Social networking and the ease of communication that technology has brought have forever changed the way we interact. These tools have also changed the way we learn. Social collaboration integrated with learning management is a new trend in interactive learning management systems.

Leaders in the learning management systems industry have embraced social networking and collaboration as tools in their software and systems. This integration of social networking and collaboration in learning management has been tied to workforce innovation and productivity. These new tools facilitate workforce cohesion and make sharing information a whole lot easier.

According to a Chief Learning Officer post on web-based learning and collaboration,

“By breaking out of the traditional “formal” and “informal” learning silos — and embracing the synergy that exists between these two areas — organizations open themselves up to potentially greater results, including more productive employees, shorter time to competency for new employees and partners, and more engaged employees."

Social collaboration as it relates to learning can be part of formal and informal training and learning management. As companies strive to figure out the best medium for the delivery of information, it’s important to turn to the experts. Every industry and each employee have their best practice ways to convey different types of subject matter. Finding what works for your company should part of the dialogue between software providers and company decision makers.

There are several different ways companies can incorporate social collaboration into their learning management systems such as blogs, podcasts, forums and mobile apps. While these tools don’t bring new information to the table, they are more user-friendly, promote collaboration and allow learning on the go, anytime, anywhere.

The addition of social collaboration to learning management is all about making the process easier for everyone. Instead of flying 150+ people out to Las Vegas for a conference at which most attendees will be too hung over to remember, you can offer a podcast, a 24/7 knowledge library, online videos or expert advice on the company blog.

These tools also allowed for a seamless relationship between informal learning and formal training. Those on the job tips and tricks that employees learn through experience and collaboration can now be integrated into the formal training process. When companies facilitate this union between formal training and informal learning it ensures compliance and consistency. For instance, someone who isn’t afraid to seek advice or guidance might have a leg up on the employee who prefers to stay to themself. The addition of social collaboration to the LMS places everyone on the same field with the same opportunities to learn.

As learning management systems grow with social media, employees are given optimized forms of learning and training and employers are able to document their progress. Companies can offer social collaboration and networking to their employees, but if it is not tracked through a system or software, there is no way to prove that employees are actually seeking out and retaining the information. Social collaboration should be a part of the learning management system to fully ensure compliance and enhance the employee’s opportunity to learn and grow within the company.

Check out our main blog here.

photo credit: JefferyTurner via photopin cc

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