Online training, or e-learning, has become commonplace in recent years. However, this type of training can lack interaction and exchange between participants.

To counter this, the trend is towards Social Learning. This training method encourages collaboration and the exchange of ideas between each learner.

In this article, we’ll explore this new training technique in detail and provide you with all the information you need to adopt it successfully.

Definition: What is Social Learning?

Social Learning is a professional or non-professional training method that emphasizes social interaction and collaboration between learners. This enables everyone to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Unlike traditional instructor-led teaching, Social Learning encourages learners to interact with each other. Learners work in teams, learn together and answer each other’s questions.

Each learner is both student and trainer.

In addition to offering an interactive and immersive experience, Social Learning enables learners to bond, support and motivate each other. This is something that can sometimes be lacking in e-learning.

Whether it’s group discussions, collaborative projects or discussion forums, Social Learning can take many different forms. These environments encourage the exchange of knowledge, joint problem-solving and the creation of a dynamic, participative learning space.

  • In short, Social Learning focuses on exchanges and collaboration between learners to promote learning and the acquisition of skills.

Who can benefit from this type of training?

Social Learning is for all learners. Students and professionals alike can develop new skills using this technique.

This training method enables everyone to learn about different subjects in a group. So Social Learning is for anyone who wants to develop their skills through social interaction and collaboration between learners.

What are the advantages of Social Learning?

  • Better learning : Learners’ questions often lead to more in-depth exploration of topics. In addition, social interaction enhances understanding and knowledge retention.
  • Greater commitment and motivation: Because they are active, learners remain motivated throughout the course. They engage in discussions and exchanges, which helps maintain their interest and involvement.
  • Collaboration: Social Learning encourages collaboration between learners. As a result, they develop team spirit and problem-solving skills. What’s more, Social Learning fosters creativity and innovation, as the exchange of ideas encourages the exploration of different perspectives.
  • Facilitates knowledge exchange: Learners are encouraged to participate and share their knowledge and personal experiences. Everyone’s knowledge is valued to enrich the learning experience of all participants. It also encourages a diversity of perspectives and knowledge.
  • Cost reduction and flexibility: This training technique is often less costly because it uses free or low-cost tools. What’s more, Social Learning can be adapted to different contexts for use by everyone.

In this way, Social Learning offers learners a deeper learning experience. They are engaged and motivated by the collaboration that develops within each group. They learn by exchanging and sharing knowledge with each other, so they can work more effectively.

What are the limits of this learning method? 

  • Lack of structure: Social Learning can sometimes lack structure, since it’s impossible to plan the direction of exchanges. Some learners may have difficulty following the course or concentrating.
  • Participation time: This type of learning requires more personal investment on the part of participants, which may discourage some.
  • Difficulties in evaluation: Exchanges are often informal and unstructured, so it can be difficult to objectively assess learners’ progress.
  • Lack of authority or credibility: In Social Learning, it can be difficult to determine the authority and credibility of shared information. This can lead to confusion or misinformation.

How do you set up Social Learning?

Implementing Social Learning is not in itself difficult. Numerous technological tools exist to help you get started. Likewise, following the few practices listed below will help you bring your project to fruition.

Tools to facilitate Social Learning

  • E-learning platforms don’t just enable learners to take online courses. They also enable them to interact with their peers, work together on the same project and provide feedback.
  • Online discussion forums enable learners to exchange ideas, ask questions and share resources.
  • Finally, social networks can also be used to encourage communication and collaboration between participants.

Best practices

For successful training implementation, always start by defining the learning objectives and needs of the learners. Based on this, you can design the structure of each course.

During training, learners should be encouraged to communicate and collaborate as much as possible. You can start with interactive games or open-ended questions. Don’t forget to provide regular feedback and ensure that the information exchanged is reliable.

Finally, make sure you facilitate the management of interactions by providing clear communication guidelines. In addition, ensure adequate moderation to maintain a positive learning environment.