I spent the day yesterday with one of South Africa’s favourite brands. We were looking into the implementation strategy of a new Social Learning platform that would add an entirely new dynamic to their training and development programme. What was very interesting to see was the way that the delegates immediately saw the benefits of Social Learning.
Social Learning becomes a useful tool in less rigid learning environments where discussion and culture shifting is necessary to complete the learning cycle. I have found three primary benefits to a Social Learning platform that will add depth to your Online Training Programme.
I have found that social learning programmes have great benefit when they engage consultants to take part in the conversations online. The consultants role become sharing new ideas and engaging delegates in conversation. These conversations become valuable, documented engagements that IP (Intellectual Property) is presented and challenged.
In normal consulting environments the consultants shares their IP with a few people in the organisation and the IP struggles to sift through the organisation. This is simply because we do not have the infrastructures in place to disseminate the conversations in the consultation to the greater audience within the organisation.
Social Learning engagements are different because they are stored in the platform and the engagements are organised into Forum Discussions, Blog posts and Conversation threads.
Over a few months and years this collective IP could become one of your most valuable learning assets you own.
Social Learning allows learners to go deeper
As you can imagine the depth of the collective IP held within a Social Learning platform is immense. This IP is available to any participant who takes part in the programme and allows them to go deeper into topics. Often our personal interactions in training and teaching are limited due to time.
People who wish to take topics learnt in presentations, workshops and mentoring sessions further can do so by researching the collective IP that resides within the system.
This puts additional information in the hands of your top learners who want to improve their learning experience and are willing to take responsibility for their personal development.
Social Learning is more productive
We all have “pockets of time.” These are the moments that we use to check Facebook, read an article, update Twitter or Linkedin and often these pockets are lost in our quest to be more productive. As workplaces sift to a more flexi-time approach these “pockets of time” have potential to get longer as people fit work and personal engagements alongside another.
Social Learning allows people to fit the learning and engagements in when it suits them. Morning people can interact in the morning and evening people in the evening. This means that it is not always necessary to get people in a room to encourage and facilitate learning. A huge benefit, especially in the development of leaders inside your organisation.