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What is social learning and how to get started implementing it

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John Sherman
2017-10-30

Have you ever watched a YouTube video to learn how to do something new?

Well, this is a form of social learning. In today’s world, learning with technology has become easier now than ever before since everyone’s tech-savvy. Just think about how many times you’ve typed a question you have into Google, looking for the answer.

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We don’t realize it, but we are socially learning every single day through the Internet. Whether it’s through our favorite social media site, the news or platforms like YouTube, the idea is that we’re learning from other people and through what they’re doing.

Observing and doing the same thing as other people is a natural way for us to learn. Humans are social creatures and we take in information every day through conversations and interactions with other people, as well as online.

But, social learning isn’t a new concept. In fact, it’s been around since 1977. The Social Learning Theory was created by psychologist, Albert Bandura. His thinking was that people learn by observing others and how they behave, as well as listening to what they say.

People can take this information from their observations and can use the learned behavior in similar situations that arise in their own life. Then, once you’ve learned from someone else, you start doing it. It’s a type of environmental learning.

In a nutshell, social learning is observing the behavior of others and modeling our own behavior based on what we’ve taken from the interaction. We do it in everyday life without realizing it.

But, that’s enough about Albert Bandura. You’re here to learn about how you can incorporate social learning into your workplace and that’s how we can help.

Social learning has been around a long time, but there’s been an evolution of social learning from the Internet. Learning is now more indirect, rather than attending training events and conferences, employers are investing in online and e-learning for their employees.

This is exactly how you can use social learning to boost your employee training. You’ll be glad to hear that it’s pretty easy to get started and is going to save you money and time. Read on find out how!

Social learning and your LMS

It’s time to jump on the technology bandwagon. Using the Internet to your advantage is going to offer you plenty of social learning opportunities for your employee training. Plus, it’s simple to incorporate into the workplace as soon as tomorrow.

All you need is a LMS.

Think about it – when you’re new in the office, you often watch someone else do something so you can learn how to do it yourself. Whether it’s using a formula to work out numbers or watching how to work a computer program properly – you’re watching and learning.

So, why not offer your employees the chance to learn new skills in a similar way, but through your LMS? Social learning doesn’t mean you have to provide training days and having someone directly in front of you to learn – technology can do the same thing.

You can provide ways for employees to educate themselves on your LMS. They are free to start this whenever they want and complete training in their own time. It’s also going to save you time and money, as well as integrate elements of social learning. Everyone’s a winner!

Using technology for learning isn’t just for millennials. There’s lots of online e-learning courses that are available for all levels and you can introduce them to your employees today. This will allow them to discover new facts and skills that are beneficial for the workplace.

For example, a lot of e-learning courses use animated videos for learning. Employees watch the behaviors of the characters and also engage with the voice-over.

This is a form of social learning, as employees can take away interactions with the videos and use their new learned behaviors in the office themselves.

There’s an endless choice of e-learning courses you can choose from to suit every industry, and they use social learning to their advantage.

Including discussion boards, forums and interactive features on your LMS is a great way to incorporate social learning into employee training.

This is going to provide somewhere for everyone to share their thoughts and exchange ideas with other employees, especially about the courses they have just completed.

This way everybody can learn with each other and from each other. Of course, for this to work properly, you’ve got to encourage your employees to engage in the discussions.

But, you’ll find that providing interesting e-learning courses will make people want to have their say and take about what they’ve just seen.

You can also use online webinar software for your office and integrate it into your LMS. This is a great way to reach lots of employees at the same time with one speaker.

There’s plenty of software to choose from that has interactive features and Q&A settings that encourage collaboration and social learning.

This means that during training, employees can ask the speaker questions and exchange ideas with everyone. These kinds of features are going to get people talking – in other words, social learning.

There you have it. To summarize, social learning is learning with and from other people and the best way to integrate this concept into your office is through your LMS.

E-learning courses, discussion boards and webinar software are some of the best ways to use social learning in employee training.

So, how are you going to use social learning for your workplace?

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