No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Social learning and the implications for your online learning strategy


Henry Stewart share his thoughts on what an effective online learning strategy should look like in 2012.

Formal learning, whether in the classroom or in structured eLearning courses will always have its place in the training world. But we know that only 10% of learning is through formal means. We need tools to help us with the majority of learning, whether just-in-time or learning from colleagues.
Elearning in the normal sense of a formal online course has not emerged as the cost-effective option many were expecting. Often expensive and time-consuming to produce, elearning can require expertise to create and large numbers of learners to justify. Even then, people are often irritated by being made to learn in a pre-set way.
Social online learning is a different beast.
The web is full of great e-learning resources, from TED to the Khan academy to thousands of other learning sites, blogs, infographics, videos and more. Two-thirds of learning is said to be ‘just in time’ – the wedding speech you need to give tomorrow, the presentation you have to present at this week’s meeting, the business plan you have to create for next week.
"An effective online learning strategy will ensure that the right kind of learning is available in one place, one on portal or shared area, and it is simple to access."
What we need are ways to make it easy to find that ‘stuff’, to share great learning and put together resources about what people want to learn about.
And, instead of it taking days or weeks to create e-learning, we need a resource that will enable an unskilled member of staff to put together some great resources to share – in as short a time as possible. Under an hour would be good.
So, with the appetite for learning at work showing no sign of falling away, what are some of the crucial features of an effective online learning strategy in 2012?

1. Accessible

Online learning needs to be easy to access for individuals and teams, because while the internet is an incredible resource in itself, it is huge. An effective online learning strategy will ensure that the right kind of learning is available in one place, one on portal or shared area, and it is simple to access.

2. Sharing

The rise of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have grown the profile of ‘sharing’ at an alarming pace. The ability to share, compare, add value and develop ideas and learning material are vital features of an online learning strategy. If a department head wants his or her team to develop their understanding of, let’s say, some new legislation, that team should be able to communicate the challenges and barriers they are facing, without necessarily being in the same room.

3. Room to develop and expand

Open discussions and the room to develop ideas and theories is a crucial stage of learning, and as part of an online learning strategy, companies should still be able to offer a platform that enables this. Online networks, discussion boards and even live interaction will support a learning environment where individuals want to develop ideas and share thoughts.

4. Feedback

Tracking and reporting is crucial in any online strategy, and learning is no different. The beauty of online is that most things are easy to track, and by gathering data on the successes of online learning and understanding how much one piece of content has been shared when compared to another, is crucial to success.

5. Simplicity

All too often people are put off by anything technological, even when the technology is actually in place to make their life easier. Keeping things simple is key with an online learning strategy, so if you want to find success make sure you have clear channels of communication and explain not just the benefits of online learners to potential users, but the functionality as well.
The majority of training experts will now introduce elearning programmes - we’re told it suits a mobile workforce and compliments a tight budget.
Henry Stewart is the founder of social learning site Learnfizz. Tune into his webinar on Wednesday 4 July at 11am to find out more – just click here to register and you’ll be sent full details.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!