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Leveraging Social Learning in LXPs for Collaborative Knowledge Sharing

written by Asma A. Shaikh January 12, 2024
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A lot has been said, written and researched about the way we humans learn and acquire new skills. Undoubtedly, our interaction with others plays a significant role in influencing our learning journey. This fundamental concept of informal learning, better known as social learning, forms an important feature of Learning Experience Platforms or LXPs.

LXPs come with a number of features that are specifically designed to facilitate social learning and knowledge collaboration among learners. These features are one of the main reasons why so many organizations are increasingly preferring to invest in LXPs today.

In this blog, we will explore in detail how LXPs facilitate the process of social learning and which features should you look for in your LXP if you want to focus on social learning for your organization.

How Social Learning Works

Most of what we know about the theory of social learning today was developed by psychologist Albert Bandura, along with his doctoral student Richard Walters, during the 1950s. In a simplified sense, social learning says that humans enhance their learning when engaged in a collective educational experience.

Moreover, this collaborative approach tends to foster better retention of information and this holds true for all learning including workplace learning. Research indicates that informal learning accounts for a substantial portion, ranging from 70% to 90%, of workplace learning.

At the core of social learning lies the primary idea of interaction, inherently characterized by reciprocity. In the field of professional training, these interactions gain more importance as all learners share common interests and are collectively striving to acquire specific skills.

LXPs and Social Learning

Before getting into the details of how LXPs enable social learning, it is essential to touch upon what LXPs are. An LXP is an online tool designed to deliver personalized learning experiences for each individual employee. Within an LXP, the training pathway for each learner evolves dynamically over time, catering to their changing needs and preferences.

Today’s modern LXP powered by artificial intelligence (AI) foster social learning by connecting learners with both their peers and subject matter experts. It enables effortless sharing of content among employees, cultivating a collaborative atmosphere where they can exchange insights from their learning journeys and common interests. Leveraging AI algorithms, the platform facilitates the pairing of learners at comparable stages, promoting collaborative learning, knowledge exchange and mutual support.

Learners can also take an active role in their learning process by contributing a variety of content, such as articles, videos, podcasts, presentations etc that their peers/colleagues can access. This transformation into proactive contributors and creators enhances their learning journey, shifting it from passive information consumption to a more enriched and participatory experience.

While navigating through peer-recommended content and exploring the LXP, learners are also actively customizing their own learning journeys. LXPs even leverage AI technology or chatbots to suggest content tailored to users’ past activities or assessment results, thereby creating a genuinely personalized learning experience for each individual.

Benefits of Social Learning with LXPs

In LXPs, the emphasis is placed significantly on the interactions among learners and between learners and trainers, placing these connections at the core of professional training. The advantages of this approach become very apparent when considering the social learning theory.

Throughout our lives, we have acquired skills by observing and emulating those in our surroundings, and communication with others has played a pivotal role in gaining a comprehensive understanding of various subjects. LXPs essentially offer a means to implement this approach in an online setting.

The significance of social learning becomes more evident when we examine the consequences of its absence. For instance, consider e-learning that often has employees watching videos and completing assessments in isolation. It is a mode that lacks substantial social interaction between learners and their trainers or team members. It is hardly surprising then that this approach frequently results in reduced motivation, ultimately leading to a significant number of individuals failing to complete the course.

On the other hand, thanks to the social learning feature, LXPs focus on user experience and effectively maintain employee engagement, leading to a reduction in drop-off rates. These platforms create an environment that appreciates the social dimension of learning and welcomes the contributions of each individual. Besides, the accessibility of the platform is inclusive, allowing everyone to participate, regardless of their location.

Another advantage is that LXPs enable employees to enter social learning spaces through their smartphones or any other device as per their convenience. Many LXPs simplify mobile learning access, being compatible with all devices and equipped with a dedicated app.

This flexibility allows users to reach training content anytime and from any location. Moreover, by emulating the interface of familiar apps, LXPs contribute to making training feel like an organic and integrated part of the learner’s daily life.

In general, by cultivating a community spirit and interaction, LXPs establish an immersive and supportive learning environment known to boost knowledge retention and facilitate the exchange of ideas. These social interactions and shared learning experiences significantly impact employee morale, leading to an increased level of learner engagement.

How L&D can Make the Most of Social Learning in LXP

LXPs equipped with advanced reporting features, make it simpler than before to monitor the progress of learners. Utilizing this data provides L&D teams with an opportunity to enhance the overall quality of the training in the long term. Moreover, the intuitive interface and automation of certain labor-intensive tasks by LXPs contribute to the ease of managing training programs.

Some may think engaging with an LXP’s social learning feature (by its nature of encouraging peers to learn from each other) in a way means departing slightly from the traditional form of teaching where it is the instructors who are imparting knowledge to learners.

However, this is not the case. LXPs in no way make the trainer’s role obsolete. On the contrary, trainers and L&D teams continue to play a crucial role in assisting learners to acquire new skills, by guiding groups and facilitating social interaction. A virtual classroom is a great example of how this facilitation of interaction is made possible within the context of LXPs and social learning.

Arguably the most crucial benefit of the social learning feature in the LXP is its effectiveness in sustaining learner engagement, and the fact that it significantly enhances the likelihood of employees acquiring new skills with greater ease. Consequently, this increased engagement can lead to improved individual performance, in turn, contributing to enhanced overall company performance.

Parting Thoughts

LXPs enhance social learning by promoting user interactions and creating a collaborative space for knowledge sharing among learners and instructors. With AI and personalized content recommendations, LXPs tailor the learning experience to individual preferences.

These platforms encourage active engagement, allowing users to contribute their content and transform the learning process into an interactive journey. Through accessibility on various devices, including smartphones, LXPs seamlessly integrate training into learners’ routines, creating a sense of community and engagement.

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Asma A. Shaikh

As the Co-founder and Managing Director at Enthral, Asma plays a pivotal role in the company’s mission to facilitate digital learning transformations across global enterprises. An expert in Solutioning, Operations Management, Business Development and Business Relationship Management, she leads Enthral’s Sales, Operations and Customer Success teams. Through her 23+ years of experience in the learning domain, Asma has held leadership roles at several prominent ed tech companies. Prior to founding Enthral in 2009, Asma spearheaded the development of custom eLearning solutions, directed large teams and managed enterprise accounts based out of North America. Asma has a degree in Management from Symbiosis, Pune and is a Certificate holder as a Professional in Learning and Performance from the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).

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