Leverage LinkedIn for Learning: Harnessing the power of networking

Posted On
Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Angela Chaudhuri

Director, Swasti Health Catalyst


LinkedIn is emerging as one of the new platforms for leveraging social networks for impact, in the form of crowd-sourcing or social selling of ideas, talent and learning opportunities, disseminating insights and achievements, building future partnerships, and engaging a diverse remote audience in discussions. Launched in 2005, this platform is primarily used for professional networking, where employers post their job requirements and job seekers post their CVs and solicit jobs but increasingly, professionals are using LinkedIn to share their thoughts, ideas, and learnings through articles and short posts either in affinity groups or in their own feed, often resulting in engaging debates, showcasing professional eminence, discussions and even deepening of learning and ideas on matters important to the industry.

Isn’t every platform such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Whatsapp a source of a ton of information? How can we actually retain any learning from these and apply?  Is the information on these platforms taken seriously as learnings? Information overload has led to attention deficiency and paucity of time, threatening to hamper engagement  in meaningful discussions which lead to thought provoking insights by professionals.  This is where bite-sized learning comes in. Breaking down complicated issues into simple and coherent ‘bites’ of information has been shown to improve retention. In 2002, the BBC found that a bite-size approach resulted in greater understanding, application and retention than a day-long equivalent.  Bite-sizing is now used for online courses, in-house capacity building, and  just about every situation where engaging people and ensuring knowledge retention is a high priority.

LinkedIn provides a unique new space for bite-sized learning, where the information is developed for targeted audiences. Unlike articles (and like some Twitter feeds), these bites provide the latest updates and perspectives to those who know the back-story, allowing them to engage with it directly in forums of their peers. For those who want to know more, links to resources can be added. More importantly, the forum of peers will have the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise, leading to grounded, contextual learning without leaving their desk.

There are a few concerns to keep in mind, not all learning is amenable to bitesizing, and and sometimes it’s difficult to make content both fresh and insightful. Bite-sizing works best when we want to pique the interest of the audience to a new area of learning, or add on more recent information to an already existing bank of knowledge.  Bite-sized learning have a higher rate of application when participants feel that learning is relevant and personalized.

Making the right connections and following up on the discussions on your content are key to impact.  Bite-sized learning can draw attention, reflection and engagement from overstretched key influencers who could help make a real impact.

Learn- Apply- Achieve

From the Knowledge Accretion and Learning Application (KALA) Secretariat.

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