Social Learning Platform: Theory Explained + Top Tools (2024)

Navigating the myriad of social learning platforms can be daunting. You’re likely seeking a social learning platform that fosters interaction, boosts engagement, and supports transformative learning experiences.

What you'll learn in this article:

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Navigating the myriad of social learning platforms can be daunting. You’re likely seeking a social learning platform that fosters interaction, boosts engagement, and supports transformative learning experiences.

We cut through the complexity, providing clear criteria for selection and a focused look at how these platforms can effectively meet your learning goals.

Warning: Exciting Content Ahead!

  • Social learning platforms are revolutionizing education by combining the interactive dynamics of social media with educational content to enhance learner engagement and collaboration.
  • Key features of these platforms include gamification, community-building elements, real-time communication, and integration with other social tools, which are pivotal in creating a more engaging learning environment.
  • Disco.co stands out among social learning platforms for its comprehensive set of features, including AI Co-Pilot, user profiles, chat and messaging, push notifications, and a customizable news feed, all designed to foster a dynamic and interactive learning experience.

Social Learning Theory Explained

Have you ever found yourself in a new job, quietly observing a more experienced colleague as they navigate complex software with finesse? Can you recall how you watched their every click and keystroke, taking mental notes on how they manage tasks so efficiently?

Did you then find yourself trying out these observed techniques, tweaking them through trial and error until you too mastered the system? If this rings a bell, you've experienced social learning theory firsthand.

Illustration of diverse group of people collaborating on a project

The concept of social learning originated from the theory proposed by psychologist Albert Bandura. He advocated that observation, imitation, and modeling are integral to learning, highlighting the significant part played by social interaction and cognitive processes. Over the years, Bandura refined the theory, underscoring the importance of observational learning, imitation of behaviors, and the influence of associated rewards and punishments.

In the present context, modern learning methods integrate the core principles of social learning theory. The contemporary understanding of social learning suggests that social behavior is acquired not just individually, but also collectively through online learning and other modern learning techniques.

Modern social learning platforms like Disco.co, incorporate these principles through gamification, positive reinforcement, rewards, and the development of an inclusive learning community. They also enable learners to utilize social media for sharing and modeling behaviors and outcomes.

Simply put, modern social learning platforms:

  • Merge the foundational principles of social learning theory with technology
  • Craft an engaging and interactive learning experience
  • Bring the social aspect to the forefront of learning
  • Foster a sense of community
  • Facilitate a deeper understanding through peer learning and critical thinking

Benefits of Social Learning Platforms in Education

Within the education sector, social learning platforms have justified their value by providing transformative learning experiences. Here are the key benefits it brings:

Photo of students engaging in a group discussion

⭐️ They empower learners to become proactive participants in societal change and transformation processes. The key here is active learning - a component that encourages learners to engage not just with the material but also with their peers. This heightened level of engagement creates a conducive environment for increased creativity and innovation.

However, the benefits of social learning platforms extend beyond engagement and creativity.

⭐️ They enhance knowledge retention among students by providing interactive cohorts, and discussion forums, fostering collaboration, and promoting critical thinking. By leveraging social learning tools like discussion boards, video conferencing, and social media integration, these platforms foster a collaborative learning environment that is dynamic, interactive, and conducive to learning.

⭐️ Lastly, they enhance learner completion rates, fostering a transformative and collaborative learning journey. This not only boosts student accountability but also strengthens the sense of community, leading to higher success rates and a more enriched educational experience.

Social Learning Platforms VS Traditional LMSs

As we explore the world of social learning platforms, comprehension of their distinction from traditional Learning Management Systems (LMSs) becomes important. While both encompass similar features such as analytics, efficient course design, SCORM compatibility, and user management, there’s a marked difference in their emphasis.

A traditional LMS focuses on course creation and management, centralized record keeping, and monitoring course completion and learner progress. Yet, a social learning platform has advanced a step beyond. They incorporate distinguishing features such as video conferencing tools, social media integration, and convenient notifications, all within a design that offers a human context to the learning experience.

