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Five Steps To Going Social With LMS

(December 13, 2012) Global learning technologies innovator CERTPOINT Systems has published the latest in a series of thought-leadership white papers: Can social learning succeed alongside an LMS?

Produced in collaboration with Johanna Sadoudi, founder and CEO VITAMINDS and former Learning Development International Director at L’Oréal, the paper reveals how to exploit the power of social learning while retaining the strengths of organizational learning and development, and, learning management systems. It lists five steps on how to add social to existing learning offerings.

According to a recent McKinsey study¹, social technologies stand to unlock from $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value. Two-thirds of the value rests in improved communications and collaboration within and across enterprises.

Comments Maria van Vlodrop, CERTPOINT Systems General Manager EMEA, “Far from a distraction, social media proves a surprising blessing to productivity. The recent benchmark study published by Towards Maturity, the largest of its kind in Europe, reports that of the 700 companies surveyed, 68 percent are using social learning to build networks inside the organizations.”

CERTPOINT’s white paper reports that a new generation of learning management systems has evolved to include collaboration and mobile delivery in a bid to grow increasingly learner-centric.

Johanna Sadoudi, founder and CEO VITAMINDS states, “The short answer to the question “can social learning succeed alongside an LMS?” is emphatically “yes”. Not only can it succeed, it will play a vital part of organizational learning in the future, driven by both learner expectation and the value it adds to the learning experience.”

Five ways to add social learning to your learning offering

Design the right learner experience and be learner-centric
Use social media tools to provide social learning for distance learners. Guide learners to create their own collaborative knowledge bases. Increase team spirit by encouraging participation. Share rules of usage: give learners essential information on how to connect, use the tools, and contribute.

Make it safe for your teams and your company
Not nice-to-have, but, must-have. Ease organization concerns about social network security by working with IT teams to secure bandwidth, integration and data confidentiality.

Use the tool to deliver learning objectives
Adopt social media tools and ignore learning goals at your peril. These tools’ power comes from their ability to be used in different ways to originally planned, as they adapt for learning focus. Use picture sharing tools create a field trip journal, wikis to co-construct reference documents, and, blogs as the thread through training programs.

Evolve to learning community management
Transform the role of the program manager from guide and motivator to learning community manager. A big step for traditional L&D departments but essential for social learning to succeed. Approach the ‘pull’ of social learning in the same way as you do the ‘push’ of formal learning and you will fail.

Keep it simple
Don’t do too much at once and do not use social media for its own sake. It may be appealing to create a wrap-up for an event around a micro-blogging tool, but what is the real social aspect? Consider what is the more important: creating a collective list of key points through Twitter? Or stimulating live group debate in person?

The paper suggests three approaches to demonstrate the business benefit of social learning:
   Vitality, a short-term measurement, to reveal engagement.
   Capability, medium-term measurement, to prove how social learning is adding value.
   Value, the long-term measurement, to determine business impact: which business-related learning issues have been addressed, which business KPIs have been directly impacted, and how?

Please visit for the complementary white paper, “The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies” (July 2012)

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