When I had a doubt in my childhood, I used to wait till the next day to ask my teacher. Now, every time my kid has a doubt, he quickly opens Google or posts his doubt in his group chat and he gets different answers, opinions, ideas, and many more to clarify his doubt. That’s what social learning is!
Social learning is where people learn from others (friends, peers, teachers, colleagues, etc.). It is a way of learning where people imitate others’ behavior and learn by imitating them. As learning happens in collaboration with others, it is also called collaborative learning. It works because a group of people share their knowledge with each other; they clarify the doubts of each other; they learn from the mistakes of each other – thus learning happens!
Organizations want their employees to learn and grow persistently, and their major focus is on training their employees. Since 2012, there has been a noticeable shift in how people learn, more and more people are opting towards collaborative learning methods to learn easily and quickly. Let’s have a look at a few key trends in social learning:
1. Learning on-the-job: Remember the 70-20-10 principle of learning which says that 70 percent of learning happens through on-the-job experiences, 20 percent from people and 10 percent from reading. Many organizations are increasingly moving towards on-the-job training, as they have learnt that employees learn more when they work in collaboration with their colleagues, than from the usual training sessions. New employees sit with experienced colleagues to learn their job; they discuss their doubts, and learn in collaboration.
2. Learning through Social Networks: Students, employees, professionals, managers, SMEs, are all joining the social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter to name a few. But WHY? They join social networks because they have the need to connect to the world of talent, they want to learn the current trends in their industry, they want to post new discussions on topics that are of interest to them, and they want to find solutions to their problems from the experts, all these at a very low or no cost.
3. Learning through Intranet and Mails: Intranet connects all those in an organization. It is a perfect place where employees post their questions to the most eligible and experienced people in their field and get perfect answers. This is done in the form of a group message or group mail or a discussion meeting (WebEx or Skype to beat the geographical constraints) with the senior professionals who have good knowledge of the problem and its solution. It could be the other way too, where employees can share their ideas and breakthroughs which would help others in fine-tuning their tasks.
The way people learn has changed with time, and it is still changing. People learn better when they have the need to learn and when they watch and discuss with others. Learning is now more self-directed and self-paced. Many are willing to learn bite-sized, one that is easy, quick, and yet effective on their lives.
Hope this blog has given you a fair idea of the key trends in social learning. I’m sure you would have learnt in different ways; share your style and help me understand more.