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reflections of the team

The Social Dimension of Learning: #WOL

This month I was asked to read the book “Social technologies in Business”. In the days to come, I will write a review about, but in the meantime, I would like to introduce a concept I have read there: “Working out Loud”, or #WOL for all you tweeps out there.

The social dimension of learning

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When learners need to broaden their knowledge about a specific topic, training is not always the ideal solution. Experts already have a vast amount of knowledge. To fill in the gaps, classroom training, e-learning or PDF’s they need to sign off don’t always generate the best results.

Experts are looking for very specific information, not easily found in an environment created for the mean profile. Why not put them in the driver’s seat? Why not let them create their own learning ecosystem where they can eXchange and thus eXpand their expertise?

The eXchange part of the aXles-model introduces the social dimension: people can and should learn from each other. But does learning happen naturally in a social environment? Is a moderator necessary? Does content need to be structured? Do managers play a role, for instance by feeding the network with micro-learning materials?

How does #WOL relate to eXchange?

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Working out Loud is not exactly a learning method, but it certainly can help if you wish to create a social environment where people engage with and learn from each other. “Working out loud is about building meaningful relationships based on generosity, leveraging modern ways to reach and engage people.” It is a modern way of networking, interacting with people on social media.

As you can see, the concept’s definition doesn’t say anything about learning. But imagine being in a network where all the contributors share their knowledge, their thoughts and ideas genuinely. A network where everybody is reaching out to others, contributing generously. That’s all what #WOL is about, and isn’t that a huge opportunity to learn, to broaden your knowledge?!

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Is this entirely new? Of course it isn’t. Having genuine authentic relationships should always have been your top priority (in life 😊). But using it to learn, might be quite a challenge. We are not used to showing our work, what we are working on, sharing our doubts etc. Having a method that helps you do so, can come in very handy!   

How do you work out loud? How do you start?

Have a look at for more information.