QUOTE | This ability to use social spaces in learning to support not just knowledge transfer but knowledge application is essential. If we can create spaces for discussion and challenge, a safe environment where new vocabulary can be tested and rehearsed, then we are adding something fundamentally new to the learning equation.
Originally posted on Julian Stodd's Learning Blog:
There’s been some discussion this week about creating parameters for the measurement of the effectiveness of social learning. It’s a good call to arms, because it’s all too easy to be busy creating solutions without stopping to think of the essentials like this. ‘Social’ is a layer that can surround and enhance our learning solutions, but ensuring it’s effective requires us to think about measurement techniques, and also what we mean by ‘effective’!
There are a range of tools that measure social media presence and ‘impact’, such as Klout and Peer index, but they are not really measures of effectiveness, at least not in a format that we would want. They are geared more towards characterising your social presence, with a view to how influential you are. Both are quite refined models and, whilst not quite fit for our purpose, can probably influence our thinking though.
Klout deals with quantitative measures of engagement, primarily things such as how many sites you are active on, how many connections you have on those sites (and how many connect back to you), how often you ‘broadcast’ and what happens to that information e.g. retweeting of your content. It also introduces a qualitative element in the form of ‘K’s that you can award to people who have inspired you. So together, this gives us a combination of the subjective and the objective, although both measures are open to criticism. Purely measuring volume of interaction is not, in itself, a measure of learning, it’s a measure of busyness. There is no value judgement on the quality of those interactions.