Why Social Learning Is The Need Of The Hour

People learn by observing and imitating others. Thus, social learning is the most natural form of learning, where a learner learns from as well as with other learners. You need to know how to use it, and the benefits it can offer your organization, which is what is discussed in this article.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Essential Design Tips For Implementing Emotional Learning

As Pink says in the book ‘A Whole New Mind’: “It’s no longer sufficient to create a product, a service, an experience, or a lifestyle that’s merely functional. Today, it’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.” Design is utility enhanced by significance. The content this eBook covers is its utility. The exercises, visuals, fonts, and other elements that make it a pleasure to read constitute its significance. For a long time, design could be afforded by only a privileged few. However, in the last couple of decades, design has become affordable and this has helped organizations and businesses, which focus on design, emerge as winners in the race among equally priced, equal-quality products/services.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

6 Social Learning Tips To Enhance Your Blended Learning Strategy

Many companies are choosing the blended learning strategy because of its function for their employees. It combines eLearning and traditional in-person learning with different digital technologies. As the blended learning strategy is trending, it can also incorporate the social learning practice. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Build a Participatory Culture to Engage Learners (Learning Thursday #16)

Check out the last Learning Thursday article on connected learning here.

In a participatory culture, individuals take an objective into their own hands with the intention of achieving a collective goal.  In the classroom, instructors can create a participatory culture that drives their learning process forward, with the intention of building knowledge. Interactions within the learning community lead to group knowledge greater than the sum of the individuals.  Educational technology provides the practical structure individuals need to collaborate and pass on knowledge.

In a participatory learning culture, each subject matter expert is also a learner.  Different mediums and topics are offered for public consumption, and contributors often don’t care whether they make money off of what they’ve created.  They just want to share their passions.  To me, participatory learning cultures are an example of education being driven by love.

The Harry Potter Alliance is an example of a collective effort intended to create change in a number of social and cultural issues.  The 100,000+ students who are part of the alliance incite major social changes. They pursue new legislation and are capable of gathering massive charitable contributions.  These accomplishments are possible because a number of individuals chose to be motivated by their unified passions.

How can the concept of collaboration be applied to classroom experiences, and how can we enable teachers to deliver such experiences?  In considering my own work for Adobe, I think about the Adobe eLearning community.  Community members are spread across the world, and they interact through a combination of Adobe conferences and smaller events, on-site classes, virtual classes, and an online community.  Adobe also participates in outside events and communities, such as the Association for Talent Development’s conferences, and web sites like Training Magazine Network.

Adobe’s community members create projects, share what they’ve done, and troubleshoot each other’s issues. The community’s collective imagination is applied to a topic, problem, or project. This makes everyone’s projects better, and over time, it helps Adobe enhance products by listening to customer feedback.

A similar knowledge building process occurs in wikis.  There’s a certain amount of chaos – one person generates the idea for an article, others begin contributing, some information is correct, some is not, revisions occur, sometimes facts are debated to determine validity… and this cycle goes on for as long as necessary in order to finally reach a relatively finished product.

The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, discussed how contributors on Wikipedia are essentially building and revising an encyclopedia collectively.  While anyone can submit revisions, there are 600-700 “core contributors” who work together, build the majority of articles, and critique each other’s work.  Often one person will start an article and others will get excited and begin helping to build it.  Every article reflects diversity of thought, which is a key benefit of the wiki format.  Having multiple individuals contribute leads to a more neutral and balanced viewpoint.

One key aspect of the participatory culture is that learning and teaching can occur at the same time, in a complex real world environment.  Individuals could be analyzing content, and reflecting on how their own knowledge and experiences tie in, while at the same time contemplating what they can add to enhance what already exists.

If you’re interested in creating a participatory culture for your corporate training program, check out Adobe Captivate Prime.  You can create discussion boards for your learners, and Prime’s built-in editing tool allows them to create and share videos, audio, and much more.  Here’s a demo of Prime’s social learning features.  And here’s a recent webinar I presented on ways to engage learners without breaking the bank.

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.


The post Build a Participatory Culture to Engage Learners (Learning Thursday #16) appeared first on eLearning.


Nearly all of us share something online, be it twitter LinkedIn Facebook WhatsApp etc. Whether it’s your coffee, dinner, family party, links to a blog post, news article, environmental or political commentry, etc. We share, and that’s fine.

Continuing from my last post about how I and you use those platforms, this is a post how we are seen to be using them.

When I share a link or article I’ll usually try and change the default tweet/share title to something that is more like my style. That will also give me the opportunity to explain why this is important enough to shared, and for you to understand why I shared it too. What part of the content am I interested in, should you be interested, do I agree with the sentiment in the article or am I being critical. Heck, am I being sarcastic and mocking it? I can answer ‘yes’ to all of the above, probably on a daily basis!

Here’s the thing. If you follow me online you will see a notification in your feed when I ‘like’ something. Even if you see the ‘like’ you won’t know what that is supposed to mean. Do I actually ‘like’ it or saving for later or something else? What it might actually mean is ‘I’m saving this for later to read properly’. The ‘like’ also gives the author/originator a false economy on the ‘success’ of their post. The ‘like’ is also a mechanism for seeing (this is what the algorithms are interested in) my history, what I read and what, again, is important to me and building a picture of me and then serving content based on this. Even if it’s not.

