Social Learning—Scaling a Blended Learning Management Software

This three-part series explores the essential components of building a blended learning program at work. Part 1 considers the merits of centralizing training in an online learning management system. Part 2 discusses how to implement instructor-led training, or live training, into a blended learning program. And finally, Part 3 investigates the merits and demerits of social learning. Our goal? To help you and your team learn more effectively, practice essential skills, and Do Better Work. Let’s dive in!

Humans learn a lot. Every day, we’re taking in countless pieces of data—facts, figures, that song lyric, this tasty candy, the facial reactions of our colleagues, the emotional responses of our loved ones, and hundreds more. Almost magically, our brains make sense of this information. Those raw inputs turn into actionable insights…and voila, we’ve learned something! Hopefully, it’s a helpful something.

There have been thousands of pages written discussing various theories about how humans learn. One of these theories is social learning. Studied most famously by Albert Bandura, social learning is the idea that we learn most effectively watching the behavior that is being modeled by those around us. For example, if toddler #1 sees toddler #2 being punished for stealing toys, social learning says that toddler #1 will be less likely to steal toys.

So what does all this have to do with a corporate learning management software (LMS)?

Let’s replace our two toddlers with two sales reps. Alex has been on the team for two years, while Bree just joined two weeks ago. Social learning says that Bree will take her cues for how to be a great account executive from Alex—the good stuff and the bad. That means that leaders can’t let their teams drift through training unintentionally. For those who buy in to social learning, peer-to-peer interactions will be far more informative than a binder of rules and best practices—any of day of the week.

That’s why fantastic training programs are one of the greatest assets that a client-facing team can have in their toolbelt. If peer-to-peer, social learning is inevitable—and it is—why wouldn’t we want to try and model more of the good stuff and less of the bad? A modern LMS should make it easy for the best sales reps, call center agents, or anyone in between to quickly document how they do their jobs and model it for the rest of team with online training content. That’s why we created Lessonly to be powerfully simple—as easy as writing an email. When a team is enabled with a tool to encourage social learning, more of it starts to happen.

Encyclopedia Britannica notes that psychologists have discovered three stages of social learning:

“…Exposure to the responses of others…”

In order to socially learn, we have to see how the other person behaves. That means bringing the most mission-critical behaviors into the limelight as much as possible. A training software with a great user interface makes creating online courses remarkably simple.

“…Acquisition of what an individual sees…”

It’s not enough to simply be exposed to ideas or content, we have to internalize it. That’s why practice is an irreplaceable discipline for any expert. Watching a video of someone else’s sales pitch isn’t the same as a rep delivering the pitch themselves. Add in receiving feedback from managers, trainers, and peers, and the result is an ideal knowledge retention loop.

“…Subsequent acceptance of the modeled act as a guide for one’s own behavior.”

Now that we’ve seen the action (learned) and acquired it (practiced), it’s time to make it our own (perform). A cloud-based or web-based lms platform ensures that this learn, practice, perform cycle can happen anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Here’s an example of this social learning in action:

Jack is the most experienced sales rep on the team. He explains the products in a way that resonates—and he closes the most deals as a result. When he’s explaining a new product or runs into a new competitor, rather than keeping it to himself, Jack creates a quick lesson or video demo in Lessonly to model his pitch for the entire sales team. He also provides an optional chance to practice the new pitch via video. The LMS gave him the tools to share with every sales rep on the team and create a practice opportunity—and as a result, everyone does better work and closes more deals.

Don’t get us wrong, social learning means a lot of different things to different people. But at Lessonly, it’s all about highlighting what’s working on our team. Our teammates want to do great—let’s make sure they know what it looks like. Ready to encourage social learning on your own team? A forward-thinking LMS is the best place to start.

Do Better Work with Lessonly’s learning management software

Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that helps teams learn, practice, and perform like never before. Propel employees towards success with effective onboarding and ongoing training. Learn more and demo Lessonly today.

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