Skillsoft Blog

Exploring SkillPort® 8: Community Features


Last week, we focused on the “search” functionality within SkillPort® 8 — a revolutionary cloud-based learning experience that delivers targeted learning — when and where people want to learn. Today, we’ll explore the “community” features of SkillPort 8.

One of the highlights of SkillPort 8 is the integrated collaborative and social learning features. In fact, according to a 2010 ASTD study, workers see the value of using social media for learning and development. More than 80 percent of the survey respondents expect social tools to be adopted by their organization’s learning group within the next three years and nearly 100 percent of the respondents use social tools in their personal lives.

Community and collaboration is woven throughout the learner interface, encouraging participation and bringing organizational context across a wide range of learning content. The community features in SkillPort 8 leverage the 2+ years of experience we have deploying our award-winning social learning feature set, inGenius®, into the programs of over 350 clients around the world.

In the “Community” section, users are invited to join the community and complete their profile. In addition to standard fields like name, email, and location, learners are encouraged to augment their profile with an image as well as their areas of interest and expertise. Learners have control over their privacy settings, and can choose how and when to contribute to the community. Users can decide for themselves whether they want to join the community, but joining is key to participation.

Once joined, users can recommend learning assets to others within their organization. Each user’s community is very deliberately limited to the walls of their organization. This allows colleagues to share and collaborate freely without the concern of information being visible by outsiders — enabling free and relevant collaboration.

One of the easiest ways for learners to participate in their community is by using the recommendation feature. The “Recommend?” link invites users to recommend assets they have used to others in their organization. The mechanism is familiar to users of other social sites — it is similar to the “Like” button in Facebook, for example. Collecting the recommendations of many users across an organization can help the community members, as well as learning leaders, to identify the most relevant and useful learning assets for that organization’s industry, culture, or business challenges.

In addition to recommendations, users can start – or contribute to – discussion threads based on specific learning content. Often a course, book, or video will inspire a learner to approach a business problem in a new way. Capturing this moment and inviting a “virtual water cooler” discussion adds real business value and context, and can be difficult to create in-person given today’s dispersed, global organizations. In addition to capturing the discussion in real-time, the thread is searchable and discoverable by other members of the community in order to spread the learning.

The community features in SkillPort 8 provides a platform for the organization’s senior leaders to communicate and reiterate key business initiatives to the organization and tie them to key pieces of learning content that support those initiatives. By leveraging the “follow” feature, learners can easily find and choose to follow these senior leaders – as well as any other member of their community —in order to create their own ad hoc group of cohorts and colleagues of interest.

By including community and collaborative features throughout the learner interface, SkillPort 8 supports collaborative learning as a key component of an integrated learning program that seamlessly weaves together the three pillars of learning today: formal, informal, and social.

Learn more

Watch our video to learn more about SkillPort 8: a revolution in learning!

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