Social Learning Platforms Essentials: 5 Social Learning Examples To Add To Your Online Training Library

Social Learning Examples For Your Online Library
Summary: Social learning is a relatively informal mode of training, though there are ways to keep it measurable and structured. What are some of these formalization techniques you can use to enrich your online training repository?

Social Learning Techniques For Your Online Training Library

When we learn socially, our lessons sink deeper because every new piece of knowledge is acquired in context. For example, kids learn many of their household habits from their parents. You can make all the chore charts you want but if you keep leaving used coffee mugs on the table, your kids will too. In work settings, we may subconsciously adopt the management’s dismissive attitude toward training. So, before you try to incorporate all those fancy buzzwords, make sure all the bosses are on board. Here are 5 prime social learning examples you may want to add to your online training library.

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Social Learning In The Workplace
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1. Social Media Groups That Offer Pointers/Tips

Launch a closed group for every department and encourage employees to share insider tips, tricks, and techniques. However, there is one caveat to this. A lot of us would prefer to keep our work and home interaction separate, especially online. But it’s a luxury we often no longer have access to. With social media groups, your boss can text at midnight. And you have to open it because it could just as easily be a meme as a memo. Also, we have an almost irrepressible reflex to attend to every smartphone ping. Still, to maintain work-life balance, set some ground rules and boundaries. Like no work texts outside office hours. And no "forwarded as received" messages that aren’t work-related. GIFs and memes are fine, but only if they tie into training. The group should be restricted to online training tips and queries.

2. Social Media Pairings For One-On-One Assistance

If you do need to ask for help during an emergency, it doesn’t have to wake the whole group. Assign a mentor to each employee and have them set their own interaction boundaries. It must be something that works for both of them. This way, corporate novices have someone to call on for JIT assistance. If their rapport is good enough, they may have a little more leeway in terms of after-hour queries and non-corporate memes. But even among office pairs, be clear on the online training boundaries with your social learning platforms. You don’t want your mentor or mentee to feel harassed or bullied. Not everyone is okay with 11 pm texts from non-family members, regardless of the context.

3. Live Events To Facilitate Knowledge Sharing

Professional trainers learn techniques for knowledge transfer. That’s what makes them effective, especially in ILT settings. But sometimes, you relate better to a peer. There isn’t a teacher-student gap or rank-based intimidation. Some of us have a hard time calling our adult trainer by name because we have ingrained deference to teachers. Thinking of them as Mr/Mrs creates a power dynamic that can be a barrier to online training. However, if you’re in a hall and the lecture facilitator is your office deskmate, you might be more responsive. Plus, if everyone gets a turn "ruling" the dais, you’ll be less dismissive and more receptive. If nothing else, you’ll give them the same attention and courtesy you hope to receive.

4. Video-Driven Discussions

In those social media groups I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t just have to be imperative. It’ll get pretty dull if it’s simply people sharing tips and responding with emojis. You can spark discussions by sharing a work-related video, articles, or eLearning infographics and inviting colleagues to share their thoughts. As the office L&D lead or group moderator, you can shape the discussion. You can posit contextual questions to get the group thinking. Or even review the shared content and derive aspects that target specific skillsets. For example, say the video demonstrated corporate budgeting criteria. For each point, ask the relevant staffer a direct question. This draws them organically into the discussion and invites then to share their expertise.

5. Employee How-To Demos

Employees are "on the ground" every day performing tasks according to company policy. This puts them in a unique position since they have firsthand experience. As such, one of the most effective social learning examples is how-to demos created by employees to help peers improve task performance. For example, a quick video or guide that explores how to complete a sale from start to finish. Or how to properly handle products in the warehouse to prevent damage and avoid injuries. They’re able to post it to the social learning platforms and online training library to gather eLearning feedback and spark discussion. One of their peers might do things differently and share their insights. Likewise, someone might point out a step they missed. It’s not only coworkers who benefit from the how-to demo, but also the creator who can highlight undisclosed gaps.

Learning socially is a somewhat subtle way to acquire information. It’s how infants learn to talk. And it’s why we’re amazed to hear them jump from "mama, papa, gugu, gaga" to "I don’t like broccoli" seemingly overnight. In adults, social learning can be a little more controlled, but only if you structure it the right way. You can form social media groups for work-oriented tips and tricks so that employees can share their experiences. Seed the group chat with contextual work-related videos to initiate discussions. You can also designate social media pairings for more targeted mentorship. Host regular live events where employees can take turns facilitating presentations in their area of expertise. They can also field questions from colleagues, either on the spot or sourced in advance.

Interested in finding out more about implementing a sound social learning strategy in your organization? Download the eBook Social Learning In The Workplace and discover how to improve workplace performance with an LMS for social learning. Encourage peer-based support and create a workplace environment of trust and mentorship by choosing the right social learning software.