- Pamela S. Hogle, staff writer for Learning Solutions Magazine, says that personal learning networks occur naturally, as it is part of human nature to connect with others in a common experience. Such PLNs can be fostered by any corporate learning program, but they cannot and should never be forced.
- Companies can encourage the complimentary nature of PLNs by utilizing social networking platforms to create a central space for employees to learn from each other by sharing.
- The most successful use of a PLN is to measure learner engagement levels by monitoring analytical data, and providing access to additional learning resources that are geared for this purpose.
Giving employees access to a secure social network, providing valuable content, and allowing learners to 'own' this part of their learning can make this a highly successful venture. Social learning also takes learning into the real world and gives employees a chance to process their new knowledge, while seeking support and insight from peers.
Studies show peer-to-peer learning to be highly effective. For that to happen, managers often have to stand down. The most important component is for companies to not be fearful of the challenges involved when adopting new technologies and new vehicles for change. The pay off is a more engaged, better trained and ultimately more productive workforce.