Employees learn best when they can apply their lessons in contextual scenarios. Geographically dispersed staff rarely interact in the real world, but that doesn’t mean they can’t collaborate online. As a matter of fact, they probably already use Project Management online platforms and other online collaboration tools to collaborate on team projects. You can also apply this principle to corporate eLearning. All it takes is some careful planning and a little imagination.
Here are 6 social learning activities to consider for your corporate eLearning course:
1. Gamify Your Social Media Groups
People use social media groups for all kinds of activities, so try creating one specifically for online training purposes. You can create closed groups on Facebook, Whatsapp, or even Telegram and use them for collaborative online training activities.
Issue a group assignment and invite your corporate learners to carry it out within their social media group. They can assign each other roles and break the task down to suit their individual strengths. Pit competing groups against each other, with the winning group earning special badges or in-course points.
Online assignments can be as simple as creating compliance infographics or flow charts. Assign each group a topic and invite them to “teach” it to the rest of the class via social media. Award marks based on creativity and clarity.
2. Online Discussions
Social media groups are a top-notch online collaboration tool because they are versatile and completely customizable. If you’d like something a little less data-heavy, create for your employees an online discussion. It doesn’t have to be particularly elaborate.
The simpler the better. Hive off a section of the web portal where corporate learners can log in and discuss class-related matters. Keep the online discussion text-based to save time and server storage. One of the course leaders should moderate the online discussion to make sure employees stay on topic.
The moderator can also keep corporate learners from trolling each other or posting inappropriate content. This can be a good place to clarify tricky topics, as it gives corporate learners the chance to cover topics that they are unable to tackle individually or aren’t covered in the corporate eLearning course.
3. Social Media Mentorships
While it may not be possible to assign an online tutor to every staff member, you can still offer personalized help. Corporate eLearning courses are designed to facilitate individual learning, but corporate learners don’t have to do it alone.
In corporate settings, there’s always someone who’s been on the job a little longer and has skills to offer. Study your team and find staff who has experience in certain areas. Then, pair them with new corporate learners in a form of digital internship.
The mentor and mentee can communicate by text or social media. Encourage the corporate learner to take initiative and ask questions that the online training mentor can apply themselves. It’s an intimate way to share skill sets while facilitating team bonding. Be sure to pick willing, pro-active mentors, so that the partnership is productive.
4. Simulative Diagnostics
Practice makes perfect, and some of the world’s greatest experts acquire their skills through online training simulations. It works for astronauts, pilots, athletes, and divers. In many countries, students facing a national exam go through ‘mock tests’ to prepare them for their finals.
This same approach can be used in corporate eLearning. Create a controlled branching scenario that tests out the online training materials corporate learners are required to learn. It can be a complex, immersive role-play situation or a branching scenario that leads to different pathways and situations.
Ask corporate learners multiple-choice questions with each response altering the outcome. Then invite employees to discuss their experiences in online discussions and social media groups. This gives them the ability to evaluate their performance with fresh eyes and identify areas for improvement.
5. Corporate Learners Become Bloggers
Some corporate learners communicate more effectively with text instead of visuals. Blogging can be a good way for them to express themselves. Give corporate learners the option to carry out part of their online training in order to reflect and reinforce key concepts.
For example, they can share their thoughts and opinions about a particular compliance topic, or provide task performance tips that can help their co-workers. If your employees find it difficult to do it alone, you can always invite them to collaborate on blog posts. Encourage them to get creative.
They don’t necessarily have to write an article. They can produce a video blog, a podcast episode, a graphic mini-novel, or even a story.
Encourage corporate learners to think outside the box before they put things on the screen. The resulting corporate eLearning blog can be kept private to avoid pressuring corporate learners, if necessary. Other staff members can access it with a password or private link.
6. Learner-Hosted YouTube Channels
Invite employees to produce their own online training videos and post them to a dedicated YouTube channel. This is yet another way to tap into the power of social learning, as staff members must work together to find the right subject matter, and curate content for the online presentation. Over time, they’ll cultivate an entire playlist for the benefit of their peers.
Corporate learners carry their phones more often than they carry their textbooks. Incorporate social learning activities and use mobile technology to help employees collaborate and exchange online training experiences.
Get each staff member a relevant online training mentor, and offer them online training simulations to practice their lessons. These are just thought-starters, but you can do much more to interact with corporate learners and facilitate peer-based social learning activities.