The theory behind Social Learning
Our Social Learning platform is based on what we call the Social Learning Ecosystem. It provides insight into how four different forms of learning can ideally be combined to achieve the best learning results.
The four forms of learning are each represented in a quadrant of the circle. They are classified using two axes:
- On the vertical axis:
Company created learning vs. User created learning
At the top is teaching material provided by the trainer or coach, at the bottom is real-life material provided by the student.
- On the horizontal axis:
Competency based learning vs. Context based learning
Competence-based learning, on the left, consists of acquiring knowledge and skills. Context-based learning, on the right, is learning in practice and translating knowledge into behaviour.
Four forms of learning can be distinguished using these axes. The two forms of learning in the top half of the circle are considered ‘formal learning’: structured learning in a purpose-built environment, such as a (virtual) classroom or an e-learning environment. The two forms of learning at the bottom are considered ‘informal learning’: learning by experiencing. In SLX, all these forms of learning are combined.
The top half: formal learning
Blue (quadrant 1):
Formal, synchronous learning
This part represents learning from a trainer in a classroom or virtual classroom. This learning occurs synchronously, which means that the learner has real-time lessons at a fixed time.
Pink (quadrant 2):
Self-paced, asynchronous learning
This is learning at your own pace through e-learning. This is done asynchronously: each learner does this at a time that suits them.
The bottom half: informal learning
Yellow (quadrant 3):
Social learning: on-the-job
This part refers to learning at work: you learn by putting new communication skills into practice and by sharing (bringing in and taking away) experiences.
Green (Quadrant 4):
Social learning: learning from a mentor and fellow students
This part of the circle represents learning from and with others. Within a Social Learning training you do this by assessing fellow students’ assignments; by receiving feedback from fellow students and a mentor; and by discussing topics from the training with each other.
We combine the four learning forms from this circle on our platform in the form of various activities: from virtual classroom to webinar, and from online knowledge check to sharing a practical assignment on the forum. This combination ensures that you learn more effectively, and retain what you learn better and for longer.