What is Social Learning?

Designing Digitally


Social Learning

As per the Association for Talent Development, social learning approaches have been said to provide an ROI ratio of 75:1 as compared to traditional web-based training. ATD believes that by shifting their learning strategy to social learning, they have been able to save more than $250,000 every year in web-based learning production expenditures. Cisco used social learning and saw an employee adoption rate of 98% in its first year. 80% of their learning content was generated socially.

Social learning, simply put, is learning with and from other people. It can happen via numerous channels. It can range from informal morning huddles at the water cooler to structured discussions on social media channels. This concept of learning has been around for quite some time now. It’s just now that it is being leveraged for training employees. This trend can be attributed to changing learner profiles and the advent of social media technology.

According to the 70:20:10 model, 70% of our knowledge comes directly from observing and interacting with others while they are at work, 20% through social interactions and only 10% through formal learning courses. So, social learning is a widely used strategy for corporate learning. It is considered the most natural way to learn.

Social learning can be done on a just-in-time basis, and the learner can apply the information immediately to complete a task. It supports continued training. The learners spend just enough time to learn what they wish to learn without interrupting their workflow. And, as the name suggests, social learning fosters collaboration at the workplace.

Microlearning deals with short and focused learning nuggets that are at most five minutes long. Each nugget is designed to meet a particular learning outcome. You can use it for formal training purpose, but ideally, they are used as a performance support tool. Learners can easily access these modules and apply them to their daily work.

Basically, both social and microlearning are two sides of the same coin.

Microlearning is evolving as a successful social learning tool. They are easily accessible across all devices. Learners love the fact that they are bite-sized and are available on demand. This gives them the flexibility to choose when they want to learn and where. This personalization can go a long way to keep the learners engaged.  Just like social learning, learners can spend a small amount of time with microlearning nuggets. And, since they are available across all devices, your learners can access the content during free pockets of their time.

Here are some tips on how you can add social learning to your microlearning modules.

  • Provide an option to rate the microlearning nuggets.
  • Invite them to share their experiences and opinions on discussion forums.  Allow them to provide feedback on what went well and what did not go so well in the module.
  • Encourage the learners to curate microlearning assets.
  • Help them to exchange stories on how a particular asset helped them resolve a problem.

At Designing Digitally, Inc., we have a talented team of instructional designers with decades of experience in developing bite-sized modules. We collaborate with your organization to conduct a rigorous needs analysis to determine the best approach for the project and ensure a strong learning outcome.

To learn more about the different ways you can improve your corporate learning programs, book a free consultation with our team today.

Related Article: What is Social Learning - What Does it Mean?