Social learning is not something you make other people do

UPDATE: See also Social or Fauxial Learning?

group-239252_640As organisations “go social” (a term increasingly used to refer to one that is adopting an enterprise social or collaboration platform) , I am often asked: “How do you make people learn socially?”

But as I have pointed out before in my post, 10 things to remember about social learning (and the use of social media for learning) …


  • You can’t just “add on a discussion space to an online course and expect people to be social
  • You can’t just “design in” social interaction into online courses and expect people to be social
  • You can’t force people to be social
  • You can’t enforce social interaction
  • You can’t equate social interactivity with learning

For genuine social interaction to take place it needs to be relevant, purposeful and appealing in order to stimulate a real desire or need to engage. In fact it needs to be in tune with the ways people interact (and learn) in real life or on the Social Web. All you can do is provide the framework for – i.e. the infrastructure and the right conditions – for learning and performance improvement to take place – rather than set up a space for (en)forced conversations. The latter simply results in a cohort of compliant learners rather than a group of engaged individuals.


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