Learning Through Collaboration: Social E-Learning

Jun 23, 2017 1 Min Read
man using an ipad for elearning
Benefits of Social eLearning

The modern workplace is a constantly changing environment where the challenges are dynamic and agility becomes the key to survival. Agility and the ability to adapt are important to ensure that the workforce is equipped to handle changes.

It’s more crucial now than ever that workplaces consider more collaborative ways of working, to find answers to questions that cannot be answered by individuals working in isolation. As more learning opportunities present themselves in the workplace, a collaborative environment allows for troubleshooting, problem-solving, design implementation, research and development, as well as innovation to find answers and solutions even in the absence of a coach or mentor.

Ideally, a direct result of this would be an improvement in workplace productivity while the people within the organisation are constantly growing.

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One of the most influential learning theories is the social learning theory, first introduced by psychologist Albert Bandura in 1977, who integrated the concepts of cognitive learning theory and behavioural learning theory to come up with four requirements for learning.

These requirements are learning through observation, retention, reproduction and motivation.

In a nutshell, social learning is the simple concept of people learning from each other through attention, memory and motivation.

This theory explores the idea that there is a social element to learning, albeit a rather informal method of learning that determines its effectiveness.

The social media boom has been a huge driving factor in propagating eLearning. While in the past, eLearning was created to centre on engaging and interactive multimedia content, it often lacked the benefits of informal learning resulting from human interaction. In fact, social learning management systems leverage on this by taking a more social approach to learning.

Social learning management systems act as a social intranet that allows users to gain knowledge by using the content provided on the platform as well as by sharing their own knowledge and experience on this platform. This opens up avenues for collaborative discussions and communication that benefits the organisation as a whole by facilitating interdepartmental knowledge exchange.

Employees who have sufficient access to interaction with their peers are able to work more efficiently to solve their problems.

Employee motivation improves when they are able to weigh in or take charge in troubleshooting problems to look for solutions faced by their organisations, whether through discussion or collaboration.

The simple act of facilitating employee engagement helps to zero in on areas that require improvement within the organisation.

There are numerous benefits of social eLearning and by providing the right environment, users have the opportunity to a more flexible learning structure either with or without a structured curricular framework. This non-structured learning occurs towards social eLearning that is geared towards a more collaborative mechanism. This way, users who would normally experience time and geographical differences are able to communicate without constraint. Users can swap information, share tips and tools, exchange knowledge as well as collaborate on projects and papers.

With the correct voice and video tools, social eLearning becomes highly collaborative, transcending distance and time.

Find out how employees can mutually benefit each other and the organisation through collaboration.

Organisations too can leverage on the features of social learning platforms by using it as a virtual notice board of sorts for events, training sessions, and also post updates of on goings and organisational changes. With the right set of rules and guidelines, employees not only have the benefit of keeping abreast of the developments within the organisation but are also able to post feedback and suggestions. This works in the favour of the organisation as it allows real time feedback, and in turn increases efficiency and productivity.

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Geetha is formerly the Digital Learning Content Development Leader at Leaderonomics.

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