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Survey: Social Media Learning on Rise, But Not Without Skepticism

January 19, 2011
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While 81 percent of respondents believe that social media offer valuable learning opportunities for their workforce, lower productivity, security, and quality of source were cited as significant concerns, reported the Chicago, Ill.-based CARA Group, in its recently released study “How Informal Learning Is Transforming the Workplace: A Pulse Survey on Social Media’s Impact on Informal Workplace Learning.”

The survey defined ‘informal learning’ as learning that takes place independently from structured instructor-led classes or course-specific work.

Developed by The CARA Group, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in custom learning and performance solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, the survey posed a range of questions on how informal learning is impacting formal corporate training programs and how organizations are adapting and keeping pace with the current learning landscape.

The themes covered in the survey ranged from what sorts of formats work best for informal learning to social media skepticism, security concerns and adoption hurdles.

Key findings included:
• Informal learning is a vital tool in employee training; 90% of respondents encourage or support it in some way
• According to participants, informal learning is most useful when the format is social and in person rather than individual and isolated from peers
• 81% of respondents feel social media offer valuable learning opportunities for employees
• 98% of respondents agree that social media are changing how employees are learning and accessing information


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