Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) tools like Yammer give us trainers a tool to enhance the formal learning transfer. It allows us to blend real social learning into the more traditional training events While Yammer is a walled garden closed network it does allow administrators to set up external networks. We use these networks to create collaboration spaces for trainees on various courses.
We use the group chat group chat to share real life difficult situations or small wins. Yammer also allows the Subject matter Experts (SMEs) to act as virtual mentors. Depending on the topic or situation,different people ask questions or provide quick responses. The conversations are, by mutual agreement visible to me or the manager so if someone is a little off track we can help them out.
I also use ESN to evaluate the learning and the barriers to applying the new learning. I ask questions such as “Have you used the techniques from the last session?” or “What do we need to include in the next session?”.
This simple evaluation and demonstrates the value of the course and helps the learners to actually apply what what they have learned.
It is what we as trainers have always sought or as Dr. Jane Bozarth says “It’s a quick, informal, and excellent way to build community and sustain the learning as workers implement it into their days.”
These are my top 10 tips for using Yammer as a learning tool
- Share links to interesting tips or resources, inforgraphics etc.
- Upload a shared page to encourage others to co-create or co-edit a document with you. ask for feedback.
- Create an online poll or survey
- Ask who is the best person to ask. This helps to identify people who may be shy about sharing their expertise
- Thank people for their contributions.
- Post an event or meeting – it only takes one click to RSVP. This can save an administrative assistant from having to sift through emails and count responses.
- Tag posts and documents with topics so people can find them later. You can use #Hashtags to identify key words
- Create a sub group where people can have smaller more focussed conversations.
- Upload a PowerPoint presentation. Encourage others to comment and make suggestions. Stop ping ponging presentations back and forth by email.
- ‘Like’ a post to acknowledge you’ve read it and agree.
Well, what do you think could you consider using yammer in one of your courses?
Yammer is free, so the to you risk is pretty low. why not give it a try it out and see how it goes.
Having said that like everything else in the learning and training world you need to be prepared to work at it.
Let me know how you get on.