Social Learning Communities: Catalyst for the Next Generation of Online Education

Social Learning Communities: Catalyst for the Next Generation of Online Education

By: Christopher Urena

As associations embrace online networking platforms, they are beginning to find their value extends beyond simple networking to a new role: enhancing education programs through social learning. Here's how.

Private online communities are rapidly gaining traction (and remarkable success) within many associations and nonprofits. These relatively new platforms allow an organization to provide its community with a dynamic online environment in which members can connect and socialize with peers. "However, the benefits exceed more than mere social networking," says Angelika Lipkin, manager of strategic partnerships at Higher Logic, a provider of such online platforms. "Associations are now beginning to leverage the strengths of both private online communities and traditional virtual learning, fused together. The result is a powerful social learning community that promises unprecedented potential."  ...