Why Should We Consider Networked Online Learning Communities?

Why Should We Consider Networked Online Learning Communities?

In today’s business world, organizations are spreading geographically into dispersed locations with workforce widely separated from their coworkers, partners and customers. Some of them work in traditional office settings, while others work from far-flung remote offices.

Given the way organizations are operating and with the advancements in technology, formal training setups (instructor led or online trainings) alone without a collaborative component will not do justice to the training. Employees learn only a 5 - 10% through formal training setups and rest of the learning happens through making mistakes, conversing, getting suggestions from colleagues, trying out things on their own and learning from experiences.

According to a survey of Bersin by Deloitte,

  • About 78% of corporate managers believe that “rapid rate of information change” is one of their top learning challenges (800+ HR and L&D managers surveyed in 2008).
  • About 80% of all corporate learning takes place through on-the-job interactions with peers, experts, and managers (estimated data collected from over 1,100 L&D managers late in 2008).
  • Over 30% of all corporate training programs (i.e., classroom or other formal programs) are not delivering any measurable value (data provided through the same survey).
  • Nearly all millennial employees (under the age of 25) expect to find an on-demand learning portal (similar to Google and YouTube) within their employer’s environment.

These percentages clearly indicate that people want to learn, but they don’t want to be trained or told what to do. Employees should to be able to reach others, share and work together and all this should happen without having to travel and without losing the productivity that comes with in-person meetings.

So to achieve this level of efficiency and still be effective, organizations are adopting powerful advanced collaboration platforms or tools that can help in enhancing learning effectiveness, providing collaborative experience and boosting learner’s productivity.

This is where the concept of networked Learning Communities comes in. Educational researchers have been working extensively on the concept of virtual or online learning communities for the last 10 years and are now of the opinion that online learning communities through its collaborative features could play a significant role in improving the effectiveness of learning. They are also of the belief that online learning community is the vehicle through which education can be effectively delivered online, regardless of content. (Palloff & Pratt, 1999)

The world around corporate training is changing rapidly. What has worked 20 ago doesn’t work now and what works today may not work tomorrow! What do you say? Do share your thoughts.

It is the first post in a series of “The Realities of Networked Online Learning Communities”. Want to know What is an Online Learning Community? Stay tuned for the 2nd post.

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Sravanthi is an Expert in Online Marketing and is responsible for creating content that drives traffic to CommLab India website. She actively works with visual designers, project managers and other stakeholders to ensure quality of content and resources on the website.

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