Why Social Media Can Provide the Ideal Learning Environment

By Posted in - Social Media on January 6th, 2015 3 Comments

Adult learners are autonomous and self-directed and learn best in a social, participatory, collaborative environment. For this reason, social media sites designed for development have an opportunity to provide an ideal learning environment. Here are four key reasons why social media learning sites provide the ideal learning environment for adults.

Organization and Interaction for Adult Learners

Adults are active not passive learners. They have developed specific interests and development goals important for their personal and career success. They learn best when developmental resources and content are organized according to their interest areas/goals and they can interact with others that share their interests and goals. They are best motivated to learn when they

  • Have total control over their learning goals and approach to development
  • Have access to others who share their interests and goals. This access allows others to contribute to the learner’s developmental progress and allows the learner to reciprocate and assist others in their development goals as well.
  • Have easy access to rich developmental content and resources organized according to their interests.

Adult learners are practical and goal oriented. They have little time for content that is not relevant to their personal interests and learning needs and provides true value and benefit to them. They become impatient with general interest fluff. They are best motivated to learn when the learning

  • Solves a problem or removes an obstacle;
  • Leads to new opportunities;
  • Provides relevant professional and/or personal growth.

Different Ways of Learning for Adults

Adult learners have acquired their own unique collection of knowledge and experience. Their knowledge evolves and grows as they connect to individuals and content that broadens their perspective. Knowledge is forged and synthesized from multiple inputs and continually integrated into the learner’s accumulated experience. They are best motivated to learn if there is an opportunity to

  • Share their knowledge and experience with others;
  • Validate their expertise and experiences through interactions with others.
  • Form new connections that strengthen and expand their experience and knowledge.

Adult learners approach learning in a great variety of ways. They have individual learning styles and preferences. Different types of content and media allow them to examine a topic or interest area in different ways. They are best motivated to learn when

  • The learning environment supports a mix of learning approaches that map onto the learning styles that fit their preferences;
  • Multiple types of input, content, and media are available to provide a broader perspective advance knowledge and skill.

Social media sites that are designed specifically for personal and career development meet all the conditions for an ideal learning environment. OMNIview provides both private and public social learning communities for employers and individuals. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you effectively implement an ideal adult learning environment.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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