Personal learning networks can be a great addition to corporate e-learning programs. It helps make the training sessions more engaging and interactive. Although the training happens online, social interaction is still possible. It can heighten the learning experience and thus increases the effectivity of the course.
The question is, how can you integrate personal learning networks in your elearning courses?
Here are 3 ways that you can do this.
- Use social media. This is the easiest way to do this because almost everyone has a social media account. You can concentrate on the most popular ones: Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn is popular among professionals so this is also something that you can use. The great thing about social media is you do not have to teach employees how to use it. They almost certainly have a knowledge of how to navigate it. In Facebook, for instance, you can create a group where everyone can share their thoughts and discuss information that you share with them.
- Create a company blog. This does not have to be a separate blogsite. It can be incorporated into the existing website of the company. Create posts about topics that you think employees need to be aware of. Open the comment section and ask employees to share their thoughts. Allow them to comment on each other’s opinions. Just make sure you establish the rules that will keep you in control of the discussion.
- Set up a forum or message board. This is another way to set up a platform that will help employees discuss relevant topics in the e-learning course. Like the comment section in the blog, make sure you set the rules to keep conflicts from erupting and disrupting the flow of conversation. Not only that, you have to maintain an active presence on the forum so you can nudge the conversation if it is starting to go off-topic. This is a great way for you to monitor if the participants understand the information being shared with them.
These three options will allow you to integrate personal learning networks into your e-learning courses. While it is important to maintain control, you should also let the learning flourish on its own. You want this to feel as informal as possible. It will encourage more employees to participate and be active in sharing their thoughts and opinions. But at the same time, you do not want to give them too much freedom. As mentioned, your presence should be actively seen so you can continually give direction to the conversation.
Not only that, it is also very important for you to schedule your posts well. This is especially true if the information is very important. You do not want the post to be drowned out by the endless chatter in the personal learning network.
Setting the rules is also important to keep the conversation from going off-topic. And if there are conflicts – which is not unlikely to happen, you need to be ready with the process of resolving it. The differences in opinions will make conflicts and disagreements a certainty. Educate the participants about the right etiquette and to always respect the opinions of others.
E-learning is not confined to formal learning so feel free to use various methods to make employees training more fun and exciting. Personal learning networks can be a great help in meeting the training goals of the company – as long as you know how to use it well.
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