4 Things to Love About Social
and Peer Based Learning
There are many reasons to love social and peer based learning, especially in todays world. Understanding social learning is key to appreciating, implementing, and ultimately benefiting from it.
The term “social learning” is based on Albert Bandura’s social learning theory. Social learning theory “emphasizes the importance of observing, modelling, and imitating the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others,” explained Simply Psychology.1 In other words, social learning is more caught than taught. Albert Einstein summed up social learning perfectly when he said, “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.”
Social learning in the workplace has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the pandemic, many companies have dispersed their workforce due to social distancing regulations. This means thousands of employees are no longer interacting in person. As a result, social learning is on the decline for organizations not using an online learning platform to deliver remote training that contains elements of social learning. This is unfortunate since the majority of the knowledge humans acquire at work and in life in general is gained via social learning.
Social Learning is Automatic for Learners
The first reason why social learning is valuable to corporations that deliver employee training is because 70 percent of what is learned is obtained through social learning, per the CARA Social Media Impact Pulse Survey Report:
“Language is first learned not in a classroom, but in the informal setting of home. For most of us, social skills are gradually acquired and refined through life experience rather than etiquette classes. And some of the most critical skills to workplace success—communication, collaboration, teamwork, and even technical skills—are cultivated through invaluable and ongoing informal workplace learning: mentoring, coaching, peer reviews, and job shadowing.”2
Almost three-quarters of what employees learn at work is absorbed informally. In light of this statistic, it is vital that workplaces ensure social/informal learning is happening on a daily basis for workers, even if employees are working remotely. Employers can ensure remote workers get the social interaction they need by implementing a learning management system (LMS) and delivering social learning experiences digitally.
Companies ripe for cultural change should understand the implications of launching a social learning management system. They must grasp that an LMS isn’t mere software – it is a culture-changer. Launching a social learning platform increases opportunities for employee training, connects peers, and allows leaders to easily track the learning paths of individual workers. Above all, it allows employees to both learn from and teach one another, no matter what location they are working from.
Make Remote Training More Engaging by Including Elements of Social Learning
Social learning isn’t just automatic for employee learners, but also highly engaging. This is the second reason it’s easy to love social learning in the post-COVID business world.
Learning from others can be exciting. Some learners much prefer learning from others or learning in an informal manner to any other form of learning. Also, social learning enables individuals to learn hard lessons the easy way: from watching others make mistakes. Since many workforces are dispersed and employees are working remotely, training creators should include simulations in online remote training that depict employees making mistakes and then self-correcting. In this way, remote learners can get the same benefit as in-person learners.
Since it can be challenging to get learners engaged in remote training, adding social elements to online remote training is essential. You can make remote training more social by simply giving learners the opportunity to interact with one another more frequently, digitally. The easiest way to do this is by hosting real-time training sessions using webinar technology. Additionally, an LMS can help you make remote training more social by giving you access to the following features:
- Online forums for learners
- Online user groups and communities
- Real-time chat
- Web conferencing
- Peer review and discussion
- Upvoting and reviews
TOPYX LMS offers all of these social learning tools and more. Social learning tools like these are built into TOPYX, making it easy for administrators to make remote learning more social.
For example, TOPYX 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. This can easily result in organic knowledge-sharing and effortless social learning that gets better results than formal training.
By making use of the TOPYX “communities” feature, administrators can facilitate learner interaction by course, user group, and subject of interest.
TOPYX, a flat-rate LMS, is an economical solution for companies that want to deliver training to employees and strengthen their in-person and/or remote workforce. Curious about how TOPYX can help your company implement remote training that gets great results? Request a free LMS demo.
Keep Learning: “3 Ways to Make Remote Training Sessions More Engaging for Teams”
Why Constructivism in the Workplace is Important, and How an LMS Fosters It
A third key reason why organizational leaders should appreciate and prioritize social learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is because it promotes constructivism in the workplace. According to Thought Co.,
“Constructivism as a paradigm or worldview posits that learning is an active, constructive process. The learner is an information constructor. People actively construct or create their own subjective representations of objective reality.”3
Constructivism positively affects a company’s well being by putting learners in the position of teacher. This empowers learners by giving them a sense of ownership over their own training experience. Increased ownership over one’s training journey can boost learner engagement with employee training, such as remote training.
When a learner becomes a teacher, entire companies are transformed. Bottom lines and turnover rates may improve, revenue and worker satisfaction rates may increase, and training could become more effective. 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 changes company culture permanently.
No company can afford to miss out on the benefits of constructivism, which is closely related to social learning. Informal learning is a facilitator of constructivism. By implementing a social learning platform, company leaders can promote constructivism in the workplace.
Social Learning is Key to Building Strong Corporate Communities During COVID-19
Today, it’s common for companies to seek cultural transformation. COVID-19 brought to light insufficiencies and areas of weakness for many corporations. Company leaders are working to correct and improve company culture so that their organizations can come through the pandemic stronger than ever.
A business owner may think, “I want my company to have the type of culture that draws and retains talented workers.” The challenge is deciphering how to create such a culture. The solution exists in building strong workplace communities where employees assume both active and passive roles in social, informal learning. This brings us to our fourth reason why you should love social learning in the age of COVID-19: it helps companies connect workers/learners in meaningful ways. This is most readily accomplished by using LMS social learning tools.
A vast number of workers have gone remote. Apollo Technical wrote,
“Global Workplace Analytics believes that 25-30% of the workforce will (work) remotely by 2021. Upwork estimates that 1 in 4 Americans...will be working remotely through 2021. They also estimate that 22% of the workforce...will work remotely by 2025.”4
It’s no secret that remote employees don’t get their social learning needs met well. An online learning system can change this. A social learning platform may be a company’s best bet for ensuring learners feel socially connected to their peers by getting sufficient amounts of digital peer-to-peer interaction as they receive quality remote training. An LMS is the antidote to social isolation among workers, disengaging training, and weak, unconnected dispersed workforces.
Related Reading: “3 LMS Social Learning Tools to Connect Your Dispersed Workforce”
Make Remote Training More Social, Engaging, and Effective with TOPYX LMS
All learning management systems are designed to promote social learning. However, some systems do a better job than others. TOPYX is a social learning platform that has features dedicated to facilitating social learning and helping companies develop lasting online communities for employees/learners.
TOPYX LMS enables administrators to make remote training, which can often be dry, more engaging and effective by implementing social learning tools. By using TOPYX’s social learning tools, a company can also:
- Promote constructivism in the workplace
- Help learners take responsibility for their own training experience
- Give learners the tools and opportunities they need to get their social learning needs met and thrive in a remote environment
Social learning and community-building happen when people can informally interact and ask questions of one another, assist each other, and build knowledge together. TOPYX has all the features needed for you to make this possible for your employees.
Do you want to deliver engaging remote training, build workplace communities in the digital age, foster personal responsibility concerning training, and create a culture of learning? If so, request a free LMS demo of TOPYX social learning management system.
- Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html.
- CARA. https://www.academia.edu/4258324/CARA_Social_Media_Impact_Pulse_Survey_Report.
- Thought Co. blog. https://www.thoughtco.com/social-learning-theory-definition-3026629.
- Apollo Technical. https://www.apollotechnical.com/statistics-on-remote-workers/#:~:text=Global%20Workplace%20Analytics%20believes%20that,will%20work%20remotely%20by%202025.