Learning Team A: Outline and Overview

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Learning Team A: Outline and Overview by Mind Map: Learning Team A: Outline and Overview

1. Social Learning

1.1. Barriers:

1.1.1. Perhaps the most significant barrier to effective social learning is workplace culture. There are many within the organization who will be resistant to any kind of change, especially change that is technology based. Others barriers to social learning include concerns about productivity and efficiency and security issues. To overcome these barriers, organizations must educate workplace staff and management on the value and benefits of social learning. Organizations should find at least one strong advocate within the company who will work hard to convince others of the value of social learning. To address security concerns, organizations must ensure that they have the proper firewalls, security, bandwidth in place before requiring employees to access certain websites. Organizations should have an employee in-house to track the sites employees visit and to ensure that the network securities remain risk free.

1.2. Role

1.2.1. Social learning is defined as learning with and from others. Please do not confuse social learning with social media. Social media is technology used to engage three or more people while social learning is participating with others to make sense of new ideas. They work well together in a way that not just a marketing strategy but that encourages knowledge transfer. Social media is a tool but social learning is an action. Social learning is an exchange – a way for sharing and discovering options that help us to make more informed decisions about the way we do business. Researchers have found that online social tools provide learners with connections across boundaries and over time and facilitate information discussion and collaboration. Discussion and collaboration are key elements of social learning. Social learning fosters an environment where people readily and easily pick up new knowledge and skills as the world shifts around them.

1.3. Ethics:

1.3.1. Ethical dilemmas that may be encountered within the social learning environment most often deal with employees who misuse the social learning tools provided by using them for their own personal gain. This can include theft of intellectual property, posting personally on social media, and sharing confidential company information. To resolve these dilemmas, companies should develop ethics guidelines and discuss this with their employees before authorizing social learning. Organizations must stress to employees that their usage will be monitored and tracked. Ethical conflicts can be resolved through a monitoring system and reprimands of employees who violate ethics.

1.4. Importance:

1.4.1. The dominant role of technology today now dictates that we find more ways to connect our workforce with others around the world. Through collaborations outside of the traditional boundaries, people can join forces to produce content, goods, and services. With the Internet, information about any topic is readily accessible. Social learning should not be seen as a substitute or replacement for formal training or employee development. Training is still need for compliance, deep learning, and credentialing. Formal development programs are still needed to prepare employees to progress through the organization.

2. Problem Solving through Social Learning

2.1. Role Social Learning plays in addressing business problems

2.1.1. Social Media also allows staff to converse in a less formal and therefore less tense environment. This relaxed atmosphere makes them more willing to accept and offer constructive criticism. Social Media also allows team members to communicate their personality more and makes it less likely for coworkers to senselly attack their character, the way many users are prone to online. Engaging online with each other allows staff members more opportunities to connect and highlight their commonalities.

2.1.2. Social Media holds a significant influence in addressing problems because it can extend the conversation for employees. Brainstorming and collaborating on problems can continue outside of the confines of the office and at the employee’s own time. This frees them from the limitations of having to reserve problem solving to the work day when other pressures make conflict resolution difficult.

2.1.3. A strong social media presence and experience amongst employees also equips them to research and seek out solutions to their problems from other professionals online. Social media accounts offer them a glimpse into other companies and their operations so that they can gather information that may be relevant to solving their own problems.

2.2. Social learning’s affect on employee perception of problems

2.2.1. By communicating via social learning employees can engage with each other and therefore the problem in new ways. The exposure to people and ideas internationally, causes them to better refine their own position while simultaneously making them more open-minded to others. Interacting with a more diverse group helps them to perceive and understand a variety of perspectives. Social learning encourages “thinking outside the box” and may help companies arrive to innovative solutions.

2.2.2. Engaging in social learning alters the way employees perceive and approach problems. Traditional learning, in a lecture style classroom does not encourage independent thinking or problem solving. It also has a minimal amount of team and work and collaboration and therefore participants may be less skilled in effective communication.

