Social learning is simple but powerful. It can be as straightforward as learning via conversation with a peer and doesn’t necessarily require a formal training course, although many online training courses include elements of social learning. Social learning is often more caught than taught, meaning it comes about naturally. Best of all, social learning benefits organizations of all types, including enterprises.
Today, at least half of all organizations use social learning. A recent article by Kineo1 reported that a survey revealed 57% of L&D professionals/participants said social learning in the workplace “is an essential element to their L&D strategy. 65% of that same cohort say they planned to apply social learning theory in the workplace, as part of their learning strategy, within the next two years.”
There are many reasons for this. One is that social learning can be incredibly beneficial to enterprises and other organizations.
Should Your Enterprise Use Social Learning?
Wondering if your enterprise should adopt social learning? In the post-COVID business world, every company should make good use of this form of learning that comes second-nature to most employees.
Social learning (which Training Industry2 said could include peer-to-peer conversations and team collaboration, networks and forums, self-directed study, communities of practice, and blogs) can have a tremendously positive impact on an enterprise. An article by Training Industry3 explained why:
- Social learning delivers immediate results - According to a study by the Harvard Business School4, a massive open online course (MOOC) that included social learning boasted a course completion rate of 85%. “Data and analytics tools embedded in your learning management system (LMS) can help you measure the effectiveness of social learning tools through learner engagement and interactions,” the article said.
- Social learning fosters learner engagement - Because social learning is interactive and gives individuals an opportunity to take advantage of hands-on learning, it tends to result in better rates of learner engagement.
- Social learning promotes a continuous learning culture - Many organizations onboard employees but do not offer ongoing learning. “Social learning initiatives encourage a continuous learning culture, as employees start to consider learning to be an ongoing process throughout their career,” the article stated. “This perspective not only supports their personal and professional development but also boosts organizational growth in the long run.”
- Social learning allows individuals to create their own learning experience - One of the best ways to create a better learner experience is to implement social learning. Social learning allows individuals to learn at their own pace and according to their own schedule. It enables them to choose training that interests them. In a sense, social learning allows employees to create their own learning/training experience, and thus take ownership of it.
- Social learning gives learners the information they need in the moment - Training is of little value if it doesn’t offer learners the skills and information they need, when they need it. Social learning often delivers on-the-spot information workers need to succeed. “(Social) learning is instantaneous and can be as easy as asking someone a question, clearing a doubt on a forum or searching a library of subject matter expert (SME)-contributed content,” the article explained. “Learners can take upskilling into their own hands, and there is no disruption to their daily workflow.”
The article also cited better productivity and workplace collaboration as benefits of social learning.
Social learning offers benefits that organizations across all sectors need. But how does social learning benefit enterprises specifically?
3 Ways Social Learning Benefits Enterprises
Wondering how social learning benefits enterprises? Here are a few ways social/collaborative learning can add value to enterprises:
- By getting new employees acclimated to the workplace more quickly
- By promoting constructivism
- By improving organizational communication
Social learning shortens time-to-productivity for new employees
It can take a considerable amount of time for someone to adapt to a new work situation. U.S. News said it takes about 3-to-6 months for an employee to feel fully comfortable with a new job.5 Social learning can speed up this process. It can also promote constructivism.
Social learning fosters constructivism
The article Why We Love Social Learning explained that social/informal learning promotes constructivism in the workplace. Constructivism is a paradigm that suggests learning is an active, constructive process in which learners become teachers. The result of constructivism is a workforce full of individuals who become engaged with training and accustomed to sharing knowledge with their peers.
In the corporate world, constructivism is the antidote to boredom and the solution for disengaged workers. When a learner is engaged to the point of being a teacher to his or her peers, complacency ceases to be an issue. This can improve productivity and decrease turnover, resulting in a better bottom line.
Social learning promotes organizational communication
Another valuable way social learning adds value to an enterprise is by clearing up communication. Meanings can easily get lost in translation over email and other forms of electronic communication, increasing the need for face-to-face interactions. Social learning naturally facilitates such collaboration.
When employees come together to learn collaboratively (these days, this often happens in online settings), communication is fostered. This also promotes a collaborative company culture that is firmly established on good communication practices. Employees across all industries are rising to the challenge of using online social learning tools, such as learning management systems, to effectively communicate with their supervisors and peers.
Adopt Social Learning with an LMS
Social learning happens naturally in the workplace but is encouraged by social learning tools like TOPYX LMS. Social learning is an integral feature of TOPYX LMS. TOPYX clients can utilize social learning features to encourage learners to become more engaged.
Social functionalities are key to the TOPYX LMS solution for companies, enterprises, and organizations. They serve strategic business purposes, including:
- Accelerated content curation and knowledge sharing/peer-to-peer learning
- Enhanced productivity for remote teams
- Creation of sustainable learning communities
- Ongoing support for both instructors and learners
TOPYX LMS offers six different levels of social learning communities. These communities are used to create highly focused learning paths around any topic or course. Communities enable learners to start an open dialogue with their fellow users at any stage of the process and effortlessly promote collaboration. TOPYX LMS users have the option to be in one or many communities depending on their needs. These communities include:
- Site-level communities
- Course communities
- Group communities
- Program communities
- Material communities
TOPYX LMS leverages current social learning functionalities for learners and adapts them to fit the learning management system environment. TOPYX fosters social learning and the ability for administrators to monitor user involvement, all while promoting a more engaged and collaborative online learning experience.
Wondering what social learning features TOPYX LMS includes? Here are a few:
- Marketing tiles
- Media gallery
- Sponsor links
- Web conferencing
With TOPYX LMS, enterprises and other types of organizations can implement and benefit from social learning easily.
Reap the Benefits of Social Learning with TOPYX Quick Start LMS
Ready to quickly reap the benefits of social learning via LMS? TOPYX Quick Start LMS is for you. With TOPYX Quick Start LMS, you can ensure your employees are properly trained, even if your workforce is dispersed. Moreover, your organization can start benefiting from social learning in a matter of days.
With in-depth learning features and pre-built content to support remote workers and develop skills, TOPYX Quick Start LMS includes everything you need to implement a learning and development program for up to 500 people. TOPYX LMS is available through a flat-rate pricing model, so you never have to worry about hidden fees.
TOPYX Quick Start LMS can be a game-changer for enterprises that want to benefit from social learning. Request a free LMS demo of TOPYX to learn more.
4) Harvard Business School. https://hbr.org/2015/04/what-harvard-business-school-has-learned-about-online-collaboration-from-hbx.