Friday, December 16, 2011

Social Learning Platforms Can Be To Training What Yelp Is To Restaurants

All standalone social learning platforms I have seen so far focus on what I consider generic collaboration features such as a profile and discussion forums, and simple content creation tools such as a wiki, blog, and comments. I wonder what these tools have to do with learning. These tools can help a project get done for sure or serve as a team space. But how are these platforms enabling learning? To the best of my knowledge, standalone social learning platforms have not been received well by customers who buy them and users who are expected to use them.

I think one area where a learner's social network can help is to pick formal training programs. Many organizations have hundreds of courses listed in a formal learning management system, where those courses languish without anyone looking at them. Those course lists can be selectively surfaced in an appropriate place where learners can see who took the course and what they said about the course. That, I think, is a meaningful way to provide value to learners using their social network. Social learning platforms should be to formal training catalogs, what Yelp is to restaurants.

What do you think?

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