Social learning is proving to be a successful way to help your employees get the training they need to be successful. Here’s how you can take advantage of this up-and-coming trend.
One way to meet today’s voracious need for learning experiences is through curation. However, leveraging learning solutions produced by others, known as curating, requires standards and guidelines—or chaos reigns. Tapping into new content does mean relinquishing control and relying on external sources for rigor and quality. But with adequate testing and context setting, you’ll ensure your learners’ expectations are met.
Types of Learning Experiences
Structured learning experiences typically require instructional designers to investigate the subject matter thoroughly, which can be time consuming and expensive. And you may find that some of your people learn most effectively in a personalized manner, supported by a teacher, coach, or mentor. Highly-structured courses, typically based on video lectures and follow-up quizzes, reach some audiences—but not all.
Many open online courses promote the idea that networks of people, content, and conversations result in high rates of productive knowledge and skill acquisition. By increasing the number of participants, you increase the odds of connections. Additionally, challenging learners to debate content with provocative questions may actually trigger and spark more productive conversations. By making learning the learner’s responsibility, learners become accountable for their own progress.
Learning professions make judgments about content applies to particular target audiences. Practitioners curate content in social learning environments enabled by internet usage. By promoting content that reinforces positive messages, sharing creates a positive experience. Encouraging self-exploration ensures that the learner takes ownership of the knowledge acquisition process.
Determining the Right Content
Asking learners to find training courses for themselves tends to result in chaos—because they don’t have time or the expertise to determine which learning opportunities are going to be the best choices. Thought-provoking videos or articles might trigger a better response. Additionally, scheduling a meeting to discuss reactions helps to structure learning while not imposing too much administration. Engaging learners typically involves presenting a topic or idea, asking for a response, and documenting conclusions made.
Connecting learners to appropriate content requires a clear definition of job responsibilities and tasks. Once the work becomes clear, the competencies and expertise required to enable stellar job performance can be articulated. For example, most roles require communication competency.
Creating learning solutions that change behaviors to enable better performance requires a clear definition of learning objectives. Establishing desired outcomes ensures proper planning to put in place activities that produce results. For example, if learners demonstrate poor listening skills when interacting with customers, programs that promote an active listening process facilitate success.
Finding and Offering the Best Content
Curating or collecting information for a particular topic and a particular audience involves exploring available learning content and analyzing comments, ratings, and usage. User-generated content represents some unique challenges but can offer relevant information if it aligns with your key stakeholder’s needs.
By linking with systems within your organization, community, and the internet, you can source cost-effective content. Publishing content and making it easily available to your learners ensures success. Allowing learners to contribute their reflections and impressions triggers progress.
Analysis can reveal the optimal length of video content, subject matter experts, and sources to leverage. This process should allow you to sort content such as articles, books, videos, courses, and podcasts into a system with order, annotations, and notes. You can even build your content into structures that represent traditional courses, curriculum, or degrees.
Curating content for your organization takes time and effort, but the payoff can be huge. Build and expand your collection to suit your employees’ needs, and you’ll reap the benefits. Social learning represents the learning model of the future.