Example – what do I read into a situation, or am supposed to read into a situation, when a friend ‘like’s an article about toxic workplace culture, immature leadership, ineffective management, good practice at interviews, CV writing, etc? Does it mean they relate to this because they’re suffering here? Is the content important to them because they even believe they work in or actually the leaders in this environment? Should I ask if everything’s alright? See, the simple share is a world of hurt being opened up.

What if my work colleagues ‘like’ the same kind of content? Does this mean they think of their environment, and by association my working environment, as being toxic, immature, ineffective, bullying, abusive, etc? Have I missed something, are the undertones and whispered conversations hiding something from me … heck, is it me? Should I confront it, should I pass it to others and gauge their response … ??

Context. The simple ‘like’ has no context, not is it an accurate reflection of how people use it. It can be misunderstood, exaggerated, abused, and at worse. This is why I really lamented the loss of the Twitter ‘favourite’ (even though many didn’t use it as a ‘favourite’ either, but that’s another story). But at least that title wasn’t quite so open to confusion as ‘like’.

What we should have is a ‘sentiment’ option. A series of options beyond the superficial ‘like’ would be more useful, something that actually reflect the sentiment I’m feeling to the shared content. You could argue that Facebook did it with the ‘like, ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’, but that doesn’t really work for me either. It does, however, work on a social, informal platform like Facebook. Kinda, but still not to my liking.

What about LinkedIn? I see they’ve recently added a kind of ‘sentiment’ analysis of ‘like’, ‘celebrate’, ‘love’, ‘insightful’, and ‘curious’. This isn’t the kind of feedback I want to give on something I consider important, something that may reflect my professional online persona. I want to know more about your sentiment on the content I share in the same way I want to give more relevant feedback to those who author the content I share. I would rather have something along the lines of:

  • ‘ I value this’
  • ‘I agree with this’
  • ‘I don’t agree with this’
  • ‘I question this’ – and a mechanism for a follow-up explanation on why I don’t understand this?
  • ‘I dont’ understand this’ – and a mechanism for a follow-up explanation on why I don’t understand this?

This would make the ‘like’ and ‘curious’ flags far more interesting and relevant to me, and how I view your activity online.

Image source: davide ragusa on Unsplash

Blog vs. Twitter vs. LinkedIn

Just a small observation on my use of the above ‘channels’, and how I perceive other people’s use of the channels.

How I use:

  • Blog (this is me, here) – OK, this is a bad example. I’ve not written much (anything) that was publishable in the last 2 months; a couple of posts that rambled nowhere fast, but nothing I was happy to publish. What I do want to do is get back to writing and publishing and using this space to share and reflect on practices, readings, and general ‘stuff’ related to my work.
  • Twitter (this is me) – Now then, this is difficult. What used to be purely work-related has grown and morphed into a hybrid between work, work-related, learning related, and general chat with those of you who have been Twitter-followers-become-friends. However, how we individually use this kind of channel has changed, and I don’t really like it. Twitter, like other online spaces, is a mirror to our general daily life, feelings, and the world around us, therefore that is a lot of chatter around local and/or global events, politics, environmental issues. Twitter sucks you in to all of this and, if left unchecked in my own timeline, can take me down a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down. This is my own perspective, and we all have our own attitude and use.
    I’m still not sure on Twitter, whether I want to continue using it. The platform has changed and how we use it has changed, and I’m not sure it’s the right channel for me anymore. My relationship status with Twitter is ‘it’s difficult’, and only I can make the decision to go or stay.
  • LinkedIn (this is me) – Like Twitter, what was once a purely professional space has changed and grown into something more life-like, with people sharing more than just work and job stuff. Is this partly down to LinkedIn looking to gain more traction and users in the social space?

How I see others using:

  • Blogs – I am in awe of the level of attention and quality of content my friends and peers have in their blogging activity. I used to be more active (have more to say?) and want to get back to blogging again, but need to change my perspective and writing to mirror/reflect my current role and work. Blogs are great for sharing thoughts and work and research, but are again becoming more personal as authors reflect on their personal lives and the (positive as well as negative) impact work has on it.
    If you blog, thank you and please continue. I may read but not engage or share, but that does not mean it has not reached me on some level. Sometimes it inspires me and sometimes it does not. But this is me and that is you. Don’t stop on my account.
  • Twitter – As above, each of us has our use and boundaries on what we do or do not share. I used to keep my love of Lego and Lego kits, well, personal. But that I found that lots of people I interact with regularly on Twitter also love Lego, now we all share this passion. Not to mention Lego for serious play. It’s not work related (normally) but still fun. I tend not to get involved in global events or politics or the like on Twitter (or LinkedIn or my blog), but this doesn’t mean it concerns me (hell, it depresses the hell out of me) about what we’re doing to each other and our fragile planet, but that is not why I use or want to use this channel. Some do, some don’t.
    I keep a more rigid boundary on how I use Twitter, and social channels in general, but I see more and more people relaxing the boundary. Are we becoming more relaxed or ‘happy’ with sharing more personal information? The stories we tell our children or students about being safe or sensible online are still true, despite our evolving relationship with the online world and the select organisations who control our data?
  • LinkedIn – Again, the platform and how we use it is changing. It’s followed the trend for adding social interaction with ‘like’ and ‘clap/applaud’ icons for posts and status updates. It has taken a professional space and made it more informal. Some like it, some don’t. Fair enough. I don’t, but I do understand that in order to maintain my presence online and develop my professional ‘persona’ I have to (?) stick with it.

