SOCIAL LEARNING: TRAINING THROUGH SHARING

Training is a strategic activity for a company, because it allows not only to improve individuals’ knowledge, but also, and above all, to increase the performance of a company.

Social Learning is one of the most effective and efficient ways to unlock and spread new knowledge within an organization.

THE SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY

The social learning theory was conceived by the psychologist Albert Bandura, who says that training is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context through observation or direct education, even without direct reinforcement.

This methodology abandons the traditional training models, favouring an approach based on common sense and real life. Compared to the traditional formal techniques, social learning focuses on a training that takes place through the interaction with colleagues.

The combination between social learning and e-learning can be useful to optimise the Training and Development strategy of a company.

SOCIAL LEARNING WITHIN A COMPANY CULTURE AND ITS ADVATANGES

Social learning improves business results. After all, one of the main objectives of this approach is to promote the conservation of knowledge, supporting training in the workplace and, above all, sharing knowledge between experts and colleagues (unlike a formal approach).

Below a list of advantages that social learning brings to an organization:

  • Reduction of training time for the new employees: before a new employee is "fully productive", it can take up to 2 years. Social learning accelerates this process naturally, encouraging the new employees to interact with the experts;
  • It promotes constructivism: constructivism is a standard that promotes education as an active and constructive process, in which users become teachers;
  • It improves communication in the workplace: social learning facilitates collaboration in an organic way, especially in an e-learning environment, where information is shared and valued throughout the organization.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL LEARNING WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION?

Here are some solutions to implement social learning in your organization:

  • Forums: creating a forum where employees can ask questions and receive answers is an easy way to promote collaborative training and implement social learning within your organization;
  • Organize Wikis: an inter-organizational Wikipedia can be a great source of knowledge for the new employees or for those that are unfamiliar with some aspect of the organization;
  • Exploit the knowledge of the experts: in your organization, there are qualified experts ready to provide valuable answers, but the right tools are needed to connect them;
  • Gamification: through gamification, administrators and users can track the training progress. To encourage participation, both users who reach the best performances and experts who continually offer their help can be rewarded.

CONCLUSION

Social learning is a valuable opportunity for the company growth, representing a real change in culture within an organization. Today, optimizing your business training strategy means extending the focus beyond formal training.

For further information read our article “The new e-learning trends”.

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