2.3. Problem-Solving Similarities and Differences in social learning versus formal training

2.3.1. Many aspects of problem solving are different as you compare social learning and formal training. In formal training there is typically a vertical structure to groups which discourages everyone from participating. With social learning the conversation is horizontally structured and everyone can participate on equal footing. The social learning environment is more collaborative, because it allows participants to converse in their own comfortable space, on their own time. Conversely, formal training places more attention and pressure on participants and this may discourage those that are more timid, new to the company, or those that are less experienced but perhaps not any less qualified. In formal training, knowledge comes from a single source, the instructor. Participants are only exposed to what the instructor chooses to share with them and this limits their potential for learning and for innovation. In social learning, the participants can seek out educators from any field and follow those of most interest to them. There are still similarities however between social learning and formal

2.3.2. There are still similarities however between social learning and formal training. Both share the same mission and objectives, it’s only the method that differs. Both forms of training allow for participant growth and the outcome is newly acquired skills and knowledge that benefits the individual and the team. Both forms of training still embed some form of assessment or demonstrable proof of knowledge, whether they be formal or informal. Social learning also still has instructors or leaders in the program that become sources of information for participants, but they can be multiple and simultaneous sources that the participants seek out on their own. In both learning styles, it is the learner that holds ultimate power over their own experience. It is their own perspective and attitude that will allow the training to be effective.

3. Addressing Business Issues and Strengthening Relationships through Social Learning

3.1. Establishing employees’ perception of power and hierarchy through a social learning environment

3.1.1. Social learning environments can enrich an employee’s own feeling of empowerment within the company and feel that their ideas and contributions are being heard and considered by all of the team members. It also allows all staff members greater access to important conversations about the company’s direction and gives them a way to provide their own input in a safe and flexible safe.

3.1.2. Social learning environments allow for a less vertical or top down discussion amongst employees since they are outside the traditional staff meeting format where leadership speaks and everyone else listens. Traditional forms of discussion in the workplace are typically unilateral and less collaborative. The social learning environment opens up space for more feedback, comments, and constructive criticism between team members.

3.2. Fostering richer relationships among staff with diverse skills through a social learning environment

3.2.1. Social learning environments also allow staff members to converse in a more interactive way, by posting videos and photos and linking their conversations directly to research, other companies, or events. They can more easily share data, interests, and information regarding the company’s mission and strategies.

3.2.2. Social learning environments can foster richer relationships among staff by creating opportunities for ongoing and flexible conversations. Staff have increased access to one another and to the exchange of ideas, outside the confines of the office. This allows staff to share and perform at their own leisure and when they are most comfortable.

3.3. How does social learning affect an organization's goals and objectives?

3.3.1. Social learning and social media can affect an organization’s goals in several ways. On a public level social media can produce more customer engagement and can be used to recruit and retain employees. It can enhance revenue and market presence (Harris, 2011). Internally, social learning can help employees find expertise within the organization, and create more collaboration (Shepherd, 2011).

3.4. What are the indicators of success when assessing the effectiveness of social learning?

3.4.1. There are a number of indicators of success when assessing the effectiveness of social learning. The first is to measure participation and whether employees are using social media and social learning. The next would be to track ongoing relationships and collaboration. Last, would be to determine if these collaborative relationships amongst employees or other stakeholders are affecting the bottom line.

3.5. How does resource allocation affect the overall effectiveness of social learning within an organization?

3.5.1. Resources should be distributed in such a way that collaboration can take place amongst all members.

3.5.2. Using a Learning Management System can help to organize the collaboration and overall effectiveness of social learning (Sparta, 2012).

3.6. How is accountability handled via social learning, such as with usage or policy considerations?

3.6.1. According to Sparta (2012) there are three considerations to take regarding accountability and social learning in business. Firstly, businesses must ensure that employees are prepared to use social media tools through training. Next, social learning activities should be linked to to performance reviews. Last, a general social media policy should be put in place determining what is appropriate.

