In some form or another, the phrase ‘social learning’ has been around in psychology since at least the 1940’s. But, with advances in technology enabling knowledge to spread at speed though social channels, social learning is climbing its way up the L&D agenda.
That said, our research has indicated that many L&D professionals are still struggling to integrate social learning into their strategies effectively so it takes hold and drives performance.
In this white paper, we explore the gear shift needed in L&D to keep up with knowledge and learning in an internet-age. Specifically, we outline how L&D is no longer just about getting individuals ‘up-to-speed’, upskilled and able to learn fast, but artfully unbottling the ideas, knowledge and experience of entire communities, enabling the whole organisation to grow and learn in real-time.
Key headlines from ‘Switch on to social learning’
Why social learning matters now:
The internet has unlocked a vast amount of socially stored knowledge, enabling experts and non-experts alike to connect from anywhere, at any time, around almost any topic or innovative idea. As a result, ‘what’s known’ collectively spreads and evolves fast.
Millennials and Generation Z, two generations soon to be dominating the workforce, are accustomed to the above connectivity and ways of learning. For them, social learning is just the way things are done. Adopting a social learning approach to L&D is therefore not so much a choice, but a necessary adaptation to tectonic shifts occurring in learner expectations.
Specifically, technology has bought the gifts of flat communication, a “digital audit trail”, hyper-connectivity, easy creation and increasing personalisation to the learning environment; however, our survey suggests organisations have been slow to respond.
Survey statistics indicate energy without direction:
45% of organisations still do not have social learning as an integralpart of their L&D strategy.
57% of survey respondents reported that while they would like to do more social learning their organisation is not currently set up for it.
73% of respondents were not familiar at all or only somewhat familiar with the evidence around social learning; indicating that many of those operating in L&D may simply be in the dark in terms of why or how to incorporate ‘social learning’ effectively.
Lane4’s approach and definition:
At Lane4 we definesocial learning as ‘the continuous cycle of learning from others, with others and creating learning for others’
Social learning is essentially the living process, of a community connecting, sharing, learning, sense-making, reviewing, recreating, and sharing back; and, in doing so continually evolving the collective knowledge and experience of the group.
Crucially, social learning is not a replacement for formal training, it occurs both at training workshops and in many ways throughout the organisation every day. It is the small actions of many, leveraged by the larger efforts of a few. HR and L&D leaders therefore do not control social learning but enable it. Designing and maintaining the scaffolding of the system and environment through which knowledge and learning flows and accumulates and organisational capability grows.
In sum, social learning is about shifting L&D from purely focusing on the individual to encompassing the broader view of learning in the micro and macro communities.
Click the below button to download the full white paper, Switch on to social learning