7 Social Learning Activities That Are A Perfect Fit In Online Training

7 Social Learning Activities That Are A Perfect Fit In Online Training
Summary: We are all social creatures who thrive on social interaction. However, meeting this need can prove challenging, especially when your employees are geographically dispersed. In this article, I'll highlight 7 social learning activities that are a perfect fit in online training.

7 Social Learning Activities That Fit Perfectly In Online Training

Albert Bandura is the most notable proponent of social learning. According to Bandura, humans learn through observation, then imitate modeled behaviors in the real world. As such, peers are a valuable source of inspiration and experience in learning environments. But, in a corporate setting, how can you spark social interaction among your remote workforce? Here are a few social learning activities that you may want to add to your online training program.

1. Social Media Group Collaboration Projects

Most of your employees are already on social media. They turn to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to keep in touch, and get their daily dose of news. As such, it's a perfect fit for social learning. Break your audience into teams and then create social media groups. Assign each team a problem-solving task or ask them to develop learning materials to share with their peers. These closed social media groups allow corporate learners to communicate and collaborate from anywhere in the world. They can also share feedback, manage tasks, and exchange valuable information.

2. Online Discussions

Online discussions give corporate learners the ability to share their thoughts and ideas, as well as benefit from the online training experience of others. For example, they can post relevant resource links and get feedback to improve their level of comprehension. Spark the online discussion with a topic-centered prompt or thought-provoking question, then let corporate learners express their opinions and discuss their ideas with their peers. Just make sure to set some guidelines so that everyone stays on-topic and respects others' viewpoints. You should also create separate online discussion forums for each online training course or subject. This ensures that everyone in the forum is focused on the same learning objectives and/or shares similar interests.

3. Team-Based Serious Games

Instead of solo serious games, give your corporate learners the chance to team up and work toward a common goal. For example, solve a mystery that ties into the subject matter, or put their minds together in order to complete each level and master the compliance topic. You can also create a gamified online training course that involves game mechanics, such as leaderboards and badges. Corporate learners must engage in friendly competition to rank up and collect the necessary items.

4. Online Mentorships

Mentorships provide corporate learners with the one-on-one support they need to continually improve. In the case of online training, mentors and mentees can interact via Project Management platforms and video conferencing tools. This allows them to stay in touch, schedule frequent meetings, and keep a training calendar. Conduct online questionnaires beforehand so that you can pair mentors with those who have similar interests and goals. For instance, a top performer with strong negotiation and communication skills is a good match for a new sales employee. You should also develop guidelines and training contracts to clarify expectations. For example, how the mentors/mentees will communicate and their desired outcomes.

5. Employee-Created Blogs

One of the most notable advantages of corporate eLearning blogs is that they provide corporate learners with a creative outlet. This allows them to reflect on the topic and express their ideas and thoughts in a public forum. Their peers are able to read each blog post, leave feedback, and provide helpful commentary. As a result, corporate eLearning blogs facilitate peer-to-peer interactions that improve knowledge retention and comprehension. Another perk of using corporate eLearning blogs in your social learning strategy is that they're free. Corporate learners can choose from a variety of platforms, customize their templates, and start blogging within a matter of minutes. For best results, create a blogging schedule that includes a new topic each week, then encourage other members of your audience to visit the corporate eLearning blog and leave suggestions, ideas, or feedback. Blogging can even serve as a valuable assessment tool, as it reveals employees' strengths and areas for improvement.

6. Monthly Webinars

Schedule a webinar every month, and send participants a list of topics or questions in advance. These live events are based on direct interaction. Corporate learners have the opportunity to ask questions, and instructors/facilitators can evaluate their progress. Choose a video conferencing tool that can handle the ideal amount of viewers. For example, a platform that only supports 10 users at a time may not be ideal for larger audiences. You should also develop a detailed outline in advance, so that the presentation stays on topic, and leave plenty of time for questions. Lastly, pair your webinar with a social media hashtag to fuel online discussion, and don't forget to record it for those who were unable to attend the live event.

7. Use Video-Sharing Platforms To Spark Online Discussions

Video-sharing platforms like YouTube are great discussion-starters. Encourage corporate learners to watch an online tutorial or tip video, then invite them to participate in your online forum, or share a thought-provoking video on your social media or corporate eLearning blog. Take it to the next level by asking your employees to produce online training videos of their own. For example, task walkthroughs that they can share with their peers or add to the microlearning online library. Video-sharing platforms are even suitable for "moment of need" online training. Simply compile a list of video links and share it with your audience. This way they will be able to access the repository whenever they need to refresh their knowledge and skills.

Social learning helps to prevent feelings of isolation and allow corporate learners to share their unique perspectives. Everyone has the opportunity to interact with their peers, express their ideas, and collaboratively tackle tasks. Now you can incorporate these social learning activities into your online training strategy to boost interactivity and employee engagement.

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Are you considering social media for your online training program? Read the article The Use Of Social Media In Online Training: Benefits And Drawbacks to explore the benefits and drawbacks of using social media in online training.