POLL: How Would You Define Social Learning

by Sharlyn Lauby on March 15, 2011

I recently read a couple of books on social media and learning.  The subject fascinates me and not just because I’m a trainer.  I believe bringing social media into the learning process could be very engaging for participants.

In the first book, The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner, they define social learning as “learning with and from others.”  And they specifically point out it’s not a delivery system like e-Learning or m-Learning.  The second book was Social Media for Trainers by Jane Bozarth and it outlines activities you can incorporate into your training via Twitter, Facebook, Wikis, etc.

I believe the conversation about social learning is new enough, so it’s important to establish some common ground where the definition of social learning is concerned.  Social learning can’t be “learning from others” in one person’s vocabulary and “learning via Twitter” in another.  Well, it can…but it certainly doesn’t help the training profession if everyone’s not on the same page.

Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed reading both books and thought they both bring valuable information to the discussion.  But if we want companies to embrace using social learning, they have to be clear about what it is.  It has to be easy to explain.

So, let me ask you…if I told you I wanted to incorporate social learning into your next training program, what would you expect:


If you think social learning is something else altogether, please share your thoughts in the comments.  Thanks for taking the poll!


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