If you’ve ever used social media to ask for advice, you know how powerful it is to get just-in-time feedback that helps you accomplish your goal. Whether you’re trying to find a great plumber or get restaurant recommendations, social, collaborative learning gets the job done.

In your professional career, it’s no different. You and your employees often rely on ad hoc, informal best practice sharing to excel in your work and delight your customers. That’s why ever since the earliest Spoke® designs, we wanted to create a safe place for learners to share and collaborate. Over the years, we’ve seen tens of thousands Spoke Community posts—each one a reflection of the power of collaborative learning.

Even still, we wanted to make Spoke’s Community even better. Watch this quick video to see how the redesigned UI inspires users to share what they know:

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of social learning.

Embrace collaborative learning, get A Return on Investment

Although some find the benefits of social learning to be self-evident, available research on the topic should interest even the most committed skeptics.

Here’s why: studies indicate social learning encourages employees to have a collaborative mindset, and social learning technology makes it easy for them to help each other. Over time, this leads to greater organizational success and delivers a return on investment.

The Association for Talent Development report Building a Culture of Learning says top companies are almost five times more likely than lower performers to have extensive learning cultures: “In high-performance organizations, employees share knowledge with their colleagues at a rate four times greater than that of workers in lower-performing firms.”

In a Bersin & Associates research bulletin, The Changing Social Learning Landscape: Why You Need a Social LMS, Karen O’Leonard writes, “Today’s workers still need formal training that is built around specific problems and talent needs; however, they also need a complete learning environment that provides support, as well as the ability to collaborate, network and share information to solve problems.”

“At the leading edge of this technology are social learning management system (LMS) solutions that not only embed social learning into the workflow, but also blend different types of social learning such that people are learning from peers and experts in more organic ways than we have seen in the past,” O’Leonard explains.

According to ATD, the type of collaboration made possible by social LMS solutions develops a company’s culture of learning and yields impressive financial benefits. When Rite-Solutions used its social platform to solicit product development ideas, it developed 15 new products that represent 20% of their total revenue.

That’s why the Spoke Community user interface (UI) inspires users to share knowledge, thought leadership, and encouragement in an engaging, respectful way.

collaborative learning with Spoke, by Unboxed Technology


Learners, admins, and managers can also share resources and job aids in formats such as Excel and PDF.

Share resources and collaborative learning

Drive continuous learning, promote recognition

To foster a culture of learning, companies must look for ways to drive continuous learning through a variety of formal and informal channels.

Spoke’s Community enables fast feedback and just-in-time training. Plus, the Spoke Community appeals to learners’ curiosity. They want to log in and see what’s new. Why? Spoke’s Community algorithm automatically curates trending content and critical conversations relevant to learners based on their team and permissions. Trending conversations move to the top of the feed so they’re easy to access.

Learners can also filter their feed a few different ways, such as by “My Activity,” “Posts I Follow,” and “People I Follow.” Or, they can go directly to a topic they’re interested in.

enable collaborative learning with Spoke from Unboxed Technology


They can also earn Spoke Coins for joining the conversation, completing training, and sharing best practices. Then, they can redeem their coins for tangible Spoke Rewards like company apparel, swag, or even paid time off.

According to ATD’s Building a Culture of Learning report, high-performing companies fuel their learning cultures by:

  • rewarding workers for learning
  • providing tools and resources for creating and sharing learning content
  • making knowledge sharing a performance expectation at all organizational levels

With Spoke Community’s social and collaborative learning and next-level gamification capabilities, companies can easily embrace these best practices.

Simplify administration and moderation

While the advantages of a social LMS outweigh the potential downsides, enabling Spoke’s Community is still optional. Your organization can turn the Community on, or keep it off. Excited about the benefits of social learning, but want to make sure there are safeguards in place? Here are some things you should know.

  1. If you’re an admin or moderator, it’s easy to restrict the ability to comment on a specific Topic or discussion if necessary:
    Don't be afraid of collaborative learning. Spoke let's you enable or disable commenting.
  2. How-to videos, shared in the Community, are a great way to demonstrate behaviors and techniques that drive favorable results. Albert Bandura, the social psychologist who coined the phrase “social learning,” observed that when we watch someone doing something, and then try it ourselves, we’re fairly successful. When admins, leaders, and peers can post how-to videos easily, companies can solve problems faster and be more productive.
  3. Spoke admins can curate Community Topic feeds and Featured Posts. If your company is launching a contest, wants to promote a training course, or needs to drive awareness about an initiative, Spoke admins can easily designate Community Topics and Featured Posts. Community Topics appear in a learner’s left navigation, and Featured Posts appear at the top of a learner’s feed.
Put collaborative learning topics front and center in Spoke using Featured Topics.

With the redesigned UI, it’s easier than ever to administer and moderate the Spoke Community for teams of learners.

Show me more

Want to see collaborative learning in action through the redesigned Spoke Community? Contact us. We’d love to show you Spoke can help you train, engage, and reward your teams.

About the Author

Josh Newton is passionate about building a great experience for end users. At Unboxed, he works on the Spoke team to make sure we're fulfilling our clients' needs and providing users with a super-engaging learning experience.

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