3.6.2. Harris (2011) states that policy should include such things as data privacy, protection of information, rules of engagement, monitoring, and more.

4. Social Media Tools

4.1. Facebook: Description of the Tool/Benefits/Limitations/Example of Application:

4.1.1. Facebook is an online social networking service that was designed for individuals to connect with people both locally and around the world. Facebook users have personal or professional profiles wherein they provide personal information, pictures, interests, and much more. The purpose of Facebook is to allow people around the world to stay in touch with each other through status updates, pictures, and even create business pages. Facebook can be used to enhance the social learning environment for learners in many ways. Facebook has event and group features that allows users to create and invite people to collaborate together in private or public manner. The events and groups can be used to discuss topics, remind members of events or activities going on, post documents or pictures for the group, etc. The members of the group can keep up through notifications when team members post a question, comment, or share pictures and documents. Overall, Facebook is used by millions around the world so utilizing it within a social learning environment will be effective for all. Most people in today’s society already have a Facebook account so they can utilize it for educational purposes as well as social purposes to create a more engaging learning experience for all learners.

4.2. Collaborize Classroom: Description of the Tool/Benefits/Limitations/Example of Application:

4.2.1. Collaborize Classroom is designed to create an effective social learning environment through the use of online discussion within an organization. Collaborize Classroom allows trainers to extend and supplement their in-person discussions into an online community that is structured and private. Collaborize Classroom saves time for organizations by allowing participants to self-schedule their participation. Having the discussion online also provides participants with a safe space to discuss. Participants that may typically be "spoken over" or "ignored" in a physical environment by more dominant personalities have an equal opportunity to share in Collaborize Classroom. This social media tool also allows the teacher to enrich the discussion with multimedia by embedding Microsoft Office documents, videos, pictures, and PDF's. These features all work together to provide the students with a positive and safe social learning environment where they can express themselves while simultaneously engaging and interacting with others.

4.3. YouTube: Description of the Tool/Benefits/Limitations/Example of Application:

4.3.1. YouTube is an effective tool for social networking and learning. As a social sharing tool, YouTube promotes a less formal learning environment and is more convenient. Simply uploading a quick training video on YouTube allows users to learn at their own pace. YouTube also allows organizations to promote perpetual learning and helps them to save money on training costs. Promoting perpetual learning means that the content on YouTube is available indefinitely. This allows employees to revisit the content as needed in order to enhance their knowledge. In addition to training videos, YouTube can be used to share lectures, presentations, and visual representations. With the YouTube Subscription service, organizations can upload all of this information in one place. Then, employees can view the new content as it is added.

4.4. Edmodo: Description of the Tool/Benefits/Limitations/Example of Application:

4.4.1. Edmodo is a social media tool primarily used in classrooms, but one that is equally effective for staff development. It has the look and ease of the popular social media tool, Facebook, and is thus user friendly for students and all other participants. Teachers and facilitators can make groups within their classes and differentiate assignments or discussions for each group using Edmodo. Assignments, discussion posts, videos and more can be posted on the class page and assignments can be submitted to the teacher or facilitator in the same way. Edmodo links to Google Drive which allows educators, trainers, and participants to access their documents easily and readily. For the elementary educator, there are Common Core State Standard linked assessments called “Snapshots” as well as resource pages so trainers of educators can train teachers to use these services. Edmodo can be used in a classroom, training space, conference, or from home, making it a versatile on-site or distance learning forum.

5. References

5.1. Harris, P. (2011). Collaborate to develop an effective social media policy. Information Management.

5.2. Shepherd, C. (2011). Does social media have a place in workplace learning? Strategic Direction, 27(2), 3-4.

5.3. Sparta, P. (2012). Getting the most out of social learning: utilizing social media in the workplace. Development and Learning in Organizations, 26(2), 16-18.