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Networked Online Learning Communities – Success Stories

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Networked Online Learning Communities - Success Stories

This is the fourth post in a series of “The Realities of Networked Online Learning Communities”. In case you missed, here are the previous posts “Why should we consider Networked Online Learning Communities”, “Concept of Networked Online Learning Communities” ,“How do they enhance the effectiveness of learning”.

In my last post, I have discussed how an Online Learning Community can enhance the effectiveness of learning, through its collaborative platform & social media tools. Let us now see some success stories of corporates who have already adopted such collaborative learning and could see the real advantages.

Case 1: In 2012, an e-learning vendor (“Aptara” 2012) was awarded the prestigious Learning in Practice Award by CLO magazine (a magazine for Chief Learning Officers and Training Professionals) for having designed a collaborative and continuous learning platform, to nurture leadership skills for Hilton Worldwide. The Chief Learning Officer of Hilton claimed that it had enhanced the organization’s collective intelligence.

Case 2: In 2008, E-Learning Guild’s Annual Gathering, Sun Microsystems had presented a case study (Carson, 2008) of their experimental online networked learning platform for new hires. The figure below depicts various components in their collaborative learning environment – classroom training, performance support tools, libraries/ knowledge bases, online learning experts/ coaches/ e-coaches, communities/ blogs/ wikis/ tagging surrounding the learner. The company claimed that it helped in motivation, retention and participation, although there were some technical glitches.

Adapted from Designing Collaborative Learning Environments

Figure 3: Adapted from Designing Collaborative Learning Environments: A Case Study of Sun Microsystems

Case 3: Parc, a Xerox company shared a case study (Parc, 2008), which described its experience in collaborative learning online community that made handsome gains:

  • Saving $20 million annually in training costs
  • Decreasing training time from 52 to 15 weeks
  • Increasing employee satisfaction by expanding their cross-functional expertise

Case 4: In yet another case (Gaspar & Haldi, 2010), the new version of Harvard Manage Mentor (of Harvard Publishing) included social learning tools for more peer-to-peer based participation and collaboration, and boasted of a highly successful approach to online learning and performance support.

Many other Organizations are benefiting from these online learning platforms, because they could recognize the power of collaborative learning. This is the fourth post in a series of “the Realities of Networked Online Learning Communities”. Enjoyed what you read?

Even though these Online learning communities come with many benefits, organizations are still not adopting this concept for various reasons. Stay tuned to my next post to know what those challenges are.

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