In a recent Chief Learning Officer Magazine article, How to Create a Dynamic Social Learning Space, Julian Stodd makes the point that social learning is not a replacement for formal learning, but a “supplement” to it. In a practical sense, this is true, and the good news is that learning experience (LX) designers do not have to think about how to replace formal learning with informal or social methods. However, LX designers do need to think about how existing formal learning can be augmented by social learning.
Social learning is happening in our organizations already. People talk, ask questions, look up ideas on Google or Twitter. But that type of social learning is entirely led by the individual. LX designers should not venture into the realm of individual-led social learning. People will decide for themselves what they want to learn, and you have nothing to say about it.