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How to Create a Dynamic Social Learning Space
When paired correctly with formal learning, social learning has the potential to be a potent learning tool. Here are some things to consider before implementation.
Organizations are accustomed to creating formal learning programs, or closely defined interventions to achieve targeted learning outcomes, such as creating better leaders, better salespeople or managers. This training is often packaged in discrete elements and apportioned to individuals according to the needs of their role.While these programs can be delivered in the classroom, they are increasingly being deployed socially, especially in large organizations. A simple way to view this brand of social learning is as “the semi-formal layers of learning that surround the formal.” In other words, it’s not an alternative to formal learning, but a supplement to it with many layers, each one progressively less formal.The Need for a Moderator
In formal learning, a message is defined by the learning organization, then pushed out to the group and followed by an assessment of their ability to retain and master it. With social learning, the learning is created by the group within a structure defined by the learning organization. The learning is neither predefined nor completely unstructured. It allows the group to develop conversations about a topic and, through moderation and support, to iterate those ideas and develop strategies for implementation.The role of the moderator in social learning is important for two reasons. First, moderators help structure the debate and build a legacy from it. Second, as with any learning methodology, people need to explore and reflect upon the topic. But they also take practical steps based on the experience — to do things differently as a result of what they learn. The moderator helps support this.Aspects to Consider Before Implementation
Technology and experience are two other key elements to consider in the approach to social learning. It’s all too easy to focus a lion’s share of time and money thinking about the technology, but when push comes to shove, it’s the experience that counts. Technology facilitates experience, but it does not, by itself, deliver it. To have really great social learning experiences, people need to be engaged. This engagement will come through the learning design and an understanding of how and why people engage in these spaces.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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