Social media is being widely used to support learning. It has evolved into a powerful tool for training and learning professionals. Social media offers new opportunities to share knowledge and experiences in fun and exciting ways. Today, let’s look at how social media can be used during the various phases of a typical training cycle.
Social Media and Marketing Training
Let’s begin with using social media for marketing or promoting training events. You can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs to share and hyper distribute information through:
- Announcements and promotions
- Generating excitement
You can use YouTube to give your learners a sneak preview of the training program or a taste of what is to come through videos. This can draw your audience to more formal learning, such as a full-blown online course or a live instructor-led workshop. Quick product demos are particularly effective for posting on YouTube before learners take the full course.
Social Media and Needs Analysis
Assume you have a focus group set up on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for your potential users. You can now go ahead and do the following:
Brainstorm on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for your training needs. This will help you:
- Nail down performance gaps
- Collate best practices on developing ideal skill sets and benchmark performances
- It can also help you bridge the gap between real and ideal job performance
You can also use discussion groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to collect top-of-mind objectives for any training requirement and arrive at estimates of a typical duration for courses based on scope and subject.
Social Media and Learning Design
Now let us look at the ways of using social media in design. But first, let’s take a quick look at the trends in Rapid eLearning Development.
- There is a clear shift towards shorter byte-sized courses (5-15 minutes, instead of the typical 30-60 minutes).
- There is two-way linking from courses to social media and vice versa.
- There are multiple formats for the same learning material to accommodate various learning styles and multiple delivery channels.
To use social media in learning design, you can use it to initiate discussions and check archives for the following:
- Design ideas from the community
- Real life scenarios
- Inputs and validation of types of interactivity and exercises
- And inputs and validation of test questions (you can get real-life questions from users)
You can also use social media to get a wealth of reusable assets in the form of YouTube videos and pieces of content, Flash objects from blogs and so on.
Social Media and Evaluation
Evaluate all aspects of your courses through surveys and polls which you can promote through Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, e-mails and blogs. You can get this feedback both from your learners as well as the training fraternity.
You can also get further inputs to refine courses, such as:
- Consolidate further learning through ongoing discussions as learners start applying learning to real life
- Get learners to blog their learning experiences
- Provide further focused learning inputs through blogs
- Follow Subject Matter Experts
- Use social media to send out FAQs of common questions that arise in training
Social Media and Rewards
Now, coming to rewards and recognitions for successful learners. You can use social media to:
- Hand out rewards and recognitions
- Celebrate success stories on training
So, you can get started soon and create accounts on social networking sites for your employees. You can create training-related pages for your organizations and encourage your employees to use social media for learning.