3 Models of Formal Social Learning

Last week I posted a graphic that illustrated the Stages that I believed Workplace Learning was going through, and in particular how the use of social media was either being used to perpetuate the traditional approach to formal learning in the organisation (Stage 4) or helping to move organisations to a collaborative and integrated approach to working and learning (Stage 5).

But even in Stage 4, the use of social media for formal learning is quite different; and I am seeing three different approaches or models, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages.  I have posted about this before, but I think it is worth a re-post.

1 – Wrap-around model

Here the social
aspects of learning are

to the content to provide tutor and peer-support for understanding
This model is often used where the content is delivered via LMS or
and the social functionality hosted elsewhere; the social
aspects are simply
wrapped around
existing content
or courseware,  e.g. to
provide a discussion area within a course. 

However, this model
needs to be used with care since it doesn't work well if
social aspects are simply bolted on without good reason;
they will often not be used, which leads many to believe social learning is not working, when in fact it is applying it in the wrong way that is the issue.

2 – Integrated

Here the social
and collaboration aspects are well
integrated into the content , i.e. firmly

in the course, so that the learner fully participates and is
active in the social side of the course. 

Here the focus is
still on the content with social aspects supporting the

3 – Collaboration

Here it is the
social and collaboration aspects that are the focus
for the learning – not the content – the content is
co-created by the learners – so that the learner fully
participates and is active in the learning. 

This model is used
where a
problem-based or inquiry-based learning approach is used,
and here the tutor is an equal member of the learning group
"the guide on the side" rather than the "sage on the stage"

Which approach are you taking to using social media in your formal learning?

2 thoughts on “3 Models of Formal Social Learning

  1. Leigh Zeitz (Dr. Z)

    I like how you have defined the three models of formal social learning. I can conceptualize how these might be structured, but do you have any specific examples for each of these? I am on a mission to begin looking for exemplars for theoretical structures.
    Leigh Zeitz (Dr. Z)

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