Social Learning: Implementation in Classrooms and Workplaces

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In social learning, each person learns from the other. It involves observing, participating in, and creating a culture, a group of people who share a common curiosity about the world. Creating a culture of sharing and learning with others is one of the best ways to learn.

I’m about to walk you through the process of implementing social learning in a classroom or workplace. This is truly important because it will help to improve everything from student performance to job satisfaction and retention. Once you have this fundamental knowledge, your results will be extraordinary.

What is Social Learning?

Social learning is based on the assumption that people learn from and are influenced by others. Human behavior can be learned from direct experience or imitation of others. This is the belief of social learning theorists and behaviorists.

Social learning happens when people come together to share knowledge and experience. Rather than learning only from teachers, students also learn from each other, learning as a community as well as individually. 

Having a good relationship with teachers and receiving feedback is one of the benefits of social learning. Students become more active in their studies, their relationships with teachers improve, and they receive more feedback as a result.

How Does Social Learning Work?

According to Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, this type of learning works based on four principles. They are:

1. Attention

People learn good behavior and bad behavior by watching other people. They need to pay attention to the behavior and its consequences, so they can decide if it’s a good or bad thing. If it is a good thing, and some people do it, then more people will do it.

2. Retention

How well do you remember what you learned? If a person is going to copy what the other person did, they will have to remember it. If you don’t remember it, then you can’t copy it.

It is important that you can remember it later, so you can learn it again. It is hard for people to remember how other people behave, so they sometimes perform it wrong, or not at all. 

3. Reproduction

It is very common to observe someone doing something and want to imitate them. This is not just the case for young children but also for adults who are observing others. For example, you may see someone else riding a bicycle and wish that you could do the same. 

You may even try it out but then find that you just cannot move in the way that the other person does. Reproduction deals with the ability to perform what someone else does without mistakes.

4. Motivation 

If people want to do something because they enjoy it, then they’re more likely to do the same thing again. If they don’t enjoy it, they’re probably not going to do it again. To do a behavior (an action like climbing) you must have the right amount of motivation. 

In a nutshell, social learning works as both a process and a theory. It describes the process whereby an individual or group modifies their thinking and actions based on observed or experienced events. Social learning is most effective when users provide at least some contribution for others to learn from. 

The Benefits of Social Learning

1. Generates effective communication and encourages collaboration

Social learning is a situation in which people learn from other people, rather than from more traditional sources, such as teachers and experts. Social learning enables effective communication and encourages collaboration, resulting in faster learning.

SEE: Why is communication important in a team 

2. Create a free-flowing exchange of ideas

The idea behind social learning is that collaboration results in a better outcome than what each individual could achieve independently. Simply, it’s a learning process where people in a group can learn something they didn’t know before. 

They do so by observing and talking with others.  This exchange allows them to convey information, share ideas, and make connections between new and existing information.

3. Students/employees can learn in their own time

Social learning is a concept whereby a large number of people learn from each other’s experiences, ideas, and knowledge. Individuals who practice social learning become motivated when they see the relevance that their learning can be to others. And the advantage of this is that students can learn more effectively in their own time and at their speed.

SEE: Self-learning

4. Improves productivity and innovation

Social learning is a key driver of innovation and is critical to knowledge creation. Knowledge can only be created when people collaborate in a way that promotes learning. For this to happen, people need to be able to take ideas from each other and build on them.

5. People can learn through observation 

While “learning by doing” (doing is the best way to learn, right?) is a respected learning process, there’s also a lot of wisdom in learning through observation. 

Learning happens best when people are given opportunities to see and do things rather than merely being lectured. 

Social learning highlights the key importance of observation, imitation, modeling, and social interaction as ways for people to learn new skills, knowledge, or behaviors.

How to Properly Implement Social Learning in Classrooms 

1. Consider the learner’s needs

The first step in learning how to properly implement social learning in the classroom is to consider the needs of your students. Think about the following; 

  • What do they need to learn? 
  • How can you accomplish this? 
  • Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced teacher? 
  • Will you be using this learning process as an extension of your course materials or just supplementing them with an additional activity?

The goal is to teach students using methods that meet their needs rather than simply having them read from a textbook. But it is more than that. To ensure your students’ engagement in whatever lesson you are teaching, you need to pay attention to detail.

2. Identify what to teach

While people prefer to learn through hands-on experiences, others prefer transferring the knowledge by watching videos, and some others would prefer a structured guide. The best way to learn social learning is by identifying what you want to teach and how you want to teach it. 

