All of us have become socially proximate with the penetration of internet and innumerable social media websites. All over the world, we are connecting with others through websites like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Pinterest etc. There are also many affinity groups based on particular interest fields and courses, wherein we often connect to discuss on varied topics. For instance, on any social online forum people get involved through Q&A’s and engage in livelier discussions with their peers.
However, these days being social doesn’t just limit us to sharing random posts, tag friends, publish pictures, and chat with friends. It has grown much beyond than it was a couple of years back. Yes, here we are talking about the growing adoption of social learning features in education and training industry. I am sure, we all know and have heard about this term before but let’s just understand in deep what is Social Learning and how is it playing an important role in eLearning industry.
Increasing number of schools, universities and corporates are demanding for Learning Management platforms that include social learning features login through social media accounts, interactive chat sessions, email notifications, uploading media, social sharing options through Facebook, google plus, twitter etc. and discussion forums. Keeping up with the trend, many institutes, training centres, publishers and corporates have started demanding for such features in their learning platforms. One classic example is MyPGMEE – a medical entrance test prep application by Elsevier, which is one of the leading publishers in India. Medical students preparing for various entrance and competitive exams like AIIMS signup to MyPGMEE and buy various success packs and courses. Within this portal, students cannot just access mock tests and question sets but can also use social learning features such as use of chat sessions, leader boards, social media logins, creating challenges and sharing of results on social platforms.
Another question now arises is to why and how is it helping?
Well, such features enable students and trainees to share knowledge, network, exchange ideas, resources and notes as well as in problem solving. Completing different challenges within peer groups gives a sense of accomplishment and boost the morale of learner. The best part of this recent trend is that it also gives flexibility for students and trainees to engage in learning beyond official timings and at their own convenience. As social learning involves multiple discussions and sharing of ideas among peers, it leads to generating content from variety of sources and learners can better curate the content as well as understand it. Moreover, social learning can be in-built in your LMS or can also be linked with external social media websites depending what you are looking for.
For those, who have already adopted social learning can best see the results and for others who haven’t yet should definitely incorporate in their learning and training. After all, learning with and from others always promote healthy and effective learning. Also the chances of retaining the content increases.