Social learning is taking education and training programs by storm. Social media has been introduced into online training courses as a way to increase student engagement and incorporate informal learning (which is estimated to account for about 70 to 80 percent of workplace learning) into formal training programs.
Using social media not only provides a way for employees to communicate during the training process, but also helps them build connections and relationships that will benefit both the employees and the businesses in the long run. Social media effectively extends the classroom, both during the training and long after it’s over. Results of a recent study by the Aberdeen Group showed that having an extensive digital network increased employees’ productivity by about 7 percent.
But for businesses, using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter can be risky—more than one major company has been publicly embarrassed and had to issue apologies over their employees’ tweets. The risk of using social media in training programs goes beyond an employee saying something that casts the company in a not-so-favorable light: employees might inadvertently reveal proprietary or competitive information. When it comes to social media and workplace training, companies need more privacy and better control.
Here are 8 great social learning tools that businesses can use in their training programs with full confidence:
Convo allows businesses to create private social networks for collaboration and idea and file sharing. It is unique in that it goes far beyond standard chat and messaging capabilities to let users have “visual conversations” utilizing a variety of tools and media types.
Fusetalk provides communication solutions for medium to large businesses. The application is based on discussion forums, but also includes wikis, blogs, and chat capabilities.
HipChat is a group chat and private messaging software package used by businesses of all sizes. Trainees can collaborate and share files in private chat rooms, via either computers or mobile devices.
ProProfs provides several training solutions for businesses. In addition to elearning development software and a full learning management system, ProProfs has applications for making quizzes, surveys, polls, and flashcards. Employees use these applications for group collaboration and studying, as well as share the products through intranet sites and private social networks.
Stormboard is a brainstorming tool groups can use for collaborative problem solving, decision making, and much more. Using a virtual sticky note model, users can share and prioritize ideas and generate reports. Private boards are available for a small monthly fee.
Tumblr, a popular blogging services, has an option for creating private blog groups, which require a password to access. Blogging creates a different type of social interaction than discussion forums or instant messaging. Employees can reflect and write about course material individually and then read and comment on one another’s ideas.
Yammer is a private social network for businesses. Employees can join groups, post messages, share documents, and more. In training programs, Yammer can be used as for group collaboration and to help employees develop their own personal learning networks across the organization.
Xmarks is a social bookmarking tool that allows users to select what bookmarks to share and with whom. This is a great way for employees to discover and share web content related to their training.
Gone are the days of employees snoozing through training seminars and then instantly forgetting everything they learned. Just like education, workplace and corporate training programs are going more interactive and more social, which makes them more fun for employees and more beneficial for organizations. These tools can help businesses introduce social learning into their training program in a safe, secure, and better controlled environment.
Kamy Anderson is a ed-tech veteran with a particular interest in e learning and modern technology since long time .