What about Enterprise Social Learning?

We’ve all heard about the Social Web? Right? Facebook, Twitter, etc.


What about Enterprise Social Learning?


Over the last few years (since 2009 in fact), we’ve seen the emergence of a new enterprise paradigm that help organisations better navigate the training conundrum, a shift away from the traditional “Formal E-Learning” focus that makes them more agile through the use of  on-the-job training and collaboration: social learning.

Here’s a primer on some differences between what we call “Social Learning” and “Formal E-Learning”. Note that both approaches are valid and can only add to better learning outcomes when used together.


Formal E-Learning

Social Learning (informal learning)


Learning can only take place in a formal and controlled setting

Learning is definitely not an on-the-job activity.



Learning is tightly integrated within work through productivity tools, performance support, etc.

Learning and knowledge base are just a click away from desktop.


Content is developed in a closed pedagogical loop (courses)

Knowledge is stored in extensive databases



Content is SOCIAL: open conversations, collaboration, sharing, mentorship

On-the-job performance is supported by short bite-sized helpful content: online videos, pdf, etc.



Competencies and skills are tested and assessed through formal testing



Competencies and skills are tested and assessed on a job performance basis


HR decides when courses are to be held and when they are available



Stakeholders are encouraged to become autonomous and in charge of their learning efforts



Learning is an end in itself

Command and control



Learning is a continuous process to optimize performance

Motivate and engage