Basic concepts of Social Learning and Totara Social

Training often gives people solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.

-Marcia Conner, The New Social Learning: A Guide to Transforming Organizations Through Social Media

Social Learning

Social learning and networking has become very essential in today’s age of internet. Public social networking sites/portals like-facebook, instagram, and snapchat have become a primary part of our lives; however, a secure space is needed for extended enterprise and similar institutions to co-create content, communicate, and share company policies, resources and ideas. On the similar line of thought, social learning focuses on providing these enterprises a space where they can own and manage their data, including the one that is user-generated.

Social Learning, as defined, is the learning behaviour that is influenced by environment, rather than by internal or innate factors. As stated by American psychologist Albert Bandura, learning is a cognitive process that can take place without any direct reinforcement or motor reproduction; and can occur through direct instructions or observations, called intrinsic reinforcement. Post-Bobo Doll Experiment, he determined following three models:

  • Live Model: an individual showing a behaviour
  • Verbal Instruction Model: an individual demonstrating details of a behaviour
  • Symbolic Model: A fictional or real character demonstrating a behavior through media sources, including: radio, literature, internet, TV, movies, etc.

These models were determined after following below behavioral and cognitive processes:

  • Attention: an individual must pay attention to what is being learnt and what are the key factors that motivate or de-motivate the learning process
  • Retention: an individual must remember that was learnt and the behavior that motivated him/her to learn
  • Reproduction: an individual must practice and demonstrate the behaviour
  • Motivation: an individual must repeat the behaviour and feel motivated, ensuring the expectations and outcome

Totara Social

Built as an extensive Enterprise Social Network (ESN), Totara Social is designed to connect and manage people, along with resources and knowledge within an organization.

Totara Social works as a catalyst for enhancing collaboration through opening the flow of knowledge between people. It has already marked its presence as an effective and efficient ESN through emphasizing on innovating at speed, sharing information, social learning and adaptability.

Encouraging Social Learning

Ensuring and following different social learning models, Totara Social comes with dverse features. These features include:

  • Multiple learning types support (Asyncronous Self-paced, Asyncronous Instructor-led and blended)
  • Mobile learning support
  • Effective user management
  • User role mapping
  • Multiple authentication type
  • Multilingual
  • Multimedia support
  • Personalization
  • Flexible reporting

Totara Social focuses more on peer-to-peer collaborative activities and learning processes. It also offers a lot of tools to support reflection, finding, managing, and storing of institutional knowledge. Going a step ahead, it comes up with below personal repository and social networking features:

  • Personal Repository:
    • Blogs
    • Pages
    • Ideas
    • Questions
    • Files
  • Social Networking Features:
    • Connections
    • Activity Streams
    • Status Updates
    • Real-time chat
    • Sharing
    • Groups
    • Forums
    • Feedback
    • Recommendations

Edvanta Recipe

Edvanta team understands that social learning not only gives people a platform for asynchronous conversations, but also motivates people through collaboration and helps in developing useful content.

To ensure that the process of knowledge acquisition doesn’t end with school/working hours, Edvanta’s team is moving towards integrating learning management systems with social learning platforms, including Totara Social and Open Social. Integration being the first step, the team has also been able to fetch some wonderful reports, build upon user-generated content, using online chart galleries and the principles of Learner Record Store (LRS).

Following are some of those reports:

  • Relation between learner behaviours and social activities
  • Identification, aggregation and analysis of interactions
  • Analysis of sentiments/emotions
  • Relation between collaboration quotient and scores
  • Relation between social activities and other learning assets

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