Using Social Learning To Your Advantage

Social learning is not a “new” concept.  Human beings have been learning through interaction with others since the beginning of time. And now in the dawn of social media, there is tremendous growth in this concept with the tools and application available to make it easier for us to collaborate in the digital space.

Social learning can be a cost-effective and ideal response for leaders to fill the void that employees crave for on the job training and collaboration within organizations. Social learning supports the continuous learning process within teams, groups and organizations and when used effectively, can have a huge impact on employees’ knowledge acquisition and talent development.

Research indicates that employees retain a mere five percent of what they hear and just ten percent of what they read. But when employees become more actively involved, the amount they retain increases greatly.  Roughly 50 percent of material covered through discussion and interaction is retained and more than 75 percent of learning that takes place through on-the-job experience is retained.

Today, social learning includes:

  • Connecting and communicating on different social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.
  • Collaborating and creating content with team members using programs like Google Docs, PowerPoint, or employee generated wikis
  • Creating and reading blogs,
  • Creation and watching of videos and listening to podcasts
  • Brainstorming sessions or conversations with co-workers at the office
  • e-Learning courses that promote dialogue among team members or groups


This week #bealeader will meet to discuss how social learning can be advantage for leaders and organizations. Join us on Twitter Thursday, September 19th at 7pmET by following the hashtag #bealeader – Editor’s Note: This chat occurred in the past. These are great questions to ask of your team now to spark conversation on how you are using social learning in your organization.

Questions to be discussed:

Q1:  Does “social” in social learning distract us from learning?

Q2:  Does social learning replace traditional training ?

Q3:  Can social learning bridge the generation gap in organizations?

Q4: How do we create learning cultures in organizations using social learning as the basis?

Q5: This tweetchat tonight is a prime example of social learning – what other methods to do you prefer?

Q6: Is online learning the future of education for all?

Q7: As a leader, how do you embrace changing minds who resist social learning?

Q8: Social learning will change how we collaborate in the future, agree or disagree?


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