While the eLearning technology has truly revolutionized the way modern organizations learn, the constant innovation in the field often comes with new challenges associated with adapting to new trends.
One such trend is social learning. There are hundreds of articles supporting the effectiveness of this fancy new theory and the benefits of its implementation within the corporate world.
Like many others, you read one, thought of fostering a culture of social learning at your organization, only to see that it made no measurable difference to the effectiveness of your training program.
If so, don’t be disheartened, the benefits of social learning that you read about are real. However, in order to reap the benefits, a thorough implementation of a social learning strategy is important.
So where did your existing strategy fall short? Take a look at these common mistakes corporates make while implementing a social learning strategy:
Not Having Discussion Worthy Training Material
If you are implementing a new learning approach, it only makes sense that your training material needs to undergo a revamp.
Traditionally, corporate training material speaks at the learner, not with them. This needs to change and you must create intentional opportunities for discussions and debates in your course material.
If you find the task overwhelming, there are a number of social learning companies that specialize in creating course material that facilitates social learning.
Apart from this, it is also essential to ensure you have the right tools for successful implementation. For most corporates, this might even mean switching to a new learning management system that is designed for social learning purposes.
Not Creating The Right Social Circle
Interactions between learners are the lifeblood of any social learning strategy.
However, no matter how hard you try to create a situation that is conducive to interaction, you will not see positive results unless your learners are passionate about the subject.
To combat this, you may consider implementing mandatory participation in forums. You can even think about evaluating students’ performance based on their comments in the forum.
However, doing so will only result in half-hearted participation that leads to repetitive discussions.
The better solution to this problem is to carefully select employees for specialized training programs. When you think about creating a “batch” of students for a course, try to pick individuals that have a shared interest in the subject of the course.
Not Treating Social Learning Like An Ongoing Process
One of the reasons behind the popularity of social learning is its ability to turn learning into an ongoing process. While this is an advantage, treating learning as a continuous process, instead of treating it as an event to learn a specific skill is also a requirement for the successful implementation of social learning.
Doing so means, facilitating interaction between employees from different departments working on the same project (example: customer acquisition and customer support).
Another great idea is to make sure the forums are still open to learners even after the formal training has reached its conclusion. This way, the discussions can be used as a point of reference while applying the knowledge from the training, and can even be used as an idea board to develop and discuss innovative ideas regarding a focussed subject.
Getting the “social” aspect of learning right is all about understanding the importance of interaction among the learners and actively taking steps to encourage it.
How do you encourage social learning at your organization? Tell us in the comments section.