Sometimes, knowledge acquired through books can help you build a business empire worth billions of dollars. Call him a genius or a bookworm, owner of multi-billion dollar company SpaceX, which recently sent American astronauts to International Space Station [ISS], Elon Musk, claims to owe his knowledge of rocket science to books he once borrowed from an astronaut. That is the power of self-learning or remotely without being part of any institutionalized learning system.
A ‘New normal’
Can you imagine what social learning with its hundreds and thousands of online learning platforms can do? It is already giving wings to learners’ dreams. It has taken them places in their search for newer knowledge and opportunities. In fact, in the new post-COVID-19 lockdown situation remote learning through social learning has become the NEW NORMAL.
No wonder, today Learning and Development heads have evolved learning architecture with embedded social learning techniques. The new learners, who make up a substantial portion of modern day tech-savvy young learners, used to interacting on social platforms through personalized and private groups, sharing and exchanging information and learning new things all the time, could not have asked for more.
Windows of opportunities
An idea that first appeared in the public domain in the 1960s, social learning is mainly based on the concept of learning through ‘observing, imitating’ and ‘learning from others with others.’ Social learning in a remote learning ecosystem can throw open new windows of learning opportunities thus enriching the entire learning process.
There are obvious advantages of social learning in a remote learning ecosystem. By virtue of it being internet based, social learning is an effective way of staying connected with various online learning platforms which provide round the clock learning support. So, learners have access to all the latest information or knowledge necessary for skilling, up-skilling or supporting their learning process. It lets learners learn at a time of their choosing and convenience. It adds to the scope and breadth of learning.
Remote learning- challenges
In a remote workplace such as in a ‘WORK FROM HOME’ scenario, driving social learning to keep workers up-to-date with the latest learning is a major challenge. But it is a challenge worth taking to let learners continue with their learning processes.
Ø Learning and development managers instead of spending all their energies on deploying a single domain corporate Learning Management System can make best use of multiple social learning platforms.
Ø Social learning platforms provide opportunities to learners to engage in social interactions to enhance their learning experience and depth.
Ø Trainers can compile existing knowledge in the organisation, adapt them to the learners’ requirements and place them on social media and apps for the benefit of remote learners.
Ø Well ‘curated’ contents through personalized learning paths can be made available remotely.
Ø Quality contents generated by users for internal training purposes can be circulated within social media networks.
Ø Social media discussion forums can be a great way of engaging in participatory learning.
Ø Learners can be helped through remote mentoring and coaching via social media.
Ø Learners can learn from each other through learners groups on social media.
Ø Remote learning can be facilitated on the go over mobile smart phones.
Many remote learners may not be comfortable with the idea of learning and being assessed online on social media publicly. Private social learning groups that can be remotely accessed by learning and development in-charges and peers can help learners shed their hesitation and open up for effective learning.
Online learning forums
Creation of subject specific online forums, keeping in mind the specific needs of the learners’ groups, help learners effectively post their specific queries on social media groups for their prompt answers.
Social learning for remote learning compensates largely for absence of any learning in a remote learning set up. At a time when Covid-19 pandemic is witnessing a second surge, remote learners stand a better chance of continuing with their learning process through social learning. It is the best available option to them, given the situation.