This encourages more active and dynamic learner participation, differentiating social learning platforms from traditional LMSs, and positioning them as a comprehensive social learning management system.

Within an educational setting, social learning platforms offer substantial benefits, including:

  • Enabling face-to-face learning
  • Endorsing online and blended learning solutions
  • Simplifying course design and analytics
  • Cultivating learner engagement through interactive elements like forums, discussion boards, and group projects

These features help foster collaborative learning among students, making social learning platforms a preferred choice over traditional LMSs.

Advantages of Social Learning Platforms over Traditional LMSs

Social learning platforms offer numerous advantages over traditional LMSs. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Enhanced learner engagement by emphasizing learner interaction, collaboration, and feedback
  • Facilitate a more engaging and interactive learning environment
  • Cultivate a sense of community and motivation among learners
  • Increased collaboration among learners

From a business perspective, employing social learning platforms over traditional LMSs leads to improved learning flexibility, consistency, productivity, and cost reduction. Additionally, these platforms enhance student engagement and creativity, better retention of information leading to academic achievement, and significant positive business outcomes.

They acknowledge and utilize the influence of social interactions to create a more engaging, enriching, and impactful transformative learning experience.

Key Features of Social Learning Platforms

What makes social learning platforms stand out? At the core of these platforms lie white-label social media-like functions that enhance learning by facilitating communication and collaboration. They enable:

  • Interaction with mentors, coaches, instructors, and other learners
  • Creating a dynamic and interactive learning environment
  • Underpinning both social and collaborative learning experiences.

These platforms also incorporate essential characteristics that facilitate collaborative learning. Some of these characteristics include:

  • Video conferencing tools
  • Social media integration
  • Convenient notifications
  • Capability to manage and deliver other types of educational programs

💡 Social learning platforms, also known as collaborative learning platforms, are equipped with a wide range of collaborative learning tools that create an engaging and effective learning experience. Discussion threads and live events are other integral social learning features, facilitating knowledge sharing, collaboration, and engagement among participants.

Top 5 Social Learning Platforms for 2024 (Free/Paid)

With the progressing digital age, the panorama of social learning platforms is consistently evolving, with the emergence of new platforms and continuous innovation of existing ones. So, which are the top social learning platforms for 2024? Let’s take a closer look at the frontrunners in this space:

  1. Disco. The Best Overall Social Learning Platform for Learner Engagement
  2. Eduflow. The Second Best Social Learning Platform
  3. 360 Learning. Ideal for Workforce Development
  4. Miro. An Interactive Whiteboard Platform
  5. Noon. A Gamified Learning Platform for Teachers and Students

Each of these platforms brings a unique set of features and benefits to the table, catering to a wide range of learning needs and preferences. Whether it’s Disco’s AI Co-Pilot feature that leverages AI to support member management or Eduflow’s polished and user-friendly interface that streamlines course creation and attendance processes, these platforms are a testament to the transformative potential of social learning.

#1. DISCO: The Best Overall Social Learning Platform for Learner Engagement

Disco.co stands out in the realm of social learning platforms, not just for its high customization features that allow educational businesses to tailor the learning experience with their own branding elements, but also for its powerful engagement tools. Below is a short demo of our Disco dashboard, showcasing what it can do for your social learning programs:

These tools are designed to create a highly interactive and engaged environment, where learners can thrive through real-time communication, personalized notifications, and a user-friendly interface that encourages active participation. Here are the reasons why Disco is the best and the most trusted social learning platform on the internet:

Why Disco is the best social learning platform?

✔️ User profiles and directory – A central hub for all users to create profiles and connect, enhancing the sense of community. This feature allows users to showcase their skills, interests, and educational background, fostering meaningful connections and collaborations.

✔️ Chat and messaging – Enables real-time communication between learners, facilitating instant interaction and support. This tool is essential for building relationships and encouraging collaborative learning, as it allows for quick questions, feedback, and social interaction.

Disco is also powered with Threads, similar to Instagram's Thread, which may feel like you have brought your social media platform inside the Disco dashboard.

