Skillsoft Blog

Creating a Social Learning Ecosystem through Invisible L&D

By Jessica Philpott

Creating a Social Learning Ecosystem through Invisible L&D

Do a quick search and you will find that everyone is talking about social learning. But what exactly is social learning?

As part of his Multiple Intelligences theory, Howard Gardner explained as the time when individuals learn through interpersonal interaction; that it is the world and the people around us that shapes and reframes our learning experiences.

In practice, it is when learning happens almost unintentionally. It can be simply the person in the cubicle next to you to repeating or clarifying an email from management or asking your Facebook friends what their favorite brand of shampoo is and why.

What does social learning mean for L&D professionals? Why, or how, is it relevant?

It is important because it can serve as an invaluable tool or reinforcement agent for the learning that is already occurring within their organization; that if they use the power of social learning to empower employees to learn and develop themselves, it will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of any organization thereby further validating the vital role L&D plays in the organization.

However, as with any other learning, social learning requires the correct context to both support learning objectives and demonstrate the largest organizational impact. L&D professionals must then ensure that content meets learners’ needs – when and where they arise. This contextualization, or ‘just in time’ learning is what Bersin by Deloitte refer to as Invisible L&D, when learning opportunities are created in a less “in your face” and more “stealthy” way (Clarey & Johnson, 2017).

So, what are the best ways to harness the power of ‘invisible L&D’, how do you use it to perfectly complement your existing learning culture?

Join us at the Skillsoft Perspectives at Bellagio, Las Vegas April 11-13 2017 to hear how.

On April 11th at 1PM PST we will be presenting a workshop titled The Rise of Invisible L&D Through Social Learning Opportunities – Take your Learning Culture to the Next Level.

Registration is now open at

Jessica Philpott is a customer success consultant at Skillsoft.


Applying Multiple Intelligence Theory to Adult Online Instructional Design by Jan Watrous-McCabe. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2017, from

Clarey, J., & Johnson, D. (2017). Capabilities for “Invisible L&D”.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

(URLs automatically linked.)

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)