The Year of Social Learning

This is the year we double-down on social learning.

For too long we have seen elearning courses that end up with “click-click-click-click” progression. No interaction, no engagement. It is time for learning program developers to strive for something more.

I will concede that certain courses like compliance training don’t necessarily require more than a traditional elearning module. The content is straight-forward, hardly ever changes, and is (to be blunt) boring.

However, there are so many other courses out there that could be better if they leveraged social learning concepts.

It is about creating community over courses. Courses should supplement the community.

You see this successfully done in different niches. Troy Dean has done it with his WPElevation and Rockstar Empire programs. Zac Gordon with his Javascript for WP program, Duolingo for their language training, and Digital Marketer for their online certifications.

You can bring life to your courses by fostering your own community. Sure, it is a lot more difficult than creating a static course, but the rewards are so much greater.

If you have raving fans, you’ll have more customers – plain and simple.

What’s more, you will constantly be given ideas on how you can improve or new offerings people would like you to provide. In some ways a lively community is like having your own R&D department!

So how can you get staretd with social learning? It’s easy. Start with the basics and incorporate more from there:

  • Add forums
  • Enable robust user profiles (similar to Facebook)
  • Create a Facebook Group
  • Put on webinars
  • Hold contests among and for learners

And these are just the simple strategies.

If you have an online course or are going to be creating one this year then do yourself and students a favor by building social learning into your business plan!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

3 Comments
    • Michael Kocher

      My LearnDash class website uses myCred for users to earn ‘coins’ and experience points for various things. In addition to ranks, levels and leaderboards, users can use their coins to bid on real life perks. As mine is a class of students this includes things like delux pens, candy, basketballs, etc. It keeps the kids motivated. During Christmas I use the myCred advent calendar where students can earn prizes.

      For example, one trigger is an activity streak. If a user passes a quiz more than 1 day in a row they get a streak of 1 coin for 1 day, 2 for 2 days etc. They also get coins for and XP for buddypress triggers and a host of other things

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