Social media continues to grow worldwide. Facebook, Twitter and Yammer are becoming more accepted tools in the workplace, due to their mass networking capabilities. As learning consultants, we need to take a tip from the social media craze, and determine ways to leverage it in our online courses. One way to do this is by using social media as a tool to supplement collaboration online.
Group collaboration has aided in the success of classroom learning for a long time. However, with the introduction of online learning, not all the instructional strategies that apply to the classroom are as effective in the online environment. For those of us in learning and development, we need to take responsibility for making group collaboration part of our elearning solutions. Social media and social learning platforms provide new ways to do this.
Elearning has to be fun, collaborative, and interactive to keep the learners’ attention. One way to achieve this is through group collaboration. But many efforts to bring this concept into the online environment are faltering. Some elearning courses do not have any collaborative activities or interactions. Learners do not have any chance to work with other learners; therefore losing the learning value of collaboration.
Social constructionism involves the need for collaboration. People learn by expressing something for others to see, understanding the context of others, and observing their peers. Traditional elearning courses do not facilitate social interaction with other learners. We can now fill this void by connecting learners on social media or social learning platforms to discuss application of the elearning course content. Using these platforms, learners can communicate with each other instantly, and reach a broad audience. We can design our e-learning to use social media as part of our activities, interactions, and research. By embracing social media as a tool for e-learning collaborative efforts, we can continue to improve the learning experience of online learners.