✔️ Push notifications – Keeps users informed and engaged with timely updates and reminders. These notifications ensure that learners stay on top of important announcements, deadlines, and events, helping them to manage their learning more effectively.

✔️ A well-designed and customizable news feed – Curates relevant content and updates, making it easier for users to stay informed about community activities. It acts as the pulse of the platform, delivering personalized information and keeping the community connected and up-to-date.

✔️ A global search bar – Allows users to quickly find courses, people, and content, streamlining the navigation experience and centralizing data in one platform. This powerful feature saves time and enhances the user experience by making the vast resources of the platform easily accessible with just a few keystrokes.

✔️ A mobile app – Provides convenient access to learning resources and community interaction on the go. With the mobile app, learners can continue their education anytime, anywhere, making learning flexible and adaptable to their lifestyles.

✔️ Slack integration – Seamlessly connects the learning environment with a popular communication tool for streamlined workflows. It allows for the integration of learning into daily routines, making it easier for users to access course materials and communicate with peers without switching between platforms.

✔️ In-depth reporting and analytics – Offers valuable insights into user engagement and learning outcomes, aiding in the continuous improvement of the platform. By understanding how learners interact with content and each other, educators can tailor the learning experience to better meet the needs of their audience.

✔️ Its unique AI Co-Pilot feature adds value by serving as a virtual assistant for community managers, helping them to answer member queries efficiently. This cutting-edge tool uses artificial intelligence to provide quick responses to common questions, freeing up time for community managers to focus on more complex tasks and improving the overall member experience within the platform.

Successful instances of learning communities implementing Disco for their online learning programs in 2024, resulting in the creation of interactive and engaging virtual learning experiences, serve as testimonials of its effectiveness. Whether it’s educators looking to heighten engagement or learners seeking transformative experiences, Disco offers a dynamic and immersive learning experience.

Here's what Top Communities are saying about Disco:

Disco's Affordable Pricing:

Disco offers a tiered pricing structure catering to different community sizes and needs, all available with a 14-day trial period:

  • The "Pro" plan, priced at $79 per month (billed annually), is designed for launching a community with essentials like 1 community, 10 learning products, 1 admin, and up to 1000 members.
  • The "Organization" plan, the most popular choice, is $359 per month (billed annually) and adds full custom branding, an AI Co-Pilot, advanced communication tools, the ability to sell memberships, custom profile fields, and many more!
  • For larger communities, the "Max" plan at $999 per month (billed annually) scales up to 25,000 members, 200 learning products, and 10 admins, with 500 automation and features such as advanced AI Co-Pilot (coming soon) and migration support.
  • For enterprises with even larger needs, Disco provides a custom "Enterprise" plan with bespoke services including dedicated success lead, quarterly strategy reviews, custom training, integration services, support, product roadmap shaping, and an API for multiple communities with unlimited members, admins, learning products, and automation.

#2. Eduflow: The Second Best Social Learning Platform

Next on the list is Eduflow, a social learning platform known for its polished and user-friendly interface. It streamlines course creation and attendance processes and prioritizes social learning by facilitating learner feedback and promoting interactions among participants. Eduflow provides a variety of features to enhance social learning, such as:

  • User-friendly interface perfect for virtual academies, academic institutions, and corporate training
  • The capacity to swiftly develop engaging courses
  • Diverse learning activities that encourage collaborative experiences with its peer learning tool
  • Opportunities for learners to generate content
Eduflow acquired by Multiverse: To shut down this 2024

In 2023, Eduflow made a strategic move by partnering with Multiverse, which resulted in closing down its operations to the public. For those invested in Eduflow, we've crafted a seamless migration process to ensure a smooth transition for your learning organization.

This means you can transfer your resources from Eduflow to the new, improved platform without the headache of a time-consuming migration. Embrace this change with excitement, as the partnership promises to bring innovative features and a stronger support network to your educational endeavors.

