Creating a Collaborative Learning Network For Peer-Driven Training

Creating a Collaborative Learning Network For Peer-Driven Training

One of the benefits of online software is the potential to break down communication silos and create a network effect within a company. For example, Google Docs allows for easy collaboration and access to shared files. No longer do documents and spreadsheets sit lonely on one employee’s computer. Group messaging apps like Slack create a culture of open and transparent communication. The value to companies may be hard to quantify, but it’s easy to see.

In the world of computers, data networks are usually either based on a hub-and-spoke model, whereby all communications filter through a central point;, or a mesh network, where different nodes relay communications directly with one another.

In the corporate world, most training is analogous to the hubandspoke model, where content is created by and filtered through a central hub of talented e-learning professionals. But a new generation is entering the workforce. It’s more digitally savvy than ever. Members of this generation are great communicators, and they enjoy collaborating and sharing their knowledge with peers. What if training became less centralized? What if companies embraced a mesh network model and offered everyone in the company a platform to teach and learn from one another? What if elearning professionals became the architects of a culture of knowledge sharing — facilitators of learning?

Peer-based learning is not new, but the challenge of interconnecting a workforce and offering an environment where anyone can contribute hasn’t been available. Course creation software itself often required training, or was only available to a handful of select employees. LMSs have done a great job of offering learners access to content, but have never embraced the idea of widespread authoring management and collaboration.

Based on experience in the tech-enabled classroom with hundreds of thousands of teachers over the past three years, we’ve learned that the best way to unlock the promise of learning is by empowering students.

For forward-thinking LMS suppliers, lessons learned in the classroom can be used to build an entire management and collaboration ecosystems around interactive course creators. Imagine a course created by a product manager, which can then be cloned by sales, marketing and customer support and modified for their needs. Or a new employee on-boarding course created concurrently by current employees around the company.

What you should be looking for in a new platform is one that empowers your company’s best experts from any department — product, sales, marketing support and more — to contribute to the collective knowledge of your workforce — and to learn from one another. The result? A powerful network of knowledge sharing, created and facilitated by the strategic vision of the training team.

By Allison Wagda, VP Corporate Strategy, Versal

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