Applied Research

Online learning, “Social Stuff” Matters

Adapting Teaching/Learning Methods for Web 2.0 Technology

By

Joe Boyle

Applied Research

Submitted to

Northern Michigan University

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

For the degree of

MASTER OF SCIENCE

Office of Graduate Education and Research

Training, Development, and Performance Improvement

August 2014

 

ABSTRACT

 

Online learning, “Social Stuff” Matters

Adapting Teaching/Learning Methods for Web 2.0 Technology

 

By

 

 

Joe Boyle

 

Trainers, learners, managers, and course designers attempting to adapt face-to-face training methods to online format need to recognize, create, and maintain “social processes” in workforce learning groups.  However, they may find intimidating challenges in adapting “social stuff” to online training that is compatible with both learning processes and available technology.  The purpose of this case study was to answer an initial set of questions centering on why we need to recognize and employ “social stuff” in all training methods, then make conclusions about adapting teaching methods to take advantage of Web 2.0 technology.  This case provides several examples of workforce learning groups taking online training.  Each group exposed to a different level of “social stuff” resulted in different learning outcomes.

Three distinct themes addressed deficiencies in the literature.  One “social stuff” is essential for human learning regardless of delivery method; however, the existing research did not provide an adequate definition of social stuff.  It is more than social presence.  The second theme is the lack of social process research on adult workforce learning groups using online methods.  The third theme addresses how web technology outpaces changes in teaching and learning methods leading to paradigm shifts.

Learning how to recognize and use social stuff is essential for improved learning outcomes and business results in workforce learning groups.  The intent is not to mine new statistically backed evidence proving that social processes are essential to effective training, but rather to give targeted readers a common language and examples describing the meaning of social processes employed in online training with workforce learners.  This case study shows trainers, students, and managers attempting to adapt face-to-face training methods to online format, how to recognize, create, and maintain “social stuff” in their online training.

 

 

Copyright by

Joe Boyle

2014

 

Comments are closed.