#3. 360 Learning: Ideal for Workforce Development

360 Learning aids in workforce planning by enabling organizations to create tailored career and skills paths, synchronize learning opportunities with workforce planning, and utilize AI to provide pertinent training for upskilling the workforce. Plus, their mobile learning app for iOS and Android is equipped with features including Collaborative Learning, cross-platform catalog, offline mode, and push notifications.

Top features include:
  • Collaborating authoring
  • Globalization capabilities
  • In-depth reporting and analytics
  • A robust feedback system
  • AI-powered skills management
Pricing for 360Learning:
  • The "Team" plan is designed for small-scale collaborative learning environments, costing $8 per registered user per month and accommodating up to 100 users, providing access to a suite of best-in-class resources and support.
  • For larger organizations looking to harness collaborative learning for employees, customers, and partners, the "Business" plan offers automation, scalability, and integration solutions, backed by dedicated technical support teams.

#4. Miro: An Interactive Whiteboard Platform

Miro is an interactive whiteboard platform with an unlimited canvas, a comprehensive range of widgets, pre-made templates, and strong platform capabilities. Its online and app-based settings enable users to create, collaborate, and exchange ideas within workspaces.

Miro’s interactive whiteboard contributes to a more engaging learning experience by:

  • Providing visual elements that support visual learners and encourage active participation
  • Facilitating collaboration and the sharing of ideas in a communal space
  • Offering diverse learning opportunities for education
Miro Integration in Disco!

Disco's platform stands out for its powerful and advanced integrations, seamlessly connecting with a suite of essential apps to enhance the learning experience. Among these, the integration with Miro.

This collaboration allows learners to engage in real-time brainstorming, diagramming, and project planning within the Disco environment, fostering a more interactive and visually stimulating learning experience that mirrors the dynamic nature of modern education.

Pricing for Miro:

Miro's pricing structure is designed to cater to a wide range of needs:

  • Starting with a free tier that offers a single workspace with 3 editable boards and basic features.
  • The Starter plan, at $8 per member per month when billed annually, provides unlimited boards and additional features like high-resolution exports and unlimited public board visitors.
  • The Business plan, priced at $16 per member per month annually, includes everything in Starter plus advanced security and collaboration tools for larger teams. For organizations seeking comprehensive support and control, the Enterprise tier offers custom solutions to fit their specific requirements.

#5. Noon: A Gamified Learning Platform for Teachers and Students

Noon is a gamified learning platform that enriches the learning experience through the provision of live interactive classes, gamified peer learning features, and opportunities for competition and socialization with friends, which are reflected in its user interface and design.

It offers:

  • Free live, interactive tutoring sessions
  • Live interactive classes with gamified peer learning features
  • The opportunity to challenge friends and master essential concepts using fun, interactive features

This positions Noon as a prominent collaborative learning platform. With over 12 million students and 100k teachers across eight countries, Noon has a solid footing in the world of online learning!

Pricing: Free! of charge!

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Our Final Note

Social learning platforms are transforming the educational landscape by infusing learning experiences with social interaction and collaboration. By integrating the principles of social learning theory, these platforms provide a dynamic learning environment that fosters engagement, creativity, and knowledge retention.

Start engaging your learners with Disco's 14-day free trial! If you have any queries and want to talk to our customer support, then book a demo with our team and we will assist you!

As we move into the future, the role of social learning platforms will only continue to grow. If you’re in the education business, now is the time to harness the power of these platforms and pioneer a new era of learning. After all, learning is a social endeavor, and it’s time we embrace it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Social Learning Platform?

A social learning platform is an online space designed to streamline the creation and delivery of educational programs. It combines the interactive nature of social media networks packed with social learning tools to foster engagement and collaboration among learners.

What is Social Learning Theory?

Social learning theory, introduced by psychologist Albert Bandura, emphasizes the importance of social interaction and cognitive processes in the learning process, suggesting that learning takes place through observation, imitation, and modeling.

What are the examples of social learning?

Direct social learning examples include participating in group discussions and collaborating on group projects, while indirect social learning involves observing without direct interaction. Both forms of social learning can be effective in training.

Published on
January 24, 2024
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