LMS And The Impact Of Social Learning
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Social Learning Via An LMS

Social media has undoubtedly become an integral aspect of our daily lives, so much so that we are constantly connected to the entire world, either through Facebook, Twitter or any of the leading social networking sites out there today. Every day, millions of people around the world use social media platforms to connect with friends, stay informed about global events and news, organize meetings, share experiences, and discover new things and new people.

Over the years, social networking sites have amassed tremendous popularity, and this has led organizations of every size and shape to take notice and figure out ways to leverage this worldwide phenomenon. Organizations have already started integrating social media into marketing and communication strategies as the data gathered from social media enables marketers to identify global trends and analyze their statistics in nearly every vertical.

Similarly, a Learning Management System with built-in social media functionalities can be effectively leveraged by Learning and Development (L&D) professionals to improve the quality and experience of their online training programs. An LMS that can engage learners via social learning makes online training highly engaging and collaborative for employees.

Social learning is one of the most effective ways humans learn. Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory suggests that humans are wired to learn in these 4 steps:

  1. Attention
  2. Retention
  3. Reproduction
  4. Motivation

It is now widely being accepted that learning is much more efficient in a social environment, as the knowledge is naturally gained and retained through interaction and collaboration and without a structured approach. In fact, social learning takes place in our daily lives without our knowledge or a reason to learn. And, one of the leading approaches to use social learning is through an LMS.

Let us take a look at some of the many ways an LMS can promote learners’ engagement and enhance the impact of social learning:

Informal Learning

An LMS that offers informal learning provides a unique way for learners to learn from each another through social media and knowledge collaboration tools. Social learning acts as one of the most effective informal learning resources, giving learners the ability to connect with their peers; exchange tips and tricks, as well as seek help from more experienced professionals. So, what starts out as formal learning becomes a dynamic and informal activity.

Discussion Forums & Communities

Discussion boards and forums are the most common platforms that LMSes leverage for social learning. Learners can like, share and comment; interact, ask questions, post queries, get responses and generally share information across the board, as well as start new discussions, post topics or respond to existing ones. The discussion forums in the social learning module of an LMS can also serve as encouragement for learners to open channels of communication to further their learning experiences. Learners can also create their own communities or participate in others’ communities to share their knowledge and expertise with others.

Collaboration & Content Sharing

With learners connected online on an LMS, collaboration and sharing in real time using social learning functionalities becomes much easier. Learners can also connect via live video streaming or a webinar for an interactive experience, where the live stream is coupled with a chat room to enable real-time feedback. With social learning, employees can also approach learning through multiple styles, like audio and video, infographics, interactive programs, and also share the same through social media.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

One of the key impacts of social learning via an LMS is user-generated content. Everyone enjoys sharing their achievements and successes with peers and colleagues, especially on social platforms. Hence, learners with incredibly positive experiences using your LMS can share this experience with their friends. Besides, social learning also enables organizations to use learners’ testimonials and feedback as original content to further promote their success, training programs, and the overall business.

Self-Learning & Motivation

An LMS with social learning functionality offers 24×7 accessibility to learners and encourages self-learning and motivates them to achieve their desired targets. Learners feel more motivated in a social environment and the sense of competition organically drives them to work harder and compete at the highest level, thus improving the overall skill set of the learners while boosting productivity.

A social learning LMS serves as a consistent platform for organizations to share knowledge, ensuring that the workforce is given the desired training and enabling more transparency into the organization’s culture. Social learning via an LMS not only impacts the effectiveness of your eLearning programs but also gives you insights into learner engagement and how to improve it.

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