Learning Management System Best Practices, Part 3: Social Learning Tools

Learning Management System Best Practices, Part 3: Social Learning Tools


Jasmine Henry


People worldwide value a sense of connection, especially amid this time of social distancing. Learning management system best practices strengthen the connection between your learners, their training and each other. Leaderboards, polls, news feeds, social profiles and user messaging drive rewarding learner experiences and foster engagement between learners, peers and instructors.

1. Leaderboards

As learners complete courses and earn competencies or continuing education units (CEUs), social learning LMS features can assign points to track progress. Each additional L&D point can be scored in real time on a leaderboard that ranks learners against teammates or peers.

"We use leaderboards and that stirs the competitive spirit in our employees to try and do better," says Sandra Hanna, senior director of global education services at BeyondTrust.

2. Polls

Members of Generation Z and millennials place a high value on real-time feedback. Polls capture answers from learners and provide an instant sense of reward. As soon as learners submit their answers, they'll see how their vote stacks up to others on both L&D and nonlearning topics.

Open-ended polling features engage learners and provide real-time interactivity within the LMS. It also provides L&D administrators with the freedom to design research and query learners.

3. News feeds

The news feed features on major social media platforms give users access to the most engaging, fresh and relevant content. A social learning LMS with news feed features give learners updated access to targeted training, announcements and polls.

Creating a targeted, relevant learner experience is among key learning management system best practices. User news feeds can be filtered according to demographics or learner behavior. A user's announcements may be influenced by their role, region, organization or recent learning activities.

4. Learner profiles

Social profiles of learners, including profile pictures, bios and other details, create a human connection between a global community of learners. It's a best practice to use LMS features to display learner profiles in community activities, including course comments and leaderboards.

Learners can click on profile pictures or names to view the social profiles of other learners to discover subject matter experts or collaboration partners.

5. User conversations

The top three messaging apps alone pull more than 4 billion active users monthly, according to Messenger People. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and similar platforms have become a digital highway for one-to-one conversation or group messages.

Supporting digital dialogue between learners, peers and trainers bolsters your L&D initiatives. User messaging features encourage learners to start a conversation after viewing social profiles to ask questions or form new collaborative relationships.

Create a global community with social learning design

It's more important than ever for learners to feel connected to their colleagues and company. Leverage these learning management system best practices to foster rewarding learning experiences right now and into the future.

Social learning design is the third part of our series on best practices for eLearning technology and features. Check out parts one and two about gamification and blended learning.

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