We recently reviewed Dr. Jane Bozarth’s new book, Social Media for Trainers: Techniques for Enhancing and Extending Learning. In addition to being an excellent guide to resources for online learning, it can be a huge asset to help trainers engage in social learning dialogue. The book got us thinking about the many ways to start and enhance social learning conversations, so we thought we’d offer a few here.

1.    Be a Social Trainer. Encourage learners to ask questions or raise issues by posting comments to blogs, editing wikis, or uploading videos. Recommend that they contact you, and each other, through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn rather than leaving voicemail messages or sending emails.

2.    Think “Blended Learning”. The ProEd division of Blackboard encourages businesses to embrace digital media to solidify training material, broaden classroom experiences, address different learning styles, and improve learning effectiveness. David Mallon, a Principal Analyst with Bersin & Associates, offers excellent advice toward this end in his research bulletin “Using Higher Education’s Blended Learning Model as Corporate Social Learning Strategy.”

3.    Avoid burn-out. A few months ago Brent Schlenker wrote a great blog post about social media burnout and how to avoid it. His suggestions: Don’t hyper-formalize how people engage. Don’t make participation mandatory. Keep social learning authentic.

There are many ways to get social conversations going; we’ve offered only a few tips to help you get started. Blackboard ProEd offer many solutions for starting and expanding social learning. Learn more here.

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