Making elearning social
26th August 2014
The power of the web and all its affiliate digital platforms has paved the way for more and more digital interaction between users.
Individuals on opposite sides of the globe can now socialise as if they were sat in the same room together. Elearning too, is seeing the benefits of learners connecting with each other no matter where they are.
Organisational learning and collaborating with other learners is an essential part of getting the very most out of a learning experience. Online learning platforms that combine social features are one of the very best ways to achieve the most satisfying outcomes from all participants. Allowing engagement with others as well as with the content provides added benefits for learners.
Gamification in elearning
One of the most accessible ways of achieving social learning is through gamification. With technology coming ever more to the forefront of our working lives, and playing games being something that most people actively enjoy, it seems natural that gaming and technology should go hand in hand with one another. What’s more, gaming is addictive, and if you can successfully build it into your elearning platform then you’re onto a winner.
Gamification can embrace many different teaching strategies and always works best when progression through the game is made hand-in-hand with the game’s increasing complexity. Building a game around the usage of training materials in the workplace breeds the healthy engagement of participants, as well as naturally giving rise to their competitive inclinations.
The beauty of this is that the desire to win translates into the desire to learn, to know the most and be the best. The rewards for achievement can also be a platform for a working people-development strategy. The more rewards a learner acquires, the higher the recognition, which can be translated to the ‘real’ forms of recognition in the workplace – more responsibilities, leadership roles, and even pay rises and career advancement.
Elearning can allow managers to build their own reward systems for employees who are training on the job using gamification techniques. Indeed, gamification can be integrated into any elearning course, which will help bring these courses to life by putting something measurable – i.e. the recognition, points or rewards up for grabs – at stake for participants.
One of the most common and best ways of structuring a social elearning course is through the use of experience points. The manager sets this up by allocating a set amount of experience points each learner must earn before being allowed to progress through to the next, more complex level of his or her learning content.
Experience points can be achieved however the manager sees fit, although to continue to promote the level of user engagement with the learning material, viewing, commenting and contributing to the learning content is the most usual and often the most useful means by which to achieve the most desired outcomes.
Keep it social with peer assessments
Another way to integrate the point system is to give learners some of the power themselves to allocate experience points to their co-workers. This, again, constantly refreshes the social aspect of the elearning experience for all. By encouraging learners to think, discuss and reflect upon other learners’ content additions, and then cast votes upon those that they deem the most valuable, social engagement of the elearning platform is guaranteed, with discussions generated and the best solutions to problems whittled down in collaboration between all participants.
Social elearning can be even further encouraged by the development of multiple choice and discussion questions to be peer marked first before the manager casts his or her eye over the work that is being produced. This can all be integrated into the in-built assessment criteria that learners must achieve before being allowed to progress to the next level of their learning.
The gamification of elearning is completely customisable to any platform that you already have in place. What’s more, the technology available to start implementing the gamification of your content can be optimised for any device, be it phone, tablet, laptop or desktop, ensuring a sociable, technological and visually rich experience for all users and participants.
Using social elearning elements to get your workers talking and competing can be great for increasing engagement, effectiveness, and in turn, productivity.