Earlier this summer, Jane Hart wrote about the “Social Workplace Learning Continuum” on her blog Learning in the Social Workplace. She proposes that the learning and development community stop thinking of formal and informal learning as complete opposites, and instead, apply the Social Workplace Learning Continuum thinking. Jane shared the following five ideologies for achieving this hybrid approach to formal and informal learning:
- Think “learning spaces/places,” not “training rooms”
- Think “social technologies” not “teaching/learning technologies”
- Think “activities” not “courses”
- Think “lite design” not “instructional design” -for organized activities
- Think “continuous flow of activities” not just “response to need”
Following these points will challenge instructional designers to always be thinking of ways to foster a collaborative and social learning environment, ultimately meeting the needs of end-users whose skills with community and collaboration tools continuously evolves.
But it’s not just solely about training users to use social software or introducing them to a new community, as Jane says. Encouraging self-organization and collaboration is a critical component to truly embracing social/collaborative learning in the workplace.
To get a sense of how professionals are already integrating the Social Workplace Learning Continuum, and to gauge interest and willingness to apply this approach, Jane has launched a new survey. Head over to her blog to check it out (click “take our survey” at the bottom).
We want to know, too. How, specifically, are YOU making social collaboration part of your learning strategy? We’d love to highlight some innovative approaches in an upcoming blog post!