Human Resources, Training Technology

Social Learning May Soon Outperform On-Demand Remote Learning

Over a quarter of the American workforce works remotely at least some of the time. And around half of individuals in the American workforce have a job that is compatible with remote work, while between 80% and 90% claim they would like to work remotely at least part-time.1

To adapt to this upward trend in remote work, learning and development professionals have been developing more on-demand remote learning strategies with Web-based technology for the past decade or so. But now, around 75% of companies want to increase their focus on social learning.2 And some experts are even saying that social learning will outperform remote learning altogether in 2018 and beyond.3 Continue reading to learn more.

Source: Ani_Ka / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty

What Is Social Learning?

According to Psychology Today, social learning theory:

“…combines cognitive learning theory (which posits that learning is influenced by psychological factors) and behavioral learning theory (which assumes that learning is based on responses to environmental stimuli). Psychologist Albert Bandura integrated these two theories and came up with four requirements for learning: observation (environmental), retention (cognitive), reproduction (cognitive), and motivation (both). This integrative approach to learning was called social learning theory.”

 

Essentially, social learning theory posits that people learn from one another via observation, imitation, and modeling. And in 2018, such social learning can easily occur remotely and online via social media channels, video conferencing, comment dashboards, mobile learning platforms, etc.

What to Expect from Social Learning in 2018

With recent innovations in technology and learning management platforms, there is no reason why more remote workers can’t use their Web-based platforms to advance and further their social learning. In other words, on-demand remote learning strategies can and should evolve to incorporate and include more examples of social learning—they aren’t separate things anymore. In fact, social learning in 2018 and beyond can include improvements upon existing remote on-demand learning courses and content.

Instead of static e-learning modules, where only the learner engages with her or his own learning material at her or his own pace in a learning silo, learners will be able to interact with trainers, coaches, and fellow learners via:

  • Gamified learning modules
  • Virtual reality environments
  • Comment dashboards and online forums
  • Live webinars and webcasts
  • Social media channels
  • Shared curated content and notes

Now learners can do things like experience an online virtual reality environment with some of their cohorts or attend a live webinar or webcast with their peers remotely. They don’t have to physically be in the same location or even present at the same times to be able to learn from one another anymore. They’ll be able to share learning content with one another during or after live online events, answer one another’s questions in chat windows, and observe and model one another’s behaviors and learning methods in gamified and virtual reality environments.

Succinctly put, social learning won’t outperform on-demand remote learning soon but will allow for it to evolve.

  1. com. Latest Telecommuting Statistics. Accessed 3/22/2018.
  2. eLearning Learning. Social Learning-The New Watercooler. Accessed 3/22/2018.
  3. The Top 10 Business Trends That Will Drive Success In 2018. Accessed 3/22/2018.