Social media has been a massively beneficial tool for me in developing and learning my craft, but it becoming increasingly difficult to navigate around these channels to find the content and stuff I used to find quite easily. I use Feed.ly more now to try and curate my sources and regular reading zones (blogs, journals, etc.) but that only finds what I know I’m looking for. Twitter and LinkedIn used to be places to find new and exciting work and the people doing it (often from their blogs). Not so now, or rather it’s more difficult to find nowadays.

One obvious elephant has not been mentioned here – Facebook. Facebook is, for me, for family and friends. Some friends I have made on Twitter and through ALT are also on Facebook. Some aren’t. Don’t be worried if you’re not, or indeed if I unfriend you on Facebook, it’s just that I’m looking at my online usage and thinking long and hard about what I use, why I use it, and will I still be using it next month/year.

As always, your thoughts and feedback is important and welcome, please contact me on any of the above channels or as a comment below.

Image source: larkey (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Going to TechLearn in September?

I’m very excited to be going to TechLearn for the first time!  And it’s in New Orleans!!  The main conference runs from September 17 to 19.  More information here.  Will you be there?

I’m teaching two sessions on September 18.  Descriptions below.

Engaging Social and Blended Learning Experiences in Adobe Captivate Prime (10:30AM)

Want to know what’s new and unique in Adobe Captivate Prime?  This session will take you on a tour of Prime’s fluidic course player and new social learning features.  Join Katrina Marie Baker to learn how the new features can support your blended learning program.  We will cover:

  • How Adobe Captivate Prime allows learners to share web-based and user generated content on topic-specific discussion boards
  • Ways learners can create their own videos, audio, and screenshots directly in Captivate Prime
  • The new social learning browser add-in that allows learners to share web content easily
  • How the fluidic course player helps you deliver a variety of content on mobile devices and web pages outside of the learning management system

(If you’re interested in this topic but can’t join the conference, check out this recording of a similar virtual session.)

Successfully Implement Your Learning Technology Platform (2:15PM)

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect learning management system (LMS). Now what? Join Katrina Marie Baker in this 60-minute session for a lively discussion and some amusing war stories from past implementations.

This class will cover how to:

  • Complete your implementation so smoothly that executive leadership is in awe of your project management skills.
  • Avoid common pitfalls that cause your implementation to stretch out longer than originally expected.
  • Work effectively with your LMS vendor to determine a timeline, set expectations, and get everything done on time.
  • Assemble an administrator team that is excited, knowledgeable, and well organized.

(If you like this topic, you might also be interested in this recording of a similar virtual class, and this LMS implementation task list.)

Hope to see you at the conference!

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[Webinar] Introducing Hot New Social And UGC Features For Informal Learning From Adobe Captivate Prime

Creating a culture of learning is dependent upon engaging learners in all aspects of your learning and training programs. One powerful way to facilitate a culture of learning within your organization is to provide opportunities for learners to share informal learning materials, contribute their own content and to provide an architecture that can support ongoing discussion, evaluation and promotion of those learning materials.
Unfortunately, informal learning materials contributed without opportunities to review and curate those materials based on their potential credibility and value to the organization can create legal and ethical barriers to the adoption of such an open culture of knowledge sharing within an organization.
Join Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist, Adobe to learn how these challenges can be easily addressed with Adobe Captivate Prime. You’ll discover how gamification, social learning, informal learning and user generated content may be implemented easily in your organization – while still maintaining ample opportunities to review, track and curate those contributions.
During this session, the attendees will learn how to:
  • How do informal learning and user generated content support an active culture of learning?
  • How can you provide an architecture for tracking and moderating user generated content?
  • How does social learning enhance ongoing informal learning in your organization?
  • How can an automated system help your non-specialists classify and align informal contributions to industry established skill / competency definitions?

The post [Webinar] Introducing Hot New Social And UGC Features For Informal Learning From Adobe Captivate Prime appeared first on eLearning.

Demo of Adobe Captivate Prime’s New Social Learning & Compliance Features

Adobe Captivate Prime just released some great new social learning and compliance features!  You may have seen Dr. Allen Partridge’s recent post that breaks down some of the great new items you can explore.

Allen and I also presented a 60 minute demo today, hosted by Training Magazine Network.  (Click the link to watch the recording.)  We spent twenty minutes discussing how to deploy social learning and user generated content effectively.  And then Allen provided a step by step demonstration of the new features.

If you’d like some quick two minute videos on the new features, you can find them on the YouTube channel.

Check it out!  And please comment below if you have questions or suggestions.

Try Adobe’s learning management system, Captivate Prime, for free.  Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.

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