Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Using Social Media for Learning: Tools & Practices #BHsocialmedia

These are my live blogged notes from a webinar presented by Brandon Hall on Wednesday, April 26 2011. (I joined about 10 minutes late, so missed a bit!)

Tom Werner, Chief Research Officer, Brandon Hall

LMSs are adding social features – including RSS feeds, peer ratings of content. In Brandon Hall’s research, haven’t talked to a single LMS vendor who is NOT adding these tools.

Social media allow:

  • Conversations to continue after training
  • Peer-to-peer interaction in groups – so learners can continue to learn
  • Find individualized answers (by approaching instructors and fellow learners)
  • Share your own content

Makes training more efficient

  • Can shorten formal training, because the conversation continues.
  • It’s now available on demand as it’s needed.
  • More content can be created by more contributors.
  • Can get more feedback about what’s working!

Social media can reach different audiences:

  • New employees and recently trained can now connect with each other
  • Expert employees who got missed by training – now have a way to contribute and can become mentors and coaches.
  • Social media communities can now create communities for external learners – customers, resellers, technicians.

Best practices of social media for learning: (these 3 examples one Brandon Hall Awards of Excellence):

Chrysler Academy 2.0

  • Doing more real time certification and performance support for dealer personnel.
  • Customers are now so knowledgeable about cars using the Internet.
  • Wanted to make learning “an everyday event”.
  • Draw knowledge from dealerships.
  • Used Ektron ( a content management system – which allowed search, tagging, RSS, links, blogs, polls, surveys.
  • Everyone has their own profile like they do on Facebook.
  • Reduced time to deliver info to dealers from 2 weeks to 1 day.
  • Reduced cost of new-vehicle launch kits from $100,000 to about $15,000.

Cisco Learning Network

  • Cisco wanted to support certifications around the world for technicians who service their networks.
  • Wanted to increase # cert holders worldwide – the network experts – wanted more resources and options.
  • Traditional one way web pages weren’t enough.
  • Wanted more collaboration and conversation, so people could access already certified people’s expertise.  Wanted to move away from certification as in individual pursuit.
  • Video, podcasts, discussion forums, games, mentoring programs (Partner new learners with those already certified).
  • Polls, blogs, search (similar to chrysler).
  • Measured results in terms of usage – 7 million site visits over 20 month period.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Sales Fitness Center

  • Sales professionals.
  • Wanted to minimize formal training to minimize time spent out of field.
  • Wanted to connect sales training with day-to-day selling (if sales people don’t immediately apply training to their real-world experiences, they tend to reject it quickly).
  • Create a safe place for people to ask their questions
  • Sales people could share their own content.
  • Used Microsoft SharePoint – blogs, wikis, messaging, polls, surveys, RSS feeds (get alerted when content is updated).
  • Want sales people talking about real-world sales experiences with their peers.
  • Saved $7,500 per learner (over formal training).
  • Survey findings (level 1 evals) showed positive reactions from the learners.

3 key take-aways from these case studies:

  • Don’t rely on “if they build it they will come” – still use some ‘push’ technolgoy – like email – to draw learners in so they start to see the value
  • They don’t obsess about measurement.  They try lots of things.
  • They don’t worry if not everyone loves it.  It’s not going to work for everyone.  Not every single tool needs 100% participation.

Ann Shea with Quick Lessons

Social media tools for learning

Risks and concerns:

Biggest challenges for orgs – benefits are not clear

To start using social media…don’t need to be as big as HP or Chrysler!

Tools that you bring in to your org.  What considerations?

  • Costs – both of tool and the opportunity cost
  • Look at terms of use and legal implications (who owns the content created in a site)
  • Does the site let you export your content?
  • Can you control access and create private groups?
  • Is it easy for learners to use? (Everyone’s familiar with Facebook – people wouldn’t have the same resistance to FB as with a new tool).
  • Are these tools being built into your LMS?


