What’s The Future Of Social Learning?

12/26/2017

Learning alone is fine, but it gets much better when we do it together. Thankfully, as our technology improves, so too does our ability to interact with one another. That means that the future should see us having many more opportunities to learn alongside our peers!

We’ve put on our forward-thinking caps and considered a few of the things we might expect from the future of social learning.

Virtual Environments

Virtual Reality is rapidly becoming something real. The technology has finally hit a point where it’s starting to work properly, and now the investment is flooding in. So in the coming years, we can expect to be wearing VR headsets as we play games, explore art and architecture, and even as we learn. And, of course, it’s the implications it could have on learning which are exciting us the most!

We’re already able to create online learning communities, using a Learning Management System for example. But with VR technology, we’ll be able to create shared virtual environments, where learners can interact with one another using personalised avatars.

This will be a fantastic way to bring people together, particularly for big, global companies who have staff dotted around all around the globe. Being able to virtually ‘meet’ colleagues they wouldn’t otherwise have contact with will offer them an unprecedented ability to share ideas and discover completely new ways to approach their training!

Social Learning Games

It’s no surprise that we’ve always got our eye on games and gamification! These continue to become more and more important in the world of learning, and we don’t see this slowing down any time soon.

And as the use of games becomes more widespread, it’s likely that it will overlap more and more with social learning.

So we can look forward to more collaborative games, where it’s impossible to win without a concentrated team effort. Learners will have to share the information available to them in order to progress, encouraging a culture of knowledge sharing throughout your organization.

Again, expect to see VR coming into play. So our learners might find themselves inside a virtual world as their avatars. This added level of immersion will help them embed the teamwork skills they develop in the game, and apply it back in the real world.

Everyone’s An Expert

We touched on this above, but the future of social learning will see more emphasis being put on developing cultures of knowledge sharing.

Most organizations designate certain people as Subject Matter Experts. These are the people who know more about their specialist topic than anyone else, and who should be your first point of call whenever you have a question.

But why not take this further? Approach absolutely anyone in an organization and you’ll find at least one thing that they know better than anyone else. With all of this expertise flying around, you just need to be able to tap into it as and when you need it.

As the technology improves, so too will our ability to pair up experts with whoever needs their help. A learner will be able to broadcast their question to the whole organization. The perfect people to answer will get notified that something is being asked, and they’ll be able to swoop in and save the day!

Final Word

Mastering social learning is the key to success on your online learning platform; the more you share, the better information sticks. Information usually leaks out of organizations like water through a leaky sieve, but knowledge sharing solutions help to stem the tide whilst social learning plugs the gaps.

Before you know it, you’ve created a genuine, bona fide ‘Learning Culture’ choc full of ‘Aha!’ moments. Congratulations: The battle has been won!

By Juliette Denny

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