"Social Learning" Buzz Masks Deeper Dimensions
A Call for New Approaches in Social Constructs
Mitigating the confusion surrounding “Social Learning”
The social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura has become perhaps the most influential theory of learning and development. While rooted in many of the basic concepts of traditional learning theory, Bandura believed that direct reinforcement could not account for all types of learning.
There is a century of rich literature on social learning from education, psychology, and sociology, characterizing various practical applications such as instructional techniques, consumer behavior conditioning, and determining criminal motives. Most sources credit that social learning theory based on research by the French sociologist Gabriel Trade, who lived from 1843 to 1904.
One issue with today’s offerings for social software in education is that they are being presented as “social learning” solutions. Still, they are not being designed, packaged, or integrated with the more significant concepts of social learning theory in mind.
Until there is a serious effort to create a holistic online learning platform based on facilitating the fundamental principles of social learning theory, the term “social learning” should not be used to describe learning platforms that simply include social media capabilities.