Principles for online social learning

Jane Hart writes about 5 principles for a successful online social learning experience, and as she notes, it's not about the tools. Here they are:

scaffolding the learning experience – enabling a framework for learning to take place – both in terms of the infrastructure (technology) but also in terms of providing the right conditions for learning to take place. The framework should give just enough structure, without constraining personal and social learning

offering as much autonomy as possible – it should allow people to participate in the ways that they feel most comfortable and best suits them, and it doing so take responsibility for their own learning

focusing on enabling the social interaction – whether it be discussion between the group, knowledge sharing, or collaboration in some other way, e.g. co-creation of content or co-solving a business problem

supporting the experience with content as appropriate – it shouldn’t be driven by the content – but rather supported by essential resources on the topic to get people thinking or conversing or doing, and it should also encourage participants to provide content (links or their own resources) in whatever format they prefer. Tthe workshop leader/organiser’s role is much more about guiding the learning experience, than dominating it.

and of course driving it with a performance outcome in mind– it needs to be focused around what participants will be able to do as a result, and, ideally, at the end there should be some form of peer-assessment, so that it is their colleagues who rate their performance.

It's a good article.