By properly identifying your subjects, you will have success in each class. Therefore, you must define your style of teaching and the resources you need before the start of the course.

SEE: Types of learning

3. Engage your students and ask them to participate actively 

Asking students to participate after each presentation or lecture is a great way to get them involved in the class. The key is to make things interesting and fun for them. You can ask your students to post interesting questions that you can use when you teach the following unit. 

Furthermore, you can ask them to experiment with the new idea or concept, which may lead to other concepts or ideas that you discussed in class. This will engage them and teach them valuable lessons as well.

SEE: Effective tips to increase online course engagement

4. Use tools that facilitate social learning

The use of technology in the classroom is not only for the sake of teaching, but also to enhance social learning. When it comes to implementing social learning, your tools should support you. 

There are some great apps, websites, and software that help you plan and execute this learning process. 

This can be used for e-learning or in schools as part of the curriculum. Teachers should also keep in mind when using social learning tools that the tool must align with students’ needs and interests.

SEE: Digital education tools for teachers and students  

5. Set goals and measure success

Goals are the standard by which success is measured. Without goals, success is impossible to achieve. It takes more than writing down a list of tasks with dates of completion to set goals. You also need specific measures by which you can track progress and evaluate results.

How to Properly Implement Social Learning in the Workplace

As an employer, you have the power to completely transform your business—from a more efficient place to one with higher revenue and productivity. Here I have created a simple guide for you on how to use social learning in the workplace.

1. Define your objectives 

The first step to implementing social learning in the workplace is defining what you hope to accomplish from it. Most employers want to improve employee collaboration, customer service, and customer retention. 

The best way to accomplish these goals is to implement social learning programs that allow employees to work together to streamline workflows and reduce waste. This cohesion leads directly to better performance as teamwork increases and ideas flow more freely.

2. Select the participants and how they will participate in the program

If you have tried a social learning platform before and did not get the results you wanted, it may have been because you didn’t implement the system correctly. It is crucial to select participants wisely based on their personalities, interests, and skills. If this is your first time trying the social learning technique, please ask an expert first.

3. Explain why social learning is critical to your organization’s success

An effective employee training program is one of the biggest keys to an organization’s success… but what if there were more? What if you could harness and engage everyone in your organization to be a part of the learning process?

Social learning allows for an endless growth of business opportunities. The adoption of this learning process will allow companies to transform their employees into the next big thing. It allows the company to change and improve daily without having to wait for something to happen. 

SEE: Why is employee training important? 

4. Take action with diverse groups and sources to get the best results

The workplace is filled with people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. But if you want to help everyone work together, you need to know how to harness their collective intelligence – something group performance technologies can do for you.

Furthermore, keeping your position as an employer on top requires reliable, up-to-date information. Learning from others’ experiences and sharing information through online resources is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition. 

Find ways to increase employee engagement, acquire new talent, and improve performance using innovative practices.

SEE: Multicultural learning

5. Measure your rewards and improvements

Assessing the value of social learning to your employees and your company as a whole will help you determine where to invest time, energy, and resources. It will also pay off when you are measuring your rewards, trying new methods, or making your case for more resources to fund future projects.

FAQs

Is social learning right for your organization?

Yes. With all of the information out there, it can be worth your time to invest in social learning for your organization.

Employees who are actively engaged in a learning community tend to have higher performance as well as satisfaction in their jobs and higher morale.

How can you track the effectiveness of social learning in a business setting?

Social learning is the process of adapting and improving work practices, products, and services by observing others. 

As a manager, you can track the effectiveness of social learning in your organization by monitoring how often employees observe each other. Also check whether their behavior changes based on their observations, and how well they perform their jobs in comparison to coworkers. Above all, check if the observable behavior leads to improved results.

Who should use social learning?

It is for everyone. Business teams, schools, and informal groups can benefit from it. The format allows them to receive feedback as they work on a project, ask questions when they need support, develop critical thinking skills, and get motivated and inspired by the things they learn.

Final Thoughts 

There is no doubt that social learning will continue to gain popularity and make its mark in the educational industry. But when you look at the topic of social learning for businesses, it is important to note that there are several challenges. 

Employees have different starting points, circumstances, and needs. Implementing social learning strategies in businesses is more complicated than in the classroom environment because of this fact. 

To ensure successful implementation in your workplace, take time to examine each of your team members’ circumstances and needs. Learn about the training employees must undergo. Please read the article on important training for employees.

Thanks for reading.