Learning technology experiences a variety of trends, some more effective than others. Two trends that have stood the test of time, likely due to their high level of effectiveness, are social collaboration and peer pressure. SoloLearn offers a variety of features, such as a code playground and a discussion board, where users can leverage such features to accelerate their journeys to becoming expert coders. Read on to learn why such features could be critical in creating a positive trajectory as you learn to code.
What Is Social Collaboration And How Does It Help Me Learn?
Highlighted by Forbes as one of the top ten learning tools for success, social learning can be defined as learning that takes place through interactions with others. Whether those interactions take place physically or virtually, what matters is that learners are having rich, meaningful conversations about the work at hand.
There are tremendous benefits to social collaboration as it pertains to learning. For example, those looking to source responses to questions can crowdsource their questions and quickly move forward in their learning, rather than waiting for a specific training or resource to become available. Additionally, because learners can receive crowdsourced answers in real-time, they can do their best work while retaining the information better than ever.
Studies tell us that users who opt into social learning platforms make productivity gains that are as high as thirty-five percent. This significant boost explains why more than eighty percent of businesses who use social learning tools plan to increase their usage moving forward. Social learning fosters a collaborative, ongoing mindset that truly positions this medium as the learning of the future.
Social collaboration through virtual channels also embraces populations of learners that often get left behind in more traditional learning venues. For example, while introverts can often get left behind in traditional learning structures, social learning allows introverts to learn from peers ---this diminished pressure often leads to more accelerated results.
What Is Peer Pressure And How Does It Help Me Learn?
Peer pressure refers to learners making choices to move their learning forward based on the choices of those around them. Studies show that “peer pressure appears to be a powerful force affecting educational choices and whether students undertake important investments that could improve academic performance or outcomes.”
SoloLearn Users Utilize Social Collaboration And Peer Pressure To Their Benefit
The data on social collaboration and peer pressure is quite clear. Those who learn with others are destined for a level of elevated success that their independently learning peers, quite simply, are not.
As an example, take the story of Hatsy Rei, for example. Hatsy has been coding with SoloLearn for years. When asked about the feature on SoloLearn that impacted his learning the most, Hatsy cited the Q&A section. “The benefit and additional knowledge I gain by doing research is critical, and so is the practice of maintaining integrity. Apart from the benefits of learning through teaching, answering questions in Q&As reinforces the habit of fact-checking everything I say or claim.”
This social learning element of our site allowed Hatsy to reinforce everything he learned in a new and novel way. Rather than studying by rewriting notes or reciting code, he chatted with his peers until the knowledge became so ingrained in his head that he could move on to learning something new.
Additionally, Hatsy told us how important he thought the Follow system was in his learning experience. He mentioned how his peers spend time upvoting their work, as he does the same for them. In this way, the pressure to continue to give and receive encouragement from his peers drives Hatsy to continue pressing on and deepening his understanding of code.
What Does Research Tell Us About The Value Of Social Learning and Peer Pressure?
Social learning and peer pressure, interestingly, have some of the highest levels of efficacy for adult learning. Social learning has been shown to be seventy-five times more effective than traditional, asynchronous online learning. Additionally, when the Harvard Business School introduced social learning in their open source online courses, they experienced a raise in completion of more than eighty-five percent.
The majority of modern computer users are accustomed to using social media and social learning features have been lauded as a useful method for enhancing the quality of educational techniques.
Social Learning Can Capture Learner Attention
Young learners are used to the instant gratification offered by current technology, and many learners today shy away from waiting for a teacher to deliver an answer.
Social learning offers the ability for learners to work on a virtual platform, with other learners who are also looking to share and receive knowledge. Additionally, learners who are choosing to pursue their own learning through a social construct are more likely to be motivated and pleasant to learn with, as the learning is occurring largely on their own terms.
Social Learning Offers Learners Freedom
One-size-fits-all learning is a thing of the past. Research has taught us that writing lessons meant to appeal to a broad audience of learners will only reach a small fraction of those learners.
With social learning, learners can differentiate to meet their own needs. Think of a social learning experience like a choose your own adventure novel, but for learning. If you need to learn about something in particular, you consult your expert peers. Likewise, you can reciprocate the knowledge that you are an expert in to better assist the collective.
Social Learning Allows For Expert Involvement
Social learning doesn’t just mean learning from your peers. With social learning, you can learn from experts in the field. Various learning platforms use open source learning -- meaning they make all of their learning materials public. Learners can work with each other to derive knowledge and build their skills from experts in their fields
Social Learning Allows For Shared Responsibility
In a learning situation in which students share knowledge with each other, they also begin to share a certain sense of responsibility for each other’s progress. In social learning situations, it is not uncommon for learners to check in on one another and push each other to reach lofty goals within their learning trajectories.
As stated previously, in social learning environments, a student who feels particularly successful in one area will begin to feel responsible for sharing their knowledge with their peers. Because these students have experienced the benefits of shared learning, they are often eager to share their knowledge with others.
Social Learning Allows For Truly Continuous Learning
Because learners are so much more comfortable learning from one another than they are learning from an authority figure, social learning allows learning to happen continuously.
Continuous learning as a habit can be challenging to implement because many people see learning as something with somewhat of an end destination. However, the reality of good learning is that it is an ongoing journey that should be treated as an ongoing journey.
Social Learning Allows For Learners To Grow As Coaches
It is commonly known that one of the best ways to learn is to teach someone else. When a learner uses a social learning platform to develop expertise within a skill, they often share that knowledge with others around them. Such contributions can further the knowledge of the field overall and serve to grow talent within a learning structure.
Feedback can be largely defined as a “system or process in which learners receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the learners who are learning around them.” Feedback is a critical tool in achieving learner growth. When learners work with peers who are learning the same skill, they are more likely to embrace the unexpected together and give each other subtle, well-received feedback that contributes to their overall growth.
How Is A Strong Social Learning System Created?
There are a variety of patterns and practices that play a role in developing a strong social learning system. Additionally, because many such constructs are delivered online, there are technical considerations that must be implemented when determining how to best create a system that will allow your users to flourish.
According to a survey, seventy-three percent of companies surveyed expressed their desire to “increase their focus on social learning and more than sixty percent wanted to see their employees interact with learning resources on a daily basis.” The results of this study shows us that social learning can be largely capitalized to create a continuous cycle of learning that those looking to expand their skill set can utilize.
SoloLearn And Social Collaboration
With SoloLearn, you can access a community of millions of learners who use our application to learn a myriad of programming languages. Users can access our code playground to issue challenges and discuss what they are learning with one another in a casual setting. Discussion boards can be leveraged to ensure maximum understanding of any subject material discussed on our site. Beyond the technical course content lies a variety of social features and a thriving and engaged community that can accelerate your learning and skill building.