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The Impact of Social Learning


With the ever-growing use of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, people are inclined to spend much of their time online. In Britain, a Briton spends at least three hours online per day. Businesses and organizations can capitalize on these soring use of social media by the introduction of social learning.

What is social learning? 

Social learning is the acquisition of knowledge through social means such as conversing with colleagues, peers and the outside world. It facilitates quick understanding of concepts and an effortless learning process.


History of social learning 

Social learning was popularized by Albert Bandura in the early 1970s. It is engraved under the principle that learning should not be instruction based but rather should be a social activity. It emphasizes on the point that, learning should occur through observation, then let learners discuss and later make them answer questions.


Impact of social learning in the workplace 

Encourages participation


Social learning encourages participation through the formation of discussion groups and teams. It enables utilization of individual strong points. For example, one team member can be tasked with research while communication can be delegated to another member. Even though the success of any training is based on how well a trainee grasps the information, participation also plays a vital role.


Facilitates sharing of information


Learners are able to share tips and ideas through social media platforms. Unlike conventional ways of learning where social interaction was not embraced, social learning enables learners to interact freely through the use of platforms such as Wiksate. Adoption of online social learning has also enabled the inclusion of all type of learners since it addresses the shyness factor. Shy learners can participate in the discussion without fear.


Improved knowledge retention


Through discussions, learners are able to retain knowledge at a fast rate. Concepts are continuously repeated through the discussion facilitating seamless retention of knowledge. Employees who engage in training as a group tends to learn significantly and understand the company’s policies much faster than those who train as an individual.


Opens communication channels


Social learning encourages employees to share their experiences without fear. How is this made possible? It lets employees communicate with the trainer through a more personal way. For example, companies can use Instant Messaging (IM), which facilitates instant communication between the company and the employees.


Easy access to information


According to Cathy Hoy, Senior L&D Manager, Europe at Coca-Cola, social learning allow learners to access vital information whenever they need to regardless of their locality. It removes the barrier of classroom walls championing access of information to anyone. Learners are also able to learn new things and share experiences.


With more companies embracing the use of social learning, it is no doubt that it is impacting training in a positive manner. You benefit from easy access to information, improved knowledge retention, improved engagement among other benefits. You should also employ best practices to ensure a successful social learning experience.


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