In February 2016, Facebook celebrated its 12th birthday. According to data released by Facebook, at the end of December 2015, there were 1.59 billion monthly Facebook users. If you look at how Facebook has grown, matured, and become part of our daily (if not hourly) life, there are tips, tricks, and insights that designers of eLearning can glean from Facebook’s success.
The value of likable, shareable content.
It’s easy to see the momentum that content gains on Facebook as users like and share posts, videos, and images. If the content resonates with the audience, it takes very limited effort from the creator for the content to gain reach audiences around the globe. It’s the same with eLearning: to reach the widest audience possible, design content that’s likable, and which learners want to interact and share with everyone around them.
The value of peer to peer interaction.
For better or worse, Facebook inspires discussion among friends, family members—and even among foes. While those conversations can get uncomfortable, the Facebook platform enables peer to peer interaction. With today’s eLearning tools, this type of peer to peer dialogue is also possible when you deliver learning content online. Find ways for learners to interact either in person or online and you’ll multiply the value that your learning content delivers.
The value of listening to user feedback.
Remember when all you could do was “like” a post? After the initial thrill, users became antsy with the limited emotional options. Some wanted a “thumbs down” option; other people were looking for a way to indicate emotions other than happiness when it came to interacting with posts on their screen. It didn’t take all that long for the team at Facebook to listen to their users’ complaints. Now there are a variety of ways to indicate your emotional reaction to a post: a heart, laughter, anger, sadness. Facebook users spoke up, and the developers in Silicon Valley listened. As training professionals, we need to heed feedback from learners in the same way. We need to take action, and we need to show them that their feedback matters.
Bottom line: regardless of whether or not you’re a Facebook fan, there’s great value in observing this social phenomenon and looking for ways to incorporate some of the platform’s successful techniques in your eLearning design. (An excellent way to start? Like or share this post on Facebook!)
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.