Social Media Part 2: Drawbacks In E-Learning

This is part 2 of a two-part article series about using social media in corporate elearning.

social media in e-learningIn the first part of this article series, we discussed how social media can benefit corporate e-learning. While it brings a lot of benefits to the training initiative of any company, it poses important drawbacks that could compromise the learning experience. In order to maximize the potential of an online training program, you have to understand what these are so you can find ways to avoid them.

Here are the 4 main pitfalls of using social media in your corporate training program.

  1. It can be a distraction. Social media is fun. While it will heighten the learning experience in the corporate e-learning course, it can also become a distraction. It is very easy to get sidetracked while collaborating online. For instance, if you use Facebook as your platform, it is very easy for the user to switch to their timeline or messenger to chat with friends. It is also tempting to play one of the many games and apps. To deal with this distraction, you need to set clear and strict rules that participants should follow. You can also hold them accountable by assigning moderators. That way, the participants will patrol each other to ensure that social media is used correctly.
  2. It can take a lot of time to manage. While learning through social media makes it easy to provide support, that means it will eat up a lot of your time. The platform, as accessible it may be, should be able to meet the online support requirements. It can be tiring for someone to manage on their own. This is why it is great to delegate tasks to the group. As mentioned, you can assign moderators from the group itself. You should also limit the social media platforms that you will use. This will minimize confusion and will help you focus.
  3. It can put everyone in danger of cognitive overload. Online information comes in fast and it can sometimes be too much for everyone to handle. Knowledge sharing is okay – as long as it is done in an orderly and controlled manner. You do not want the knowledge to flood at one time and then stop when it is most needed. The constant flow of updates, conversation, posts, and comments can be overwhelming. Again, this is where the moderator can play a big role. You should make sure the updates are timed and the participants are aware of the schedule.
  4. It can reflect badly on the online reputation of the company. Social media is there for everyone to see. Given that, it can be dangerous for the company if one of the members do not act accordingly. Sometimes, it is more difficult to control comments and posts when one is online. The anonymity can make you bolder online. This is why you may want to create a closed group so that everything that happens online will not be open for the public to see.

These drawbacks in social media can compromise the corporate e-learning experience of the participants. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that using social media in your training program will not backfire on you. Just make sure the rules are set and that there is someone focusing on moderating these platforms. That should help minimize the pitfalls of using social networks.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong for

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