Integrating Social Media in eLearning

The Facebook page, Instagram shares, Snapchat Videos and Twitter feeds literally defines today’s generation. Many are practically addicted to those. Social media now acts as the looking glass for both personal and professional life, and even impacts one’s thoughts and decision making. It doesn’t come as a surprise that organizations are utilizing the power of social media to ensure employee engagement and retention, and also as a part of the eLearning strategy. There are apps that make lecture/conference recording and note taking easier, assist in seamless collaboration and content editing and modifications by multiple users at the same time (Google Docs), key-point video sharing (Vines) etc. to list a few.

But, eLearning strategy as we have often perused, can be different for different organizations based on the learning requirement, the technical know-how, device availability and so on. So, how do we generalize the methods or techniques for social media integration? While there is no one-size that fits all, here are a few ways in which social media elements can be integrated in eLearning.

As Collaborative Tool

Socio-collaborative learning is considered as the crux of learning 3.0, where queries trigger discussions that lead to solution finding through interaction. Organizations with high employee strength or those where employees have to travel a lot, face-to-face discussions can be tough to schedule. In such cases creating a discussion thread using social media (say a dedicated page on Facebook, or on LinkedIn). Here Social media elements become the collaborative tools for eLearning. Social media also helps learners in building professional network and learning from their peers.

For Content Integration

eLearning is often shunned as boring, which is why engagement has become a top priority for design. Leaners today freely use social media to learn on their own. Content integration using social media tools say for instance, YouTube for videos, SlideShare for online presentations, and other portals for blogs etc. can make eLearning more effective and engaging.

Creating and Sharing User Generated Content

It’s the era of personalization and self-paced learning, this includes learning on their own and knowledge sharing. Social media can assist in easily uploading user generated content be it an image, video, or presentation and in sharing this content at and organizational level (domestic and global).

Supplementary Learning

Curiosity and the urge to learn are important aspects of self-driven learning. An organization’s learning ecosystem depends not just on the concentrated eLearning content but also in open explorative learning which often starts from additional learning content. Job related Wikis, access to other learning sites etc. are good ways to do so. In addition, LinkedIn posts and Facebook updates too give a fair idea about the latest in the industry and are great means to stay ahead of the game.

Many learning service providers have successfully utilized the power of YouTube to deliver powerful online learning resources. While Video-based learning has its own benefits, even portals like Pinterest, Instagram etc. have gained popularity due to bite-sized sharable content in form of images and infographics. The best aspect of social media integration is that, eLearning is no longer just a trainer/instruction-driven one but rather a learner-driven, learner-centric model.

In what ways have you integrated social media in the learning strategy. Do share your experiences, and valuable comments.

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