We have recently launched a range of bite sized, mobile and social elearning for matrix management, virtual teams and global working. We focused on social as one of our three key propositions.

Here the 6 key benefits that we see social bringing to our offer:

1. It brings an emotional content and energy to learning through technology. One of the great advantages of face-to-face learning is that you can communicate your commitment, passion and enthusiasm more easily. As a trainer you can feel the energy when participants get behind the concept and this tends to increase the likelihood that they and others will implemented the concept or tool.

It can be hard to replicate this online, we based our elearning on short, bite-size video with a high degree of animation and movement but the social component brings additional validation, energy and engagement.

2. It captures the nuances and applications to a particular corporate or national culture. Obviously as an external provider we are not the experts in your culture; comments and social interaction can help people discuss how they apply the concepts in their own context.

3. It captures peer-to-peer learning. In our elearning tool we have peer-to-peer learning functionality where individuals can, at the click of a button, share video from their phone or webcam or share links to useful documents, videos or other resources. Some organisations are even investing in peer-to-peer only platforms. This works well when all knowledge is already inside the organisation – perhaps in areas like discussing your own products. In other areas it’s useful to have the stimulus of an external subject matter expert bringing new ideas and learning to stimulate the peer-to-peer discussion and comments on application.

4. Research shows that a lot of learning is social. People are more likely to try techniques they see others of their peers attempting. It’s also difficult for a lone individual to make a change in the way they work. Elearning helps us get the message across to a critical mass of people and social connection helps support us in the implementation of these ideas.

5. Social learning can increase innovation. When delegates with different experiences and from different parts of the business bring their different perspectives to the learning they will uncover new applications and consequences. As people discuss their experiences with implementing the learning, the quality of execution increases and more people are encouraged to give it a try.

6. Social learning connects us to informal and on-the-job learning. There are various models that suggest that most learning happens on the job rather than a formal learning context. Social elearning allows people to “learn and return”, bring back their experiences of applying the learning in their real context. In some of our applications, clients have asked us to stay involved in moderating and adding to comments so the social learning context also includes subject matter experts. Good elearning comment and peer-to-peer learning systems give us a place to capture and share this learning in an informal context.

As an elearning provider, we are really looking forward to see what our participants choose to comment on and share as we believe this will be a rich source of learning for us in the future too.

If you like to find out about our approach to elearning, take a look at our launch video here

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About the author:

Kevan Hall Kevan Hall is a CEO, author, speaker and trainer in matrix management, virtual teams and global working. He is the author of "Speed Lead - faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies, "Making the Matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity", and the "Life in a Matrix" podcasts, videos, cartoons and blog. He is CEO and founder of Global Integration. Company profile: .

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