: Social learning is one of the greatest keys to unlocking motivation in learners. It encourages them to learn both collaboratively and competitively.

Discover The Best Social Learning Features

You might think that social learning only occurs in classrooms, but that’s not the case. Social learning can also be accomplished when learners are connected remotely.

What Are Some Advantages Of Social Learning?

When we look at the advantages of social learning, we can see that it is something that we should definitely try to leverage in our learning environments. One of the biggest advantages is increased engagement. When learning is a shared experience, the learner feels more invested in the learning outcomes. Another advantage is that learners can see the material through various perspectives. Seeing the same content evaluated from another learner’s point of view gives a learner additional insight into the material. One more big advantage is the network of valuable interpersonal connections formed in social learning environments. Learners take on the roles of mentors and further perpetuate the learning outside of the classroom.

Main advantages of social learning:

  • Increased engagement
  • Varied perspectives
  • Valued networks

With all these advantages, it’s no wonder that leading Learning Management Systems (LMS) have built-in features to encourage and support social learning. Read on to discover the 5 top features designed to drive better learning results for you and your teams.

5 Features To Drive Better Learning Results

1. Discussions And Assignments

One of the strongest ways to promote better social learning is through a forum-like setting. This feature simulates face-to-face, instructor-led sessions by enabling learners to collaborate with each other by sharing ideas and concepts on a forum.

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With discussions and assignments, you can empower your learners by giving them the opportunity to give feedback and mentor each other in real time. That gives the learners a sense of ownership so they are more committed to the learning experience. Having more freedom around the way you organize the responses is also key. Look out for LMSs that enable your learners' comments to be threaded so that specific discussions can lead to a more in-depth understanding of a particular topic. The end result is a dynamic place where all learners and coaches can interact.

In addition to the above, the learning coach can also make assignments. These should be response fields where learners can directly submit more in-depth and personal responses to questions and discussion topics. These responses will go directly to the educator, who can then evaluate the learner’s responses with greater understanding than through less personal test questions.

Looking for another great way to enable social learning? Rather than focusing strictly on text, there are also some LMSs that provide an even closer simulation to face-to-face learning with the introduction of video conferencing. These integrations mean that third-party platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are available right from the LMS. Ultimately, it enables you to leverage all the advantages of social learning regardless of how dispersed or remote your teams may be.

Virtual Classrooms

When looking for this type of feature in your LMS, make sure you select one that can be scheduled right from your learning platform to create a seamless experience both for you and your teams. What's even better is these features that have the ability to publish your video conferences as a course or be sent to your teams in real time. That way learners are engaged and if they've missed out on the live event, they can still access the content after the fact.

3. Leaderboards

Another piece of functionality that can foster social learning is the leaderboard. Leaderboards let learners see how well they are performing in the class relative to their peers. You will be surprised by how competitive and engaged learners can become if they see that they are behind other learners in the class.

Leaderboards can be done individually or in groups. Having groups compete with one another is a great way to increase both collaboration and competition in your learners. Getting learners to work together to accomplish a common goal is one of the easiest ways to have them meet your learning objectives without them even realizing it.

4. Peer Learning

With so much learning happening on powerful smart devices, peer learning has transformed into a rich and diverse experience because User-Generated Content is so easy to share. Select an LMS that allows learners to seamlessly contribute multimedia content to courses through their devices.

The content that learners can submit should be varied and include options like video and image recording. You can use this to have them submit assignments, such as taking pictures of a completed project. The possibilities of using User-Generated Content are endless and by personalizing their learning experience and sharing it with others, the learners can become even more engaged in the learning process.

5. Real Rewards And Prizing

One more way that social learning can be realized is through a Real Rewards program. This type of program recognizes learners’ achievements by giving them actual rewards for their efforts rather than just virtual recognition. Rewards can easily be won by using built-in virtual currency. Some LMSs provide this type of incentive, allowing you to connect your desired prizes, giving users the opportunity to bid on the reward that they would like. They can share the results of their success with others for positive reinforcement.

Because the Real Rewards program takes learning out of the virtual and into the real world, it allows learners to connect the results of their hard study efforts to actual gains. It’s also just plain fun for students to work toward! 


In this article, we have seen many options to increase the opportunities for social learning. We have seen how leveraging social learning can transform a dull and static learning environment into something that feels alive and engaging. We also discussed how social learning affords learners the opportunity to broaden their perspectives by seeing how others respond to the learning materials. Additionally, we’ve noted that social learning can create invaluable social networks of mentors and learners that perpetuate the learning process.

EdApp has all 5 of these social learning features (and many more) that are built right into the award-winning LMS.

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