L&D doesn’t own social learning … we all do

fish-388346_640The emergence of so-called Social Learning Platforms and Social LMS suggests that social learning is purely an educational or training trend.

For sure, social tools can support and enhance learning, but they are not just for supporting and enhancing organized, formal learning environments. In fact, the use of social tools in these formal contexts often results in contrived or fauxial learning experiences.

Rather, the power of social technologies in organisations lies in how they can underpin the natural social learning that happens continuously as a part of daily work in teams and groups. This is better referred to as social collaboration.

So the real value comes in helping teams and groups make use of these social tools to support this continuous social learning.

This doesn’t mean creating courses and managing social learning in a separate social learning platform; it means helping individuals make effective use of enterprise collaboration technologies so that they learn as they work in new ways. It means helping them to share their work experiences, capture organisational knowledge, and support one another on a daily basis.

You can’t train people to be social! And you can’t force or enforce them to be social either!

So, it t doesn’t mean taking people out of their working environment to train them how to use the new tools (on a different platform from the one they use everyday) – but working alongside them (and their manager) modelling the new skills, behaviours and attitudes – in the way that best suits them – in order to help build a social team.

But in order to help build a social team, you need to be part of a social team yourself. Social learning is not something you make other people do!

Want to find out how to build a social team? Come and join my next online workshop:


3 thoughts on “L&D doesn’t own social learning … we all do

  1. Pingback: Education News / L&D doesn’t own social learning … we all do

  2. Tim Ruijters

    Hi Jane,

    For some years I’m experimenting with learning communities on the English wikiversity (see link below).


    I think the wikiversity platform could be a very good social learning platform. Do you agree?

    Why is it so hard to find people who want to participate in the learning communities?

    What is your opion about the wikiversities? And what can we (the wikiversity community) do to promote the wikiversity?



  3. Randy Matusky

    I absolutely agree when you say that you must model being a social learner in order to help inspire your team to become social learners themselves. You can’t create any type of positive change by just telling people how to act, you need to model the actions yourself. Only then will they be able to see all the true learning benefits that can come out of it.

    Great post!

Comments are closed.