“WHAT? Let my employees play on Facebook? Are you crazy?” No, turning everyone loose on Facebook is the last thing we had in mind.

SOCIAL LEARNING IN THE WORKPLACE reinforces learning by encouraging engagement and cross-pollination. Learning styles vary by individual, and most people need reinforcement at one time or another. Outside forums, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube each have their place in the eLearning sphere. If management prefers to keep employees behind the firewall, with only a few exceptions, designers and instructors can download YouTube videos, link to specific articles and make them accessible from the Learning Management System (LMS). Alternatively, a company can use an out-of-the-box, in-house social networking solution as part of the eLearning curriculum.

Social learning helps to BREAK DOWN SILOS that begin to build as soon as the entrepreneurial culture starts its transformation to a corporate culture. It creates a sense of community. Further, it provides training wheels for employees not familiar with social networking, and gives them the experience and confidence to participate in social networking after hours, where they can make connections and keep abreast of industry happenings.

Whether your company restricts social learning to in-house social interaction or encourages learning out on the Internet, it’s important to PLAN FOR SOCIAL LEARNING when designing an eLearning program.