Most of us are used to learning in a structured format. Meaning, the learning process is one way. In contrast, social learning is simply the process of learning from each other. Plus, you get to share your own ideas.
Those who are learning professionals are familiar with this concept. However, others (like myself), never really realised that such a concept does exist; despite the fact that we do social learn on a daily basis.
Social learning can be found online through social media networks, and also offline such as in conferences, group assignments, or even during a cup of coffee. Another great platform that involves social learning is FutureLab. You find people from around the world, connect and share ideas/knowledge with each other, forming a ‘knowledge centre’.
Now, why is social learning beneficial?
Social learning improves communication among one another
Since you’re learning as a team, it helps improve your communication skills. You learn how to explain different ideas to your colleagues in an easier way. If you’re shy to speak to too many people at once, you can always start off with a friend.
Promotes teamwork / collaborative work
Social learning not only helps improve communication skills but also encourage more collaborative work. You are more likely to team up with your colleagues to organise a social learning experience for your company. This helps you learn to work together as a team, coming up with a fun interactive itinerary.
In simple words, constructivism is where learning is active and learners are also teachers. From my understanding, an individual constructs their own understanding of a topic, by compiling different existing ideas, which is then shared with peers/colleagues. Therefore, social learning is a great way to encourage constructivism (learn more about constructivism from here).
Could be your chance to train yourself to be a mentor
Social learning is a great opportunity to train yourself to be a mentor. You share your own thoughts and ideas on an issue or task. Especially if it is within your level of expertise, you can teach your peers/colleagues and you will, in turn, receive knowledge. (To learn more about why being a mentor is important, click here)
Social learning will help spice up the interactivity in your workplace. All the more reason to add it to your training sessions. What do you think about social learning? Do you think it is important an important approach to learning? Voice out your ideas in the comment section below.
To experience social learning, join the FutureLab community here!
Christeen Akkarawatte. A final year student at Monash University, majoring in Communications and Global Studies. She is also a FutureLab Campus Writer, a program aimed at enabling university students to begin writing and growing their own active communities on FutureLab alongside many influential mentors.