What can you do on your Intranet already? (e.g., SharePoint) – profiles, tags, ratings

Private social networks:

  • yammer (widely used in corporate world – over 100,00 corporate users!)
  • edmodo (originally  developed for teachers and schools – includes grading features
  • social go – sharing features, including video, blogging and works with Wordpress
  • allow microblogging, profiles, groups, messaging, questions, polls, tagging, search

Public social networks:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Ning
  • Yahoo Groups
  • Google groups
  • Some of these have member control and private groups


the most accessed site in 2010! 1/8 minutes online is spent on FB! Why companies consider blocking it, but should also be a place for companies to consider going…  40% of users are 35+ – the demographic has changed!)

Jane Bozarth! – Trainers can use FB to fill the gaps and keep learners engaged between formal events.

90% of facebook users don’t return to a fan page once the click the like button

The most popular types of content on FB:

  • image with text
  • image
  • video
  • text
  • external links (put actual link not a shortened link – people on FB want to know where they’re going.
  • polls
  • keep these in mind when you design…


a new linked in user every second!

A more business-oriented environment.  But it’s not as user friendly as FB.  Good for external training, partners, vendors.

Members only groups on LinkedIn for training – set up a private group (members have to request to join or be invited – and then approved by the manager)

Reminder – anything posted on the Internet can potentially be viewed by anyone…


Very real time oriented – the pulse of what people are talking about

Use hashtags # on topics and @ signs for people

Can share links, take online notes

File sharing for collaboration:

  • As trainers work to develop content – share with each other and share with users
  • Drobox, Google Docs,

Video Conferencing

  • Skype, ooVoo, Google Voice,Vuroom, Vonage
  • Good for more immediacy, for more expressive training, can do screen sharing
  • recording sessions so they can be shared later
  • Can also create user groups within a conference call so you can have chat

Presentation Sharing Sites

To share PPTs, PDFs, videos, etc.

  • SlideShare
  • Prezi, SlideSix, SlideRocket, mybrainshark

Online Polls & Surveys

Mix polls ad surveys with social media for more engagement and better material

  • LinkedIn
  • PollDaddy
  • SurveyMonkey
  • (Facebook has just added this to groups)

Video Sharing

  • Trainers can use video sharing sites to post videos…
  • demo a product, present lecture-type content, share tips, etc.
  • YouTube, Vimeo


Share text, images, hyperlinks

Social Media Policy

The list goes on…blogs, RSS feeds, whiteboarding, etc….

Product Pitch for Quicklessons

collaborative online course creation in the cloud

Lots of connection with facebook and Izzui– invite people to courses, share them, people can like them..”an entire social network surrounding your content” – it’s still in beta.  They will be at ASTD ICE in Orlando.  Izzui is SCORM compliant.


annieinthesun said...

Cammy, even at 10 minutes late to the webinar, you totally scored with the take-aways! I'll bet you were the girl everyone wanted to sit next to in highschool in case they were absent to borrow information about the next day's assignment. Thanks for being such an active and alert member of the webinar. I hope we will have the pleasure of meeting in person at ASTD in Orlando next month. Warm regards, Ann @ QuickLessons

Anonymous said...

This is a great summary and great talking points for people who are working hard to bring innovation to their enterprises. I'm continually shocked at the number of people who have to fight so hard to introduce steps that seem so common-sense.

The case studies are valuable talking points for persuading reluctant executives.

Louise Holmes said...

Cammy, This summary you whipped up is excellent! Thanks.

Question: What is Izzui? I've done a Google Search and it finds me Isuzu automobiles. THANKS again. ---Louise @nineworklives

Cammy Bean said...

Hi Anne -- you did a great job today -- covering a lot of info in a short amount of time!

Louise -- Anne would actually be the best person to ask about Izzui. I think it's a technology partner of QuickLessons, or maybe it's another product that they have integrated with? I wasn't clear on that either and I'm not